Here is one of many variations:

+---------------+
|               |
|       |       |
|               |
|       |       | 1. Make a crease in the middle
|               |
|       |       |
|               |
|       |       |
|               |
|       |       |
|               |
+---------------+

       /+\
     /  |  \
   /    |    \
 /      |      \
|-------+-------|
|               |
|       |       |
|               | 2. Fold the top corners to the crease
|       |       |
|               |
|       |       |
|               |
+---------------+

       /+\
      / | \
     /  |  \
    /   |   \
   /    |    \
  /   /   \   \
 /  /   |   \  \
/ /           \ \
|       |       | 3. Fold the diagonal edges to the crease
|               |
|       |       |
|               |
+---------------+

4. Repeat several more times if desired

       /+
       /|
      / |
      / |
     /  |
     /  |
    /   | 5. Fold in half on the original crease
    /   |
    /   |
   /    |
   /    |
  /     |
  /-----+
   \  /
    -

       /+
       /|
       /|
      / |
      / |
      / |
     /  | 6. Fold the top angle in half one last time and repeat on the back
     /  |
     /  |
    /   |
    /   |
    /|  |
   / |  +
    \| /
      \

This type is normally called a dart. Throw with the point in front and the wings spread, holding the bottom flap between your thumb and forefinger.

Here's a design for a non-dart paper airplane. This is more of a glider than the dart and will generally fly straighter and slower than the dart type design. It is also a little more difficult to build. So without further ado here are the instructions.


  • Start with an A4ish (legal is fine too).
  • Take one top corner and fold diagonally downwards so that the top edge is in line with the side you are folding the corner towards.
  • Crease this fold.
  • Unfold and repeat with the other side.
    When you unfold this you should have creases as in the rightmost diagram.

    +-------------+  +                              +  +-------------+
    |             |  |\__                        __/|  |\__       __/|
    |             |  |   \__                  __/   |  |   \__ __/   |
    |             |  |      \__            __/      |  |    __x__    |
    |             |  |         \__      __/         |  | __/     \__ |
    |             |  |____________\    /____________|  |/           \|
    |             |  |             |  |             |  |             |
    |             |  |             |  |             |  |             |
    |             |  |             |  |             |  |             |
    |             |  |             |  |             |  |             |
    |             |  |             |  |             |  |             |
    +-------------+  +-------------+  +-------------+  +-------------+
    


  • Next fold the paper hoizontally so that each top corner is on top of where the crease on that side meets the edge.
  • Unfold.
  • Now, take hold of the two points where the middle crease (the one that's made of dashes) meets the edge and pull them together and down so that they meet at point (i). This should pull the two diagonal creases together so that point (j) is directly on top of (i).
                     +-----(j)-----+    
                     |\__       __/|    
                     |   \__ __/   |   
    |-------------|  |------x------|       __|__
    |             |  | __/     \__ |    __/     \__
    |_____________|  |/    (i)    \|   /_____|_____\
    |             |  |             |  |             |
    |             |  |             |  |             |
    |             |  |             |  |             |
    |             |  |             |  |             |
    +-------------+  +-------------+  +-------------+
    


    The next three diagrams show a close up on the top part of the glider. This is the most complicated part of contruction but it is necessary if the glider is to hold together in flight.

  • Take hold of the upper layer at point (a) and fold it up to point (b).
  • Take hold of the upper layer at point (c) and fold it across to point (d).
    What you have at this stage looks like the third diagram. The piece you have just folded across has formed a little horizontal pocket (above "e") and the corner you folded up before that has formed a vertical flap (piece "f").

  • Take the top of the flap "f", point (g) and tuck it into the pocket so it is completely folded down. This stage is quite intricate but as long as the flap "f" cannot get loose it is good enough.
  • Repeat for the other side.
    
                   (b)
                 _/|\_
               _/  |  \_
             _/    |    \_
           _/      |      \_
         _/        |        \_
       _/          |          \_
     _/            |            \_
    
    /______________|______________\(a)
    |                             |
    
    
                 _/|\_
               _/  |  \_
             _/    |    \_
           _/     (d)     \_(c)
         _/        |     _/ \_
       _/          |   _/     \_
     _/            | _/         \_
    /______________|/_____________\
    |                             |
    
                  (g)
                 _/|\_
               _/  | f\_
             _/    |____\_
           _/      | e  / \_
         _/        |   /    \_
       _/          |  /       \_
     _/            | /          \_
    /______________|/_____________\
    |                             |
    
    


    That's the hard bit done.

  • Now just take edge "h" and fold it into the middle.
  • Then take the same edge and fold it in half so the edge of the paper is on the edge of the glider again.
  • Repeat on the other side and you are done.
    
         __|__            __|__         __|__
      __/\ | /\__      __/\ | /\     __/\ | /\
     /____\|/____\    /____\|/__|   /____\|/__|
    |             |  |      |   |  |      | | |
    |             |  |      |   |  |      | | |
    |            h|  |      |   |  |      | | |
    |             |  |      |   |  |      | | |
    |             |  |      |   |  |      | | |
    +-------------+  +----------+  +----------+
    

    The final glider should look something like the diagram below from the back. The two diagonal bits are the complicated pieces at the front. They tend to stick up like this but it doesn't affect flight too much. Enjoy!
       __             __
         |           |
         |____/_\____|
    	
    

    Another Airplane Design:

    This paper airplane design is the simplest I have ever come across. It flies surprisingly well at high speed but can't really glide due to its weight distribution.

    Instructions:

  • Take a piece of A4 or legal size paper or any rectangular piece of paper will do.
  • Fold over a strip of about 1 cm (1/4 inch) on the long side of the paper.
       ___________________
      |___________________|
      |                   |
      |                   |
      |                   |
      |                   |
      |                   |
      |                   |
      |___________________|
    
    
  • Repeatedly fold over this piece until you have used just over 1/3 of the width of the paper. This should form a thick strip at what will be the front of the glider.
       ___________________
      |___________________|
      |                   |
      |                   |
      |                   |
      |___________________|
    
    
  • Fold this in half vertically.
       ___________________
      |_________|_________|
      |         |         |
      |         |         |
      |         |         |
      |_________|_________|
    
    
  • If you've used heavy paper that might be it. Test it and if it flies well you don't need to do the next stage.
    The reason it doesn't fly well is that the wings aren't stable enough to hold the glider in the air. The solution to this problem is to fold up 1 cm of the wings up on either side.

    
             side                
       _________________
      ||_______|_______||         front  
      ||       |       ||   
      ||       |       ||    |______________|
      ||       |       ||
      ||_______|_______||
    
    
    This will provide the glider with the stability it needs to fly effectively.

    To throw the glider you need to grip the front in the middle between your thumb and middle or pointer finger with your palm facing you and throw it by moving your hand away from you. This method takes a little practice but it is a lot more effective than trying to throw it the normal way.

    (Pardon my ASCII.)

    The ISO-Standard* Paper Airplane

    1. Fold the paper in half the short way:

      +--------+--------+
      |        :        |
      |        :        |
      |        :        |
      |        :        |
      |        :        |
      +--------+--------+
      

    2. Unfold it again, and fold the corners in so they meet over the crease:

             _-+-_
           _/  |  \_
         _/    :    \_
       _/_ _ _ | _ _ _\_
      /        :        |
      |        :        |
      +--------+--------+
      

    3. Fold it down the center again, with the corners inside.

             _-+
           _/  :
         _/    |
       _/      :
      /        |
      |        :
      +--------+
      

    4. Fold the two wings over the outside so they're even with the center fold.

          /+
         / :
        /  |
       /   :
      /  __|
      |_/  :
      +----+
      

    5. Unfold the wings so they stay perpendicular to the rest of the plane. Optional: Add a paperclip to the nose for balance.

    *Not really.


    The Slow Glider
    AKA The Plane with a Penis

    1. Fold the paper in half the long way:

      +-----------------+
      |                 |
      |                 |
      |- - - - - - - - -|
      |                 |
      |                 |
      +-----------------+
      

    2. Unfold it again, and fold the corners in so they meet over the crease:

      +-----------+_
      |           | \_
      |               \_
      |- - - - - -+ - -_>
      |              _/ 
      |           |_/   
      +-----------+
      

    3. Fold the paper in half the short way, with the folded corners inside. The point made by the folded corners should now be touching the opposite end of the paper.

      +-----+-+
      |  _/   :
      | /     |
      |<      :
      | \_    |
      |   \_  :
      +-----+-+
      

    4. Fold the corners in so they touch over the middle of the bit you folded over in step 3.

      +--+_
      |  | \_
      | /|   \
      |< + - ->
      | \|  _/
      |  |_/
      +--+
      

    5. Fold the point of the bit you folded over in step 3 so it's on top of the corners you folded in step 4.

      +--+_
      |  | \_
      |  |\  \
      |  |-> ->
      |  |/ _/
      |  |_/
      +--+
      

    6. Fold the paper over the long way. Everything you made in steps 3-4 should be on the outside.

      +--+_
      |  | \_
      |  |\  \
      +--+-+--+
      

    7. Fold the two wings over the outside so they're even with the center fold. You'll be folding 6 layers at once at this point, so you'll have to press hard to get a good crease.
      At this point, ASCII art only serves to make things more confusing.

    8. Unfold the wings again so they're perpendicular. You know the drill.

    Disclaimer: I am not responsible for any damage or destruction done to you, your property, your neighbor's property, your great aunt Hilda's property, or the city of Los Angeles due to paper cuts, eye-poking, global thermonuclear war, communist mutants from space, etc. These paper airplanes are not intended for use in atomic energy, nuclear weapons, or trans-oceanic air transport. Adult supervision is recommended.

    Up in the sky! Doing tricks! Is it a European starling? Is it a flying burrito? No! It's this soon-to-be world-famous paper airplane! It glides! It boomerangs! Follow these simple instructions to build the greatest paper airplane ever! (I apologize in advance for any misunderstanding of my ASCII instructions. I am a beginner. Be kind.)

    Step 1

    Blank piece of rectangular paper, preferably printer or notebook. Fold the upper corners to where they meet in the center of the paper.

          /|\        
        /  |  \        
      /    |    \  
    /______|______\
    |             |
    |             |
    |             |
    |             |
    |             |
    |_____________|
     
    

    Step 2

    Fold the triangle towards you, making another rectangle.

     _____________
    |\           /|
    |  \       /  |
    |    \   /    |
    |      +      |
    |             |
    |_____________|
    
    
    
    

    Step 3

    Repeat Step 1.

           
           +     
         / | \
       /   |   \
     /_____|_____\
    |             |
    |_____________|
    

    Step 4

    Fold in half vertically.

    |\     
    |  \ 
    |    \
    |______\ 
    |       |  
    |_______|
    

    Step 5

    On each half, fold wings that are twice the size of the resulting base. The picture is now the side view of the airplane.

         ____________________  
        /\          |        |
      /    \        |        |
    /________\      |        |
               \    |        |
                 \  |        |
                   \|________|
    

    Step 6

    Now fold each wingtip up, using half the width of the wing.

         ____________________  
        /\        /          |
      /    \    /            |
    /________\/______________|
               
    

    What you have now is the unaltered form of the plane. From a 3-D view, the conventional position would look like this:

      
             /|           /|
           /  |         /  |  
         /    |______ /    |
       /     /    / /     /
     /     /    / /     /
    |    /    /  |    /
    |  /    /    |  /
    |/____/______|/
          |    /
          |  /
          |/
    

    However, to throw this plane correctly, it needs to be pinched at the apex of the middle fold. Done correctly, the plane will look like this from a front view:

    \        /\        /\        /
      \    /    \    /    \    /
        \/        \/        \/
                
    |_______|           |_______|
        |                   |  
      wing                wing
    

    Hints and Tricks

    If your plane is diving to the floor, or doing something other than what you want, fix it by adding flaps. Just make two cuts the desired width from each other, and fold up or down, or just fold one. The best place for these flaps is the back of the main wing(the wing you folded first). To boomerang your plane, fold only one flap, or try creating flaps on the side wings(the wings you folded second). There are so many things you can do to this plane, and get funny, wild, or spectacular results. Try throwing the plane differently. I discovered that you can throw the plane backwards, and it will flip upside-down and fly forward. To do this, you put your index finger inside the middle crease with the plane facing you. Then put your thumb on the other side of the paper, underneath the plane, and your middle finger the same place on the other side. To throw, flick your wrist downward, letting the plane go when it is pointing at the floor. As I said before, this plane is very versatile. Use your imagination, and go crazy! Please /msg me any problems or tricks you have discovered.

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