There are paper airplanes,
and then there are John Collins’s paper airplanes.
Marvels that return to senders,
sideways and somersaulting
A plane that seems to fly like a bat,
and one that soars and soars.
I’m John Collins, the paper airplane guy.
For decades, Collins has been perfecting
the art and science of the paper airplane.
I just love figuring out how things fly.
There’s, you know, a number of things you can watch fly when you’re a kid,
insects, the birds, to full-size planes,
and they all fly using slightly different mechanisms
and that was just endlessly fascinating for me.
And the idea that you could fold a flying machine
from this really modest resource, a piece of paper,
people are throwing it away by the tons.
You could grab a piece and reuse that,
and make a flying machine out of it.
After going about as far as I could go folding planes,
I decided I need to study this other field, this art called origami.
So I worked on that for about 10 years, learning what was to learn there
and then took all those folding techniques back to paper airplanes
with an idea toward making, you know, a set of really great high-performance planes
if all you had was paper.
You could just make some high-performance flying machines.
Collins makes one of the most high-performance paper airplanes.
Six years ago, he set a new world record for distance
by designing and folding this astounding long distance glider.
It was thrown by quarterback Joe Ayoob.
解说员： 在那里 在那里 大家都看着它呢
Commentator: There it is, there it is. We are all over that one.
That’s gonna do it.
Get up there, get up there…
So we broke the distance record,
the old record was 207 feet 4 inches,
and we threw 226 feet 10 inches.
We were the first glider to break that 200 foot barrier
to break out and set a distance record.
It had all been done with ballistic darts,
wings about this wide,
Our plane has really wide wings,
the old style you’d throw in a 45 degree angle
and it would just crash at the finish line,
just a parabolic arc.
My plane takes 9 seconds to do that.
And so it’s a real difference in approach.
You know, if you watch the world record throw,
it gets launched, level climbs on its own,
and then really flares and flies for that last third,
so it’s a real flying machine,
as opposed to the ballistic dart that could just roll any direction, just kind of crash.
Collins stops by the WIRED studio to fly the distance glider
and some of the other planes in his new book, “The World Record Paper Airplane”,
and to demonstrate how a humble piece of paper
can become any number of thrilling toys in minutes.
People always think I have top-secret paper,
so all my planes are designed
8.5×11 英寸 20磅的普通纸
with just regular old 8.5 by 11, 20-pound paper in mind.
You know, the basics of the basics, you know, accurate folding.
Line up the edges correctly, be really precise about what you’re doing.
And then, overall symmetry is super important.
This is gonna be the world record plane,
it’s named after my wife, it’s named Suzanne.
It starts out with a couple of diagonal folds.
The short side of the paper up,
we’re gonna take the top of the page and put it against the side of the page.
We’re gonna make two diagonal folds here.
So let’s practice on the other side, shall we?
We’re gonna move this corner over,
line up the top corner and then swing this guy into position,
and as a double check I can see where my other diagonal is ending,
and sweep down that way.
Now I’ve got nice tight corners.
Everywhere, nice sharp creases.
We’re going to take the right-hand edge, just from the creased corner
down to where this crease meets the edge of the page,
and we’re gonna lay it against the diagonal fold.
We’re gonna take this creased corner and bring it
just to the end of this crease right here.
Fold the top down,
and now you’ll see those diagonal folds on the other side.
What you want to do is line up the diagonal folds,
the top layer of the diagonal with the very bottom layer of the diagonal on both sides,
and that’s how you know you’re hitting the centre of the X dead centre.
So let’s follow the crease on both sides,
what I find to be the easiest way to do it is to follow the creases on this side,
but if you can see them clearly on the other side
and that works for you, go ahead and use it, flipped over.
We’re going to take this flap right here and fold it up over those two corners,
and when we do the next move to fold the plane in half,
the whole thing will be locked together.
So let’s fold from the top all the way down to the centre of this edge,
to fold the plane in half.
You can flip it over,
and make sure the rear corners and the nose are perfect.
The centre corners, don’t worry so much about.
Don’t spend a lot of time trying to line those guys up.
The rear corners, and make sure you’re hitting the nose cleanly.
Now, here’s the pro way to do it.
Make sure wings are a little bit wider, makes the plane a more efficient glider.
If you start here and don’t make the crease,
but see you’ve got a little triangle that you can see here,
made up from this raw edge
and the back of the fuselage.
If you keep pulling the wing down just until that triangle disappears,
that is a much better place to make the wing crease,
it makes the tail much broader
gives you much better lifting characteristics.
So let’s make the other wing match.
That should be an easy task.
And the most important thing to remember is that
every flight is a test flight.
You’re now a pilot,
you’re seeing if this thing flies, you’re making adjustments to it.
Most people think they can’t fold a good plane,
but the reality is they just have to adjust to get a good plane.
So the first thing we do,
the wings are drooping like that,
we’re gonna give it what’s called positive dihedral angle
Now dihedral angle, that’s just fancy words
for the angle the wings are stuck to the body of the plane,
and what that does,
when you hold on to it where all the layers lock,
and just lift the leading edge of the wings,
now you’ve got some upward sweep there.
And what that does is put the lifting surface
up over where all the weight is.
So the plane is flying along and it gets rocked to one side,
just like a pendulum.
The weight swings back underneath the wings,
and that’s called dead stick stability.
The other thing we’re gonna do, aside from positive dihedral angle,
is give the rear corners just a little upward bend.
Not a lot, and don’t make a crease.
Just make a bend, you can always undo the bend,
flatten it out or add a little bit more.
And with all gliders, you’re constantly trading height for speed
What do I mean by that?
So, if the centre of gravity and the centre of lift were perfectly lined up,
your plane would fly nice and straight,
and drag would constantly be slowing it down
until it just fell out of the sky.
A stall is caused by too slow an air speed or too high an angle of attack.
That’s where the wings are tilted up with regard to the direction of air flow.
So, if you have a plane that’s flying straight and level,
and it’s perfectly balanced,
eventually drag will slow it till it falls out of the sky.
So how do you fix that with a glider?
如果是动力飞机 只要推油门就行 多简单
With a powered plane, you just hit the gas, right? Super simple.
With a glider, what you need to do
is engineer in the centre of gravity a little bit in front of the centre of lift.
The centre of gravity is the centre of spin.
You can find that on any paper airplane simply by spinning it.
You can see right where the centre of gravity is on that plane,
it’s right here,
you just watched it spin,
the centre of spin is the centre of gravity.
We’ve got all this lifting surface behind the centre of gravity.
So now, the plane is going to fly along.
The lift is back here,
It pitches the nose downward as the plane’s going forward.
What does that do? That allows me to gain speed.
The plane is being slowed,
now I’m pointing the nose at the ground gaining speed.
Which is good, but now,
I keep gaining speed at 9.8 meters per second
it’s gonna crash into the ground really hard.
So, I bend in some up elevator back here,
and the air goes down the top of the wing,
hits that bend, gets ticked up,
which pushes the tail down
which lifts the nose and voila!
Now the nose is level again.
So, enough up elevator,
so at the right speed, the plane noses up
enough to just achieve horizontal stability.
That’s the whole trick with any glider.
You’re constantly balancing that centre of gravity, centre of lift,
and a little bit of up elevator to get that perfect flight.
But not all of Collins’s planes are about distance.
Some, like his boomerang models, are fun in smaller spaces,
thanks to some interesting aerodynamics.
The boomerang plane, this one is great
because it’ll circle either direction and it loops.
The basic trick with this one
is that the centre of gravity is very very close to the centre of lift.
So all you need to do is add just a tiny bit of up elevator here.
And the other thing has to do with something we talked about before,
which is dihedral angle.
Now, most good planes have positive dihedral,
which gets the plane to rock back to neutral.
But the boomerang plane, the wings are drooping.
So if I throw it leaned over, it does not self-correct,
it stays leaned over.
Then you have to imagine what a climb is gonna look like leaned over.
It’s gonna look like a circle that way,
or a circle that way,
or a loop, it’s all the same trick.
And then Boomerang 2,
So this plane is made to fly out,
flip over and fly back upside down.
It accomplishes that because
it’s really a failure of a paper airplane.
I was trying to do landing gears on the Boomerang 1,
and that’s these guys here.
And that puts too many layers toward the rear.
So this is extremely tail heavy.
And it does that crazy tip stall out there.
So flying out, positive dihedral on the way out.
After the stall, positive dihedral angle on the way back.
And then it’s toying again with all the adjusting.
I’m bending the leading edge down a little bit.
So when it’s upside down,
I’m getting a little scooped up to help the nose come back.
And then I’ve got a little bit of up elevator here
to help magnify that crazy tip stall out there.
So it’s this dance between what you do at the front and the back
to get it to fly perfectly both ways.
This is a really fun plane called a batplane.
It was actually a design mistake.
It’s not what I was going to make,
but it ended up doing something really weird when I threw it for the first time.
The wings would oscillate when you throw it.
So what is actually happening is the plane is going through a rapid series of stalls.
It’s a little bit tail heavy and I’ve got too much up elevator here.
So it flies and stalls
and as the body is flexible,
the wings flex upward.
At the top of the stall, no more pressure, the wings relax.
It flies and stalls.
I wish I could tell you the secret sauce
to coming up with a new great paper airplane,
and I have a couple of approaches
and sometimes they overlap and sometimes they don’t.
Sometimes it’s a design approach,
like I want to do a plane that has landing gear,
or I want to do a plane that has a tunnel in the nose,
or one that has a small wing in front.
And so you bring sort of the origami skills to bear on that.
And so you have to put in the time.
And that’s why I would say, you know,
to learn and compete with a plane even as simple as this,
you do have to put the time in
to get to know the material and figure out how it works
Obviously, when it does exactly what you want,
it’s really kind of a cool feeling
that you’ve made this really great flying machine
out of just minimal materials.
And it really doesn’t matter if you don’t get it back in some cases.
It’s the joy of that flight.
Yeah, I’m a kid at heart,
I am a four year old or five year old once again,
watching their plane just fly outta sight,
and you know, having a moment,
It’s pretty fun.