Origami Heaven

A paperfolding paradise

The website of writer and paperfolding designer David Mitchell

 

 
The Swallow
 
This page contains information about the history of the two sheet paper plane design, often known as the Swallow, in which one sheet forms the wings and another the tail. 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.

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1917

As far as I know this design first appeared in the November 1917 issue of Popular Mechanics magazine.

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1920

Will Blyth's 'Paper Magic', published by C Arthur Pearson, London in 1920, contains diagrams for an essentially similar design.

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1928

The 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.

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1932

The pure origami version of the design appears in 'Winter Nights Entertainments' by R M Abraham, which was first published by Constable and Constable in London in 1932

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A version of the Swallow also appears:

As 'L'Avion', in Booklet 5 of 'Images a Plier', a series of 6 booklets published by Librairie Larousse in Paris in 1932.

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1937

In 'Paper Toy Making' by Margaret Campbell, which was first published by Sir Isaac Pitman and Sons Ltd in London, probably in 1937, although both the Foreword and Preface are dated 1936, which argues that the book was complete at that date contains diagrams for a version in which the tail is shaped by curving cuts rather than straight line folds and the nose is formed / weighted by the use of a cut.

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1939

In 'El Mundo de Papel' by Dr Nemesio Montero, which was published by G Miranda in Edicions Infancia in Valladolid in 1939 contained 'El aeroplano', a hybrid design putting together the nose and wings of the Swallow and the fuselage and tail of the Model Aeroplane.

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1940

As 'Aeroplano' in 'El Plegado y Cartonaje en la Escuela Primaria' by Antonio M Luchia and Corina Luciani de Luchia, which was published by Editorial Kapelusz in Buenos Aires in 1940.

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1950

In the 1950 Rupert Annual under the heading 'How To Make A Paper Plane'.

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1956

As 'Gliders' in 'Paper Magic' by Robert Harbin, which was published by Oldbourne in London in 1956.

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