Paper airplane flying taken to extreme with Guinness World Record

Interesting Engineering

Most people will at some point in their lives have made a paper airplane and sent it flying across the living room or office. However a team of auxiliary volunteers from the US Air Force took things a step further than this. They went on to launch a paper airplane from 96, 563 feet via a high altitude balloon and when they did, they broke a world record.


[Image Source: CAP Fox Valley]

On the website of the US Fox Valley Composite Squadron, Illinois Wing, Civil Air Patrol, they bragged about launching the paper airplane in Kankakee, Illinois and the plane landed 82 miles away in Indiana, to the Southwest of Rochester. The total flight of the paper airplane was a little under 2 hours and 7 minutes.


[Image Source: CAP Fox Valley]

The cadets designed the paper airplane, which was made out of paper board in the traditional shape. The airplane is 30 inches in length and has a wing that spans 14.5 inches weighing in at 424 grams. Unlike a traditional paper airplane, this one was fitted with a GPS tracker, temperatures sensors, flight computer, barometric pressure sensor, a solar panel and HD video camera, to enable the aircraft to record the flight.


[Image Source: CAP Fox Valley]

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So that the airplane could be launched, the designers attached it to a helium balloon. The balloon carried the airplane up to the correct altitude and then it burst. Once the balloon burst the flight computer of the paper airplane cut away so that the plane could begin its journey back down.

fox-valley-composite-squadron-worlds-highest-paper-airplane-4[Image Source: CAP Fox Valley]


[Image Source: CAP Fox Valley]

The record has to be verified by Guinness and if they do, the Composite Squadron from Fox Valley will take the title from the Paris team based in the UK who set the record with their Vulture 1 in 2010, and they may just set their sights on reclaiming it back.

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