This Paper Airplane Took Five Years to Build

The days of creating paper airplanes with an 8.5 by 11 sheet and a few simple folds are over. Meet Luca Iaconi-Stewart, the man behind a 777 jet made out of manilla folders (plus a few drops of glue). This thing puts to shame every folded creation you crafted in the back of the classroom.

According to Wired, the project was inspired by Iaconi-Stewart’s love of airplanes. After finding a diagram of a 777 online, he drew up the models in Adobe Illustrator then printed them out on manilla sheets. From there, he used an exacto knife and tweezers to mold and shape the plane’s exact specifications, all the way down to the seats, engines, and wheels.

Although he’s been working on the plane for five years––including a two-year break due to college work––he has yet to finish the project (hey, give the guy a break: it takes 20 minutes to create an economy seat and eight hours for one in first class). Why do I get the feeling that Iaconi-Stewart would be a big fan of Hayao Miyazaki’s “The Wind Rises” (well, that or Disney’s “Planes”)?

While of the paper airplanes you made in junior high were complete duds, nosediving to the ground after takeoff, perhaps that’s because you never put the effort into designing it. Well that won’t be a problem for Iaconi-Stewart, who will have plenty of time to finish his 777 since he just dropped out of Vassar College.

Below, you can check out a timelapse video of the world’s best paper airplane maker in action. For detailed photos of his project, head over to his Flickr page.