Blog: Innovation Destinations

DIY: Turbo Boost Paper Airplanes with a Simple Rubber Band

"Hey, let's make paper airplanes!" Both kids didn't hesitate before saying no. When I asked why not, they both either said they weren't very good at making them or their planes didn't fly very far. "What if I promised you that this time, they'd zip?" One kid walked away and the other took a long sigh, realizing he was trapped, and agreed to try it. This project wasn't off to the best start, but - spoiler alert - it ended with happiness all around. 

This is a quick DIY, which means that even the most reluctant kid can be happily catapulting paper airplanes in minutes. These airplanes don't have a lazy, somewhat relaxing flight of a standard paper airplane. These planes go fast and far.

What you need:


one rubber band

hole punch or something to make a hole, like a pencil or scissors. 

Step 1: Make a paper airplane of any design. 

Step 2: Punch a hole about 1.5 - 2 inches from the airplane's nose. 

Step 3: Thread the rubber band through the hole, then make a slip knot by slipping one end of the rubber band through the other and pulling gently until it forms a knot. 

Step 4: Pull the rubber band forward, and when ready, release the plane! Warning, rubber band aviators, this may happen:

He held the rubber band too low on his index finger, and upon release, the plane smashed into his finger. It was a slow speed crash with no injuries, and he was right back at it, this time, making sure to put the rubber band closer to the tip of his finger.

It took two tries to get a feel for timing and how to let go of the plane, while trusting that the rubber band would release on its own. Within minutes of asking if he wanted to make a paper airplane, he was launching turbo-boosted airplanes around the house. The only rule: don't aim it at mom.