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The ‘Largest Paper Airplane’ Takes Flight

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On Wednesday 21 March 2012, PIMA Air & Space Museum flew the largest paper airplane (thus far) over the Arizona desert.

As part of the museum’s ‘The Great Paper Airplane Project’ to get kids interested in aviation and engineering, a paper airplane with a length of 45 feet, wingspan of 24 feet and weight of 800 pounds was constructed.

The plane, dubbed ‘Arturo’s Desert Eagle’, was designed by ‘B-2 Stealth Bomber’ designer Art Thompson.

Thompson designed Arturo’s Desert Eagle based on paper airplanes folded by a 12-year-old Tucson resident, Arturo Valdenegro, who won the paper airplane fly-off in January.

The giant paper plane was constructed using layers of falcon board—a type of corrugated cardboard similar to those used for pizza boxes.

Arturo’s Desert Eagle was towed into the sky up to 2,703 feet by a helicopter, before it was let loose to glide.


The historical flight (or glide) was short-lived, lasting only 7 to 10 seconds at a significant speed of 100mph, before crashing—due to stress on the plane’s tail by the winds.

For a glimpse of the greatest paper airplane’s launch into history, see the video below:

[via Los Angeles Times]
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