I thrust my airplane upward.
It nose-dived to the ground.
This was my eighteenth effort.
I got the plane and frowned.

I bent the wingtips under
and flew the plane once more.
It went a little farther,
then landed on the floor.

Encouraged by this progress,
I tried out different things –
I made a few quite pointed
and gave some folded wings.

The pointed planes flew farther.
They also travelled straight.
The others looped and wobbled.
Their progress wasn’t great.

I’ll need more time and effort
to make my dream come true,
to beat the current record
for how long a plane flew.

I know air is important.
It pushes the plane high.
It also pulls against it,
to drop it from the sky.

And how I shape the airplane –
the body and the wings –
so air will move it forward
is the important thing.

I’m going to continue.
I’ve only just begun.
This airplane problem-solving
is challenging and fun!


Note: The current Guinness paper airplane record for duration of flight is 29.2 seconds.




Susan Andrews lives in Southern California, where she taught elementary school and worked as a freelance writer. She created and participates in the weekly #HaikuSaturday event on Twitter. Her haiku have been published in several journals, and one of them has been nominated for a Touchstone Award. Her poetry has also been published in The Dirigible Balloon. She is a member of the SCBWI and is currently submitting manuscripts. She is passionate about the environment, animals, and kindness.