Wednesday, December 30, 2009

World Flight Record Set For Paper Plane

It’s a world flight record even though it only lasted 26.1 seconds. Not your usual record, because it’s origami, and it was achieved by the president of the Japan Origami Plane Association. Takuo Toda just missed matching his personal best of 27.9 seconds, but that one was with a plane that had been made with tape.

World record set for paper plane

This one was made strictly in keeping with traditional rules of the ancient Japanese art; only one sheet of paper was folded by hand, with no scissors or glue.

The Japanese engineer happens to be president of the Japanese origami association, so he is not new to the sport. He said the secret was to get the 3.9 inch plane as high in the air as possible to give it time to circle slowly downwards. “It’s really a sport,” he said. “The throwing technique is very delicate.”

Last year Professor Takuo Toda had high hopes of launching one hundred planes from an international space station. They were to be made from heat-resistant treated paper and were 8 inches long and shaped like the Space Shuttle. They would have enabled scientists to learn more about lightweight gliders and re-entry vehicles.
On a test run it was able to withstand a Mach 7 (8,6000 kilometers or 5,300 miles per hour) high velocity stream for 10 seconds.
As for keeping track of the flight, he said “We hope the space station crew will write a message of peace on the plane before they launch it. We don’t know where in the world the plane will land, but it would be nice to send a message to whoever finds it.”
The scientists planned to write a message on the planes in many languages asking anyone who finds it to send it back to the Japan Origami Airplane Association.
However the whole thing was postponed after it was accepted by all that it would be impossible to track them during their week-longflight to reach the earth.

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