Building a Balsa/Tissue Paper/Rubber Band Powered Model Airplane

The instructions are only in video form. I got my materials from The items listed below were hyperlinked, but Kelvin changed it so now the links are dead. I think you can still order them from the website, though. Kelvin has a minimum order, so if you are just making one or a couple planes, I suggest you get a simple kit from your local hoppy store. Alternately, this page has a very good design that can be built from common materials

Here is the pattern--in PDF format. Before you print it out, make sure it will not be scaled or fit to page. Check the "scale check." It should be 4 inches or 102 mm PATTERN.

970089 for 1/16"x1/8"x36" balsa

970028 for 1/8"x3/8"x36" Balsa

850654 for Nose Hook Propeller, 6" Dia.

420399 for Tissue Paper, Assorted Colors

850658 for Rubberband, 1/8" Wide x 50' Long

920041 for Cool Melt Mini Glue Gun

930052 for Hot/Cool Melt Mini Glue Gun Slugs

340006 for Electrical Tape, Red

I now tell my students to crumple the tissue paper for the wings and then flatten it out again. That is because it absorbs moisture from the air and eventually shrinks, sometimes causing the wing to warp. Also, the video says to tape the wing 3 inches from the front. If the plane has trouble climbing, try 2 1/2" instead.

I do have some rough instructions for making a homemade propeller from a 2-liter plastic soft drink bottle.