World Record, New Time Aloft
Takuo Toda set a new récord for longest paper airplane flight at a competition in Hiroshima Prefecture in April of 2009. His record flight topped Blackburn's by 0.3 seconds, now the world récord is 27.9 seconds. He folded his plane, measuring approximately 10cm in length, from a single sheet of paper. The previous record of 27.6 seconds was achieved by Ken Blackburn in the USA. Ken is one of the superstars of the paper aircraft world today and keeps all of us, all over the World, working hard to match his skills. He is also very much a gentleman and has been surpassed once by Chris Edge and Andy Currey from England, only to smash the 20.9 seconds set by Chris and Andy with a world topping 27.6 seconds. This time is going to take some beating. The very best of luck to all who try.
World Record, Old UK Time Aloft
The longest UK (ex-World Record) duration of a flight by a paper aircraft, indoors, is 20.9 seconds. This was achieved by Chris Edge of British Aerospace Defense LTD, and Andy Currey from the Defense Evaluation Research Agency. By an amazing coincidence they both recorded exactly the same time and on consecutive throws. “The Guinness Book of Records” allowed two World Record holders, because this record is about the times set at the same event, so it's similar to setting identical pole position times in formula one. This record was established on July 28, 1996 at Cardington Airship Hangars in Bedfordshire, England.
Here are the rules for setting a Guinness world record for paper airplane time aloft: 1. The flight must take place indoors. 2. The plane must be made from a single sheet of paper that is no larger than 9.84 by 13.90 inches (250 x 353 mm) and weighs no more than 5 ounces (150 grams). Typing or copier paper works great. 3. It is OK to use some tape or glue. 4. The plane must be thrown from level ground. The stopwatch must start when you release the plane, and end when the plane touches anything (the floor, a wall, a chair…). 5. You are allowed six attempts. 6. You must submit the following to file a record claim: • Signed statements from two witnesses saying that they saw you set the record. • A newspaper clipping about the event. • Color photographs and a continuous video tape of the flight (you must have both). NOTE: it is not required that a Guinness representative be present.
World Record – Distance
The longest distance flown by a paper aircraft launched indoors, from the ground, is 193 feet (58.82m) This was achieved by Tony Fletch of Wisconsin, USA at the La Crosse Centre on May 21, 1985 and is a world record. The distance flown is almost equal to the length of a Jumbo Jet, and much further than the first flight by one of the Wright brothers.
NASA – Helps Pupils
NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) in the Langley Research Centre Hangar used ex-astronauts and engineers to help pupils from various schools in Hampton, Virginia, USA to develop, build and fly a record breaking large paper aircraft, with a wing span of 30ft 6in (9.15m) on March 25, 1992. If you think that's large see the current World Record for the Largest wingspan.
World Record – Largest Wingspan
The paper aircraft with the largest wingspan, 40ft 10in (1.97m), was made by a team of students from the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering, at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. It was flown indoors on May 16, 1995. Launched indoors by one person, it flew a distance of 114ft 2in (34.80m) from a 10ft (3m) high platform. In order to comply with the rules, it only had to fly more than 50ft (15.24m) from the edge of the launch platform. This aircraft would have covered a greater distance, but for a wall which stopped it in mid flight, causing extensive damage to the nose section, and still smashing the world record in the process.
Most Expensive – One of NASA's
One of the most expensive and lightest paper aircraft ever flown, was the paper aircraft thrown inside one of NASA's space shuttles, during a routine space flight. The fuel alone used to carry it into space makes that paper aircraft one of the most expensive. It was the lightest because of the lack of gravity in space.
Amazing Fact: Fly on Forever
In space where there is no atmosphere, if a paper aircraft were thrown it would not fly at all; it would float away in a straight line. With no gravity to pull it down, it would possibly fly on forever until it hit an object.
Paper Aircraft – Fly Up not Down
Paper aircraft that are trimmed to fly on earth will, when thrown inside a spacecraft, fly up and not down, as would normally be expected. This is because there is no gravity in the spacecraft, but there is lift created by the wings, as they fly in the atmosphere inside the spacecraft.
The Smallest Paper Airplane
The smallest origami paper model of a Crane Bird was folded under a microscope using tweezers by a Mr Naito from Japan and was made from a piece of paper 2.9 mm square. It is displayed on top of a sewing needle. Now that's small – what a pity it didn't fly! If Mr Naito were to make small paper aircraft, how would he see them fly?