Patron Saint of Paper Airplanes

by Vicky on May 22, 2012

Our Spring Spectacular origami workshop honored Leonardo’s love of birds, fascination with flight, and flair for spectacle.

We folded a simple floating duck (the Boat Duck from Making Origami Birds Step-By-Step, by Michael LaFosse), the traditional flapping bird, and another paper airplane inspired by Leonardo’s designs.


Scientific American dubbed Leonardo the “patron saint of paper airplanes,” and created a trophy, the Leonardo, for the 1st International Paper Airplane Contest in 1967.

The kids discovered that duck boats made of different paper types had wildly different success rates in staying afloat.  Everyone folded great flapping birds, and the dads could not resist getting involved when the paper airplanes started flying!

Here is some cool video from The New Millennium Paper Airplane Contest, held in 2008 at the New York Hall of Science in Queens, New York (in homage to the historic 1967 contest, which was held in the same venue).

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