45-foot paper airplane takes flight over Arizona desert

By Muriel Kane
Sunday, March 25, 2012 17:34 EDT
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Forty-five foot paper airplane screencap
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A 45-foot-long paper airplane built out of a type of corrugated cardboard described as similar to the material used in pizza boxes was successfully launched earlier this week over the Arizona desert.

The craft was constructed by the Pima Air & Space Museum as an offshoot of its Great Paper Airplane Project, which a few months ago brought hundreds of children to the museum to show off their own more modestly-scaled paper aircraft.

It was dubbed Arturo’s Desert Eagle, after 12-year-old Arturo Valdenegro, on whose model it was based, and was designed and built by Art Thompson, who previously helped design the B-2 stealth bomber. It boasts a 24-foot wingspan and may well be the largest paper airplane ever constructed.

A 15-foot test model was launched successfully in February and on March 21, after some problems with the larger model buckling under its own weight, a reinforced version was released at a height of 2703 feet by a Sikorsky helicopter. It reached speeds of up to 100 mph on its way down before crash landing.

This video was uploaded to YouTube by greatpaperairplane on Mrch 22, 2012.

Muriel Kane
Muriel Kane
Muriel Kane is an associate editor at Raw Story. She joined Raw Story as a researcher in 2005, with a particular focus on the Jack Abramoff affair and other Bush administration scandals. She worked extensively with former investigative news managing editor Larisa Alexandrovna, with whom she has co-written numerous articles in addition to her own work. Prior to her association with Raw Story, she spent many years as an independent researcher and writer with a particular focus on history, literature, and contemporary social and political attitudes. Follow her on Twitter at @Muriel_Kane
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