Huntly's Story


Huntly Briggs holding one of his paper warplane designs.

When Huntly was a boy, he saw Wings (1927) and Howard Hughes’ Hell’s Angels (1930).  These motion pictures inspired him and his older brother, Stephen, to start making paper airplanes and coloring them with crayons. From then on, they both were caught up in the aviation mystique and became lifelong enthusiasts. At the age of 18 and 20, before World War II, they started their aviation careers at Lockheed Aircraft Co. building Hudson Bombers for Britain and P-38 fighters for the US Army. They went on to join the military – Stephen, an army pilot and Huntly, a navy aircraft technician. After their service, they never strayed far from their passion of aviation with each ending up in fields related to aerospace - writing, illustrating and advertising. Huntly earned his college degree and pilot’s license on the GI Bill and subsequently flew light aircraft for business and pleasure for thirty years. Many years after seeing that first airplane movie, the Hughes name entered back into Huntly’s life when one of the companies that he provided advertising services to was Hughes Aircraft Company for 33 years.

Over the years, Huntly became an avid fan of vintage airplanes and a student of military aviation history. After discovering computer graphics, he made a hobby of his new form of model building... paper planes made from folded sheets of letter-size paper with printed graphics. This web site shows some of his many designs.

For his three-dimensional flyable paper models, which evolved from simple fold-and-cut gliders, Huntly focused on biplanes.  They represent the early development in aviation and his love affair with the aircraft of that era. To Huntly, as an aviation buff, they were like birds in nature - graceful, colorful, and beautiful.

However, biplane configurations didn’t lend themselves easily to paper airplane construction... that is, not until computer graphics programs made it possible to design elaborate construction layouts. These programs made it practical to refine the plane’s design, the positioning of its elements, and the interworking relationships of the parts while adding intricate detail and color combinations. Huntly was only limited by how far he wanted to push it. Moreover, it was with the kind and patient computer instruction of his younger brother, Alfred, an experienced graphic designer, who proved you could teach an old dog new tricks.