A paperfolding paradise
The website of writer and paperfolding designer David Mitchell
|This page contains
information about the history of the paper plane design
known as the Swallow. Please contact me if you know any
of this information is incorrect or if you have any other
information that should be added. Thank you.
As far as I know the first appearance of the Swallow design is in Will Blyth's 'Paper Magic', published by C Arthur Pearson, London in 1920, which contains diagrams for a two sheet paper plane design in which one sheet forms the wings and another the tail.
This design also appears, as 'The Airplane', in Murray and Rigney's 'Fun with Paper Folding', published by the Fleming H Revell Company, New York in 1928. This version uses a tiny cut to create ailerons at the end of the tail.
The pure origami version of the design also appears in 'Winter Nights Entertainments' by R M Abraham, which was first published by Constable and Constable in London in 1932
Margaret Campbell's 'Paper Toy Making', first published in 1936, contains diagrams for a version of the Swallow in which the tail is shaped by curving cuts rather than straight folds.