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Picture of Cardboard Spinning PT-17 Stearman

One of my favorite things to do as a kid involved taping a motor and battery to a piece of wood, attaching a propeller and string, and hanging it from the ceiling. I spent many happy hours watching my airplanes flying in endless circles above my head.

Recently I found one of my old plastic propellers and resolved to make this awesome toy again. I decided to go with the PT-17 Stearman design because it is an iconic aircraft and it somewhat resembles the same spinning toy Buzz Lightyear encountered on his first flight.

In this Instructable I will show you how to easily make this simple cardboard spinning airplane.

Step 1: Supplies

Picture of Supplies


  • Toy motor
  • Propeller
  • 9 volt battery
  • 9 volt battery connector
  • Slide switch
  • Wire
  • 2 hooks
  • String

Tools and supplies

  • X-acto knife
  • Hot glue gun
  • Soldering iron and solder
  • Tape
  • Paint and brush
BrunoR1147 months ago
Really pretty, will put in the list om items to do.
CraftAndu7 months ago
Tura Street7 months ago
This is great. I made one out of wood using the exact same colors with my dad when I was about 7. This brought back so many memories. Thanks for sharing!
bfisher147 months ago
I'd like to do this with a biplane I made out of coke cans I will post pics when it is done.
Phil_S7 months ago
Funny enough, I was just contemplating something like this myself.
I have a Banggood balsa Piper J£ Cub (lovely model, thoroughly recommend), which is too fragile to use outside other than very still conditions. So why not hang it from the ceiling?
Many Battles of Britain were fought with Airfix squadrons hanging from the ceiling!
wirklich guter Job, top!
Awesome job! It looks like a lot of fun :)
seamster7 months ago
Great looking model! I appreciate that you included the template in pdf form. That is an excellent and thoughtful touch. Well done on your first instructable! : )