Sabertooth Paper Airplane




"Off of our 3rd floor balcony. Went forever! Thanks." -- zachary & spencer

"WHOA!! this was the first paper airplane that actually worked for this aerodynamically challenged gal!" -- Anne

"I like your plane a lot! It is the best pattern my mom and I found on the internet and it flew the best! Thank you" -- Carter(4) and Mom

"The Sabertooth RULES" -- Otiluke

"perfect to throw at my teacher" -- Ty

History: This design has been around at least thirty years. I rediscovered it by chance in 1984 and called it the Sabertooth. It's named for its sharp teeth, which can be dangerous if thrown at someone (please be careful!). On more than one occasion, the teeth have lodged in a flying insect (dragonfly).

Flying characteristics: This plane is perfect for hard throws and long arcing descents. Unlike most paper airplanes, the Sabertooth flies both rightside up and upside down! It survives well in turbulence and flies fantastically when thrown from tall buildings in the city. For long-duration flights, throw upwards at a 45-degree angle, slightly tilted right or left.

Materials: 8.5x11 inch (letter) paper, 20 lb. No need for paper clips, scissors, or tape. If you use A4 paper, try trimming the length by 2.5 cm.

Difficulty: moderate. For best performance, look carefully at Figure 9 and notice that the red lines aren't exactly parallel. Angle the red lines slightly outwards at the tail, and the plane will tend to fly upwards.



1. Start with a 8.5" x 11" sheet of photocopy paper. Fold in half lengthwise (try to make all folds as exact as possible), then open back out. 


2. Fold the usual triangles. 


3. Fold over to the right. 


4. Flip over, fold the triangles again. 
Flip back.  


5. Fold over to the right again. 

6. Flip over. 


7. OK, this part is a bit tricky. Tuck your index finger (finger #2) under the black dot as far as you can. Keeping your finger there, push with your thumb along the red arrow. You should see the nose (or "tooth") start to come out along the blue arrow. Make a fold along the dotted line, to make it look like picture 8. Repeat the same for the other "tooth".

Click here for photos of this fold (10 kb)

8. This is the top view.

9. Fold along the black & red lines to get the final result. The wingtips should be 1.5 cm (9/16 inch) wide and the fold should be parallel to the edge. Angle the red lines slightly outwards at the tail (about 3 degrees), and the plane will tend to fly upwards. If you do it correctly, you won't need to bother with ailerons, flaps, etc. To make it turn, just lean the body one way or the other. Have fun!   

Click here for flying tips