Anyone who has ever built a flimsy paper airplane out of torn-out notebook paper and sailed it majestically across the classroom behind your
unsuspecting all-knowing teacher's back is sure to appreciate what the these guys just did.
The PIMA Air & Space Museum, one of the biggest of its kind in the world, just made aviation nerds and the kid in all of us delight with the building and subsequent flight of a 45-foot, 800-pound paper airplane.
From the project's site, aptly titled GreatPaperAirplane.org:
A couple months ago, hundreds of kids came to the museum to show us what paper airplane flying was all about. And now, inspired by their enthusiasm, we built a 45-foot paper airplane (quite possibly the largest ever constructed) and flew it.
Apparently, the flight had some bumps - like when the plane buckled under its own weight. After they took it back to the hangar and reinforced it, here's how they describe the flight:
After it was lifted off the ground by its nose, our giant paper airplane rose and rose until it began swaying pretty heavily in the wind (a product of our having to delay the launch until the evening instead the calmer morning). Aaron, our helicopter pilot then gave the order to cut the plane loose from the cable when it began to pull the chopper itself in a strong gust. But after it was released, for several shining moments, our huge, beautiful, silly, hubristic 45-foot paper airplane soared.
Check out the video below:
Luckily, this video is only a "first glimpse," which to me means that we'll be seeing a second, third, and hopefully fourth, fifth and sixth glimpse. Hopefully those glimpses will show more of the actual flight.
For all the that's not flying, it's falling with style party-poopers out there, how about you take a giant paper airplane 2700 feet up in the air and let it sail across the desert sky.