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.
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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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