Thinking Tech

Watch the world's biggest paper airplane fly 100 mph

Watch the world's biggest paper airplane fly 100 mph

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A 45-foot long, 800-pound paper aircraft was tossed over the desert in Arizona.

Even if you're no longer a kid, you can never really outgrow paper airplanes.

Need proof? Check out this video of a 45-foot long beast being launched by a Sikorsky S58T helicopter over the Sonoran desert in Arizona on Wednesday. Arturo’s Desert Eagle, named after the 12-year-old boy who inspired designed it, was sent flying at an altitude of 2,703 feet and with a speed of 100 mph about 10 seconds before crash landing. The event was staged as part of an effort by the Pima Air & Space Museum in Tucson, Arizona to spark more interest in aviation and engineering among youth.

Built by Art Thompson, who helped deign the famed B-52 bomber, the 800-pound paper airplane is actually comprised mostly of cardboard material, similar to pizza boxes. It was modeled off of a standard paper-sized version that helped Arturo Valdenegro of Lancaster win the paper airplane fly-off, a competition sponsored back in January by the museum to determine who's folded aircraft can fly the furthest.

Pulling off the feat wasn't easy. There were a few false starts before the plane was airlifted and let go a couple thousand feet below where engineers were hoping to launch it, due to strong winds.

“It didn’t fare too well as an end game,” Tim Vimmerstedt, a spokesperson for the Pima Air & Space Museum told The Los Angeles Times. “It really is a crumbled mess.”

However, all was not lost. Not too long after the World Record Academy announced that the team had set the a new world record for flying the world's largest paper airplane.

And even the sight of a paper plane-wreck failed put a damper on young Arturo's spirits. If anything, he said seeing such an impressive re-construction in real life was impressive enough to convince him to pursue a career in engineering.

(via LA Times)

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Tuan Nguyen

Contributing Editor

Contributing Editor Tuan C. Nguyen is a freelance science journalist based in New York City. He has written for the U.S. News and World Report, Fox News, MSNBC, ABC News, AOL, Yahoo! News and LiveScience. Formerly, he was reporter and producer for the technology section of ABCNews.com. He holds degrees from the University of California Los Angeles and the City University of New York's Graduate School of Journalism. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure