Thrifty Thurston Flies Paper Airplanes At The Olympic Flight Museum

olympic flight museum paper airplanes
The Olympic Flight Museum hosts special events like a paper airplane race.


By Stacy Fisher

Paper airplanes, in all different designs and colors, will be flying across the hanger at the Olympic Flight Museum.  The annual Paper Airplane Flight School is scheduled to take-off on February 23 from 1:00 – 3:30 pm.

Take a piece of paper. Fold two corners in, fold the paper in half, add some trimming and you have my one and only paper airplane design.  This also happens to be the same design that I’ve been doing since I was five years old.  The beauty of paper airplane design, however, is that anyone can participate in the hobby…with as little as a piece of paper.

olympic flight museum paper airplanes“From the simplest folded paper airplanes to the cutting edge in paper airplane technology, they’ll learn the basics of aircraft pitch, roll and yaw,” comments Teri Thorning, Executive Director at the Olympic Flight Museum.  This contest, in its thirteenth year, always promises to be a creative and hilarious event.  Thorning continues, “the planes are all made with colored paper and they fly across the room.  It is really pretty!”

Folding, Flinging & Flying

Students and parents will battle for the title of flying the furthest and most accurate.  Participants of all ages will experiment with a dozen different airplane designs.  They will have the chance to perfect the designs with test flights.  Once they settle on their favorite planes, they can enter the contest.  The first heat is the distance contest and second heat is a “spot-landing” test, where contestants try to hit a target with their plane.  Kids and adults will be separated by age or grade.

The materials are simple enough.  Templates are provided to help build the different aircraft.  Some of the templates are more intricate than others, and children under the age of ten may benefit from an adult helper.  Thorning remembers one innovative design from past years. “It is in the shape of a large bracelet made out of paper and you add some paper clips, and when you throw it a certain way and it really flies,” she explains.

olympic flight museum paper airplanesBill Clow, the paper airplane flight school instructor, will provide the contestants with explanations of basic aviation terms and appreciation for the different design elements.  This is an excellent opportunity for children to gain appreciation about aviation, first through model design and then through actual flight.

You can enter the contest for $7 per participant, and spectators can join in on the fun for a $5 entry fee.  This includes professional instruction, all paper airplane construction materials, and snacks.  The participants will also receive a brief tour of the planes on display in the hanger.

Bring out your young aeronautical engineers, origami hobbyist and test a plane yourself.  Step up and let it fly.

To learn more about the paper airplane flight school at the Olympic Flight Museum, click here.

Olympic Flight Museum

Olympia Regional Airport

7637-A Old Hwy 99 SE

Tumwater, WA 98501


Print Friendly, PDF & Email