45-foot long paper airplane glides over Arizona desert

Ben Kersey - Mar 23, 2012
45-foot long paper airplane glides over Arizona desert

If you were anything like us, you probably liked to waste time at school making paper airplanes, sending them flying through the air to hit designated targets around the room. Or maybe not, because we were fairly terrible at making them. Guess who isn’t terrible at making paper airplanes? Aeronautical engineers. Turns out one group designed and built one just a little bigger than what we’re used to seeing.

How big, exactly? 45-feet long with a 24-foot wingspan, and the whole thing weighing around 800 pounds. The team at the Pima Air & Space Museum were inspired to build the plane after a 12-year old Tuscon boy won a local paper airplane competition, with his creation reaching the greatest distance before plummeting to the ground.

Naturally, it took more than a simple flick of the wrist to launch this particular plane. It was moved into the Arizona desert, then hoisted into the air by a helicopter before being released. The plane managed to reach an altitude of 2,703 feet, and top speed hit 98 miles per hour.

Want to see the behemoth take flight? Check out the video below.

[via Ubergizmo]

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