Up, Up, and Away with an Origami Airplane!

Origami Airplane designed by Jo Nakashima "Up, Up, and Away with an Origami Aeroplane" origamiexpressions.com

Both optimists and pessimists contribute to the society. The optimist invents the aeroplane, the pessimist the parachute.
George Bernard Shaw

About the Airplane

Somebody at work asked whether I could make them an origami airplane for some sort of display and I immediately thought of this one that I’d been planning to make for a while. It’s a Jo Nakashima design. Sadly it doesn’t fly (I did try), but it still looks good. Simple but effective.

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Folding the Origami Airplane

Altbough this design looks very simple, it’s actually an intermediate level design. It’s derived from a Bird Base which is easy enough, but there are a few sink folds in it. If you struggle with open sinks, this is probably not the model for you, but if you’re comfortable with these you should be able to fold it without any problems.  It takes about 20 minutes to fold the origami airplane.

Most paper types and sizes will do.  Jo Nakashima suggests using a sheet of ordinary origami paper or Kami, 15cm x 15cm (6in x 6in), but I’ve made the one in the picture from a piece of blue Tant paper I received as part of a sample pack with a recent order from The Origami Shop – check prices and availability here. This was 24cm x 24cm (7.9in x 7.9in) and produced an origami airplane that is 12cm (4.75in) long, with a wingspan of 15cm (6in).

I suggest using paper that is coloured the same on both sides to avoid the possibility of the underside of the paper showing as a coloured strip along the length of the wings.  That said, the paper Jo Nakashima used was dark blue on one side and light blue on the other, and the result was a light blue stripe along the wing that is surprisingly effective. Maybe experiment a bit and see which you prefer.

Note: If you are looking for easy origami airplanes, check out my review of the Awesome Paper Airplane Book for Kids.

Origami Airplane Instructions

Jo Nakashima has produced a video showing how to fold this origami airplane model, which is available on his YouTube channel. As usual for one of his videos, the quality is excellent. It is well paced, there are subtitles available, and each step is accompanied by a diagram in the top right hand corner showing how to do that step.


Get Involved

I’d love to hear your views on this origami airplane.  Feel free to let me know what you think in the comments below, or you find can me on Instagram or Twitter. Check out my Pinterest boards too!

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About the Author


Russell has been folding origami since he was 8 years old and has recently written the book, Origami Made Simple. He is on the Council for the British Origami Society and a member of OrigamiUSA. When he is not folding, he enjoys photography and traveling.

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