A Launching Platform

The science of paper airplane folding is a great way to learn about flight. This guide takes you through the process of building a motorized paper airplane launching platform. This can be used for fun, or as a standardized way to test different airplane designs.

The tools and materials for this project (aside from the motors and microcontroller) are things you can find around the home or in any craft store. Paired with the versatile robotics platform, CRICKIT for Circuit Playground Express, simple household materials can spring to life and take on any form your imagination desires!

This project demonstrates basic programming skills using Microsoft MakeCode and allows for easy experimentation and adaptation. 

The Electronics

In addition to the household materials listed below, you'll also want to pick up the following electronics:

1 x Circuit Playground Express
Circuit Playground Express is the perfect introduction to electronics and programming
1 x Adafruit CRICKIT for Circuit Playground Express
Creative Robotics and Interactive Construction Kit is an add-on to our popular Circuit Playground Express
2 x CD DVD Spindle Motor
These motors are typically found inside CD or DVD players and have some great benefits that make them easier to use than '130' style hobby motors
1 x Sub-micro Servo - SG51R
This tiny servo can rotate approximately 180 degrees and works just like a standard servo but much smaller. Good for beginners who want to make stuff move. You can use any servo code, hardware or library to control these servos.
1 x Servo Extension Cable - 30cm / 12" long
Stretch out your servo connections with this flexible servo extension cord. It has a 3 pin shrouded "male" connector to plug your servo into and then, 30cm later, a 3 pin female connector.
2 x Wheel for Micro Continuous Rotation Servo
This black plastic servo wheel is equipped with a silicone tire and a press-fit design to make connecting to a servo motor quick and easy
1 x Small Alligator Clip to Male Jumper Wire
These compact jumper cables have a premium male header on one end and a grippy mini alligator clip on the other
1 x 3xAA Battery Holder with DC jack
Battery holder 3xAA batteries with 2.1mm DC jack
1 x Alkaline AA batteries - 3 pack
These batteries are good quality at a good price, and work fantastic with any of the kits or projects that use AAs
1 x USB cable - A/MicroB - 3ft
Standard A to micro-B USB cable


For this project you will need:

  • Some large pieces of scrap corrugated cardboard
  • Scissors and/or box cutter
  • Hot glue & hot glue gun
  • Rubber band
  • Double-sided foam tape
  • Pen/pencil
  • Small screwdriver

This guide was first published on Aug 27, 2018. It was last updated on Aug 27, 2018.

This page (Overview) was last updated on Aug 21, 2018.

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