Scientific Method & Paper Airplanes

Does the size of the paper airplane influence the distance it travels?


Paper Airplane Data

Our thing that changed about the planes was the size of the paper, we started with the standard 8 x 11” sheet of paper, then we made another with a 5 x 8” sheet of paper (which we cut), and with a 11 x 17” sheet of paper. The shape of the planes, and the way we folded them remained the same for all of them.


The hypothesis, that the larger the paper airplane the greater the distance it will travel was correct. The data shows that the plane made with the larger sheet of paper ( 11 x 17’’) traveled the furthest average distance. Though there were some inconstancies, since the 8 x 11” plane travelled les distance then the 5 x 8” plane, it was still clear from the data gathered with the third plane that the larger the plane the farther it would go.

The results of the investigation are useful because they explain the process of the scientific method, and the investigation also teaches a little about aerodynamics.

The investigation can be improved by testing the planes in a larger space where they will not hit the walls or other objects that caused the planes to become crumpled, and affecting the distance they traveled.

Other questions that need to be answered are: 

  • How does the shape / design of the plane affect it’s flight?
  • Why does the bigger plane fly farther? 
  • Is there a point where the paper plane will get to big and will no longer fly?

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