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The Gliding Flight: A Guide to Paper Airplane Basics and Beyond by John M. Collins


The Gliding Flight: A Book Review




If you have ever wondered how to make a paper airplane that can fly far and fast, or if you have ever been fascinated by the physics and aesthetics of paper flight, then you might want to check out The Gliding Flight, a book by John M. Collins, also known as "The Paper Airplane Guy". In this book, Collins shares his passion and expertise on paper airplanes, covering their history, science, art, fun, and world. He also teaches you how to fold 24 different models of paper airplanes, each with its own characteristics and capabilities. In this article, we will review The Gliding Flight and summarize its main points and lessons. We will also analyze its strengths and weaknesses, compare it with other books on paper airplanes, and give our recommendation on whether you should read it or not.




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The History of Paper Airplanes




Paper airplanes are not a modern invention. They have a long and rich history that dates back to ancient times. According to Collins, paper airplanes can be traced back to China, where paper was invented around 200 BC. The Chinese used paper to make kites, gliders, and flying toys. Some of these toys were shaped like birds or dragons, while others were more abstract. They were used for entertainment, religious ceremonies, military purposes, or scientific experiments.


Paper airplanes also appeared in other cultures, such as Japan, where origami (the art of paper folding) was developed. Origami artists created various forms of paper flight, such as cranes, butterflies, planes, rockets, and boomerangs. Some of these models were based on real animals or objects, while others were purely imaginative. They were used for fun, art, education, or symbolism.


Paper airplanes reached Europe in the Middle Ages, when paper became more widely available. Europeans adopted some of the Asian techniques of paper folding and flying, but also added their own innovations. For example, they invented paper helicopters, which could spin in the air when dropped from a height. They also experimented with different shapes and sizes of paper wings, which could affect the lift and drag of paper flight.


Paper airplanes became more popular and sophisticated in the 19th and 20th centuries, when aviation and aerodynamics advanced rapidly. Many pioneers of flight, such as the Wright brothers, Leonardo da Vinci, and Sir George Cayley, used paper models to test their ideas and designs. Paper airplanes also became a hobby and a sport for many people, who competed for distance, speed, accuracy, or duration of flight. Paper airplanes also inspired many artists, writers, and filmmakers, who used them as symbols of freedom, creativity, or adventure.


The Science of Paper Airplanes




Paper airplanes are not just toys. They are also examples of applied science. They demonstrate the principles and concepts that govern the flight of any object in the air, such as lift, drag, thrust, gravity, stability, and control. Collins explains these concepts in simple and clear terms, using diagrams and examples. He also shows how they apply to different types of paper airplanes, such as gliders, darts, stunt planes, or boomerangs.


Lift is the force that keeps a paper airplane in the air. It is generated by the shape and angle of the wings, which create a difference in air pressure above and below them. Drag is the force that opposes the motion of a paper airplane. It is caused by the friction and turbulence of the air around the plane. Thrust is the force that propels a paper airplane forward. It is provided by the initial throw or launch of the plane. Gravity is the force that pulls a paper airplane down. It is determined by the mass and weight of the plane.


Stability is the ability of a paper airplane to maintain its orientation and direction in flight. It is influenced by the distribution of mass and lift along the plane. Control is the ability of a paper airplane to change its orientation and direction in flight. It is achieved by adjusting the shape or position of certain parts of the plane, such as the tail, rudder, or flaps.


The Art of Paper Airplanes




Paper airplanes are not just science. They are also art. They express the creativity and skill of their makers. They can be designed and folded to achieve different shapes and performance. Collins teaches you how to fold 24 different models of paper airplanes, each with its own name, description, instructions, and tips. He also gives you some general guidelines on how to choose the right paper, tools, and techniques for folding paper airplanes.


The 24 models are divided into four categories: gliders, darts, stunt planes, and boomerangs. Gliders are paper airplanes that fly slowly and smoothly for long distances. They have large wings and low drag. Darts are paper airplanes that fly fast and straight for short distances. They have small wings and high thrust. Stunt planes are paper airplanes that can perform tricks and maneuvers in the air. They have flexible wings and high control. Boomerangs are paper airplanes that can return to their launch point or fly in circles. They have curved wings and high lift.


Some examples of the models are: The Stealth Glider, which has a sleek shape and can glide silently; The Starship Dart, which has a pointed nose and can pierce through the air; The Loop de Loop Stunt Plane, which has a looped wing and can do loops in the air; The Boomerang II Boomerang Plane, which has a V-shaped wing and can come back to you.


The Fun of Paper Airplanes




Paper airplanes are not just art. They are also fun. They provide enjoyment and challenge for people of all ages and backgrounds. They can be flown indoors or outdoors, alone or with others, casually or competitively. Collins shares some of the benefits and challenges of flying paper airplanes.


Some of the benefits are: Paper airplanes are cheap and easy to make. You only need a sheet of paper and your hands. Paper airplanes are educational and entertaining. You can learn about science, math, engineering, art, history, culture, etc., while having fun. Paper airplanes are versatile and adaptable. You can modify them to suit your preferences or conditions.


Some of the challenges are: Paper airplanes are affected by many factors that can influence their flight performance, such as wind, humidity, temperature, altitude, etc. Paper airplanes require skill and practice to fold and fly well. You need to master the techniques of folding accurately and symmetrically, as well as throwing correctly and consistently.


The World of Paper Airplanes




Paper airplanes are not just fun. They are also part of a global phenomenon that connects millions of people around the world who share a common interest in paper flight. Collins introduces you to some of the records and competitions related to paper airplanes.


The World of Paper Airplanes




Paper airplanes are not just fun. They are also part of a global phenomenon that connects millions of people around the world who share a common interest in paper flight. Collins introduces you to some of the records and competitions related to paper airplanes.


Some of the records are: The longest distance flown by a paper airplane is 69.14 meters (226 feet 10 inches), achieved by Joe Ayoob and John M. Collins in 2012. The longest time aloft by a paper airplane is 29.2 seconds, achieved by Takuo Toda in 2010. The largest paper airplane ever flown is 13.97 meters (45 feet 10 inches) long, with a wingspan of 8.21 meters (26 feet 11 inches), created and flown by Arturo Valdenegro and his team in 2012.


Some of the competitions are: The Red Bull Paper Wings World Finals, which is a biennial event that gathers the best paper airplane pilots from around the world to compete in three categories: distance, airtime, and aerobatics. The Guinness World Records Day, which is an annual event that invites people to attempt various world records, including paper airplane related ones. The Paper Airplane Guy's Online Contest, which is an ongoing event that allows anyone to submit their paper airplane designs and videos online and win prizes.


The Gliding Flight: A Summary and Analysis




Now that we have reviewed the main topics covered by The Gliding Flight, let us summarize and analyze its main points and lessons. We will also evaluate its strengths and weaknesses, compare it with other books on paper airplanes, and assess its impact and value for readers.


The Author's Perspective




John M. Collins is not just an author. He is also a paper airplane designer, educator, speaker, and world record holder. He has been fascinated by paper airplanes since he was a child, and has devoted his life to studying and sharing his knowledge and passion for them. He has appeared on various TV shows, such as Conan O'Brien, MythBusters, and The Ellen Show, where he demonstrated his amazing paper airplane skills and designs. He has also written several books on paper airplanes, such as Fantastic Flight, The New World Champion Paper Airplane Book, and The World Record Paper Airplane Book.


Collins approaches the topic of paper airplanes from a multidisciplinary perspective. He combines science, art, history, culture, education, entertainment, and sport in his book. He also uses a conversational style that engages the reader and makes the book easy to read and understand. He writes with enthusiasm, humor, and curiosity, and invites the reader to join him in his journey of discovery and exploration.


The Book's Structure and Style




The Gliding Flight is organized into two main parts: Part One: The Gliding Flight; and Part Two: The Planes. Part One consists of five chapters that cover the history, science, art, fun, and world of paper airplanes. Part Two consists of 24 sections that teach you how to fold 24 different models of paper airplanes.


The Book's Structure and Style




The Gliding Flight is organized into two main parts: Part One: The Gliding Flight; and Part Two: The Planes. Part One consists of five chapters that cover the history, science, art, fun, and world of paper airplanes. Part Two consists of 24 sections that teach you how to fold 24 different models of paper airplanes.


The book is written in a clear and concise manner that explains complex concepts in simple terms. It uses diagrams, illustrations, photos, tables, charts, graphs, and examples to support its points and instructions. It also uses headings, subheadings, bullet points, lists, and boxes to organize and highlight its information. It also uses a friendly and informal tone that makes the book enjoyable and accessible.


The Book's Content and Value




The Gliding Flight is a comprehensive and informative book that covers everything you need to know about paper airplanes. It provides you with historical and cultural background, scientific and mathematical principles, artistic and creative techniques, fun and challenging activities, and global and social context. It also teaches you how to fold 24 different models of paper airplanes that range from simple to complex, from classic to modern, from realistic to fantastical.


The book is valuable for anyone who is interested in paper airplanes, whether as a hobby, a sport, a science, an art, or a way of learning and expression. It is suitable for readers of all ages and backgrounds, as it caters to different levels of skill and knowledge. It is also useful for teachers, parents, students, or anyone who wants to use paper airplanes as a tool for education or entertainment.


The Book's Audience and Impact




The Gliding Flight is intended for a wide and diverse audience that shares a common interest in paper airplanes. It appeals to people who are curious about the history and culture of paper flight, who want to learn about the science and math behind paper flight, who enjoy designing and folding paper airplanes, who like flying and competing with paper airplanes, or who simply love paper airplanes as a form of art and fun.


The book has a positive impact on its readers and society as a whole. It inspires people to explore and appreciate the wonders of paper flight. It educates people about the principles and concepts of flight and aerodynamics. It stimulates people's creativity and imagination. It challenges people's skills and abilities. It connects people with each other through a common passion and activity.


The Gliding Flight: A Recommendation




The Gliding Flight: A Recommendation




In conclusion, The Gliding Flight is a book that we highly recommend for anyone who is interested in paper airplanes. It is a book that covers the history, science, art, fun, and world of paper airplanes. It is a book that teaches you how to fold 24 different models of paper airplanes. It is a book that inspires, educates, stimulates, challenges, and connects you with paper flight.


The Pros and Cons of the Book




Like any book, The Gliding Flight has its pros and cons. Here are some of them:


Pros


Cons


It is comprehensive and informative.


It can be overwhelming and repetitive.


It is clear and concise.


It can be simplistic and superficial.


It is friendly and engaging.


It can be biased and subjective.


It is versatile and adaptable.


It can be outdated and irrelevant.


It is fun and challenging.


It can be frustrating and boring.


The Alternatives to the Book




If you are looking for other books or resources that cover similar topics or offer different perspectives on paper airplanes, here are some suggestions:


  • Paper Airplanes: The Collections of Harry Smith: Catalogue Raisonné, by John Klacsmann and Andrew Lampert. This book showcases the collection of paper airplanes gathered by Harry Smith, a filmmaker, artist, and collector. It features over 250 models of paper airplanes from different countries and cultures, along with essays and interviews that explore their history and significance.



  • The World Record Paper Airplane Book, by Ken Blackburn and Jeff Lammers. This book teaches you how to fold 16 models of paper airplanes that can break world records for distance, time aloft, or aerobatics. It also includes a history of paper airplanes, a guide to paper airplane aerodynamics, and tips and tricks for improving your paper airplane skills.



  • Paper Airplanes with Dollar Bills: Another Way to Throw Your Money Away, by Duy Nguyen. This book shows you how to fold 32 models of paper airplanes using dollar bills instead of regular paper. It also includes fun facts and trivia about money and paper airplanes.



  • Paper Airplane: A Lesson for Flying Outside the Box, by Michael McMillan. This book tells a story of a boy who learns how to think creatively and innovatively by making a paper airplane that flies farther than anyone else's. It also includes a guide to folding the paper airplane featured in the story.



  • Paper Planes: 25 Superdynamic Aeroplanes to Make and Fly, by David Mitchell. This book teaches you how to fold 25 models of paper airplanes that can perform amazing feats in the air, such as looping, gliding, soaring, or boomeranging. It also includes a history of paper airplanes, a glossary of terms, and a list of websites for more information.



The Final Verdict




So, should you buy or download The Gliding Flight? The answer is yes. If you are interested in paper airplanes, this book is a must-have for your collection. It is a book that will enrich your knowledge and skills on paper flight. It is a book that will spark your curiosity and imagination on paper flight. It is a book that will bring you joy and satisfaction on paper flight.


The Gliding Flight: A Conclusion




We have reached the end of our article on The Gliding Flight. We hope that you have enjoyed reading it as much as we have enjoyed writing it. We hope that you have learned something new and useful about paper airplanes. We hope that you have been inspired to try out some of the models from the book or create your own. We hope that you have had fun with paper flight.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)




Here are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) about The Gliding Flight and paper airplanes:


  • Q: Who is John M. Collins? A: John M. Collins is the author of The Gliding Flight and several other books on paper airplanes. He is also a paper airplane designer, educator, speaker, and world record holder. He is also known as "The Paper Airplane Guy".



  • Q: What is The Gliding Flight about? A: The Gliding Flight is a book that covers the history, science, art, fun, and world of paper airplanes. It also teaches you how to fold 24 different models of paper airplanes.



  • Q: How can I get a copy of The Gliding Flight? A: You can get a copy of The Gliding Flight by buying it from online or offline bookstores, or by downloading it from online platforms. You can also visit the author's website, www.thepaperairplaneguy.com, for more information and resources.



  • Q: What are the benefits of reading The Gliding Flight? A: The benefits of reading The Gliding Flight are that you will learn about the history and culture of paper flight, the science and math behind paper flight, the art and creativity of paper flight, the fun and challenge of paper flight, and the world and society of paper flight. You will also learn how to fold 24 different models of paper airplanes that can fly far and fast, perform tricks and maneuvers, or return to you.



  • Q: What are some other books or resources on paper airplanes? A: Some other books or resources on paper airplanes are: Paper Airplanes: The Collections of Harry Smith: Catalogue Raisonné, by John Klacsmann and Andrew Lampert; The World Record Paper Airplane Book, by Ken Blackburn and Jeff Lammers; Paper Airplanes with Dollar Bills: Another Way to Throw Your Money Away, by Duy Nguyen; Paper Airplane: A Lesson for Flying Outside the Box, by Michael McMillan; and Paper Planes: 25 Superdynamic Aeroplanes to Make and Fly, by David Mitchell.



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