45-foot, 800-pound paper airplane launched
Watch the helicopter launch of a 45-foot-long paper airplane in Arizona, which reached speeds of nearly 100 mph: http://t.co/4KGJHrxA
— KTUU.com (@Ch2KTUU) March 23, 2012
Cheers to the Pima Air & Space Museum for flying what might be the largest paper airplane ever constructed over the Arizona desert earlier this week.
The plane, dubbed Arturo’s Desert Eagle, was 45 feet long with a 24-foot wingspan and weighed in at a whopping 800 pounds.
It was built as part of the museum’s Giant Paper Airplane Project, designed to get kids psyched about aviation and engineering.
After a few false starts, the plane was towed into the sky above the Sonoran desert on Wednesday afternoon by a Sikorsky S58T helicopter.
The design team was hoping to get the monster paper airplane up to 4,000 or 5,000 feet before letting it loose, but due to wind conditions, the helicopter pilot decided to set it free at 2,703 feet.
It was still able to glide at speeds of close to 100 mph for 7 to 10 seconds before stress on the tail caused it to hurdle to the ground.