The Best Paper Airplane System in the World
A Paperang Chronology
1977 The Invention
I had just qualified as a hang glider instructor, and was keen to create some form of flying model which would demonstrate indoors how the real gliders would soon carry my students into the sky outdoors. A paper airplane seemed a natural choice. If I could design and make a paper airplane based on hang gliders, the trainees could each form a really personal understanding of the aerodynamics that their lives would soon depend on, and have a great time at the same time.
I discovered how to create a near- perfect hang glider shape, with efficient, tapered spars supporting perfectly straight leading edges; this structure in turn supporting a clean, airfoil sectioned wings. I tried to launch it in my small room, and it stalled heavily and hit the floor. There seemed no particular merit in the way it failed to fly. At that moment, a friend came in, saw that the shape was right, and suggested we went to the indoor badminton court to try it. When we launched it there, the effect was electrifying. The natural flying speed of what would later be named the Paperang turned out to be about twice that of ordinary dart shaped paper airplanes.
My wife Sandra coined the name Paperang, because it looked like a boomerang, and was made of paper.
My book Fold it -Fly it was published, closely followed by the American edition, Amazing Paper Planes. It sold well, and Amazing Paper Planes is still in print today. You can buy it at www.amazon.com.
I telephoned the Independent newspaper in England on a Friday, and hit what must have been a slow news day. I described this 'revolutionary paper airplane' over the phone, and faxed instructions on how to make one to the science reporter. A cheer came over the phone- the reaction of the news room when the Paperang flew. They were so impressed, they published a story about it on the front page- 'Stealth Bomber technology enters the realm of Paper Aeroplanes'. It's probably the only time I'll ever make the front page of a national newspaper.
There followed a full page article in the Daily Mail, and an interview on the BBC world service. Amazingly, my publisher refused to reprint the British edition of Fold it-Fly it, which was by now out of print. The Independent was besieged by requests for instructions on how to make the Paperang, and together we produced a poster with instructions on how to make one variant of the Paperang. The royalties from the sale of that poster almost equalled those of the earlier book.
New technology allows me to create a Paperang website with downloadable pdf files. The Paperang has waited 21 years for the right medium for publication- it has literally come of age. The internet allows me to reach an audience of millions, with a better product than the original book, and at a much lower price to the customer. I can even provide printable 'kits' that will turn any computer's printer into an aircraft factory!
Download the files now and fly the Paperang yourself!
Edmond Hui PhD
Copyright © 1998-2001 Edmond Hui