US team claims PARIS paper plane launch crown

Vulture 1's Guinness World Record broken by 96,563ft paper dart release


A US team has announced it's broken El Reg's Guinness World Record for the highest launch of a paper plane by releasing a substantial paper dart at 96,563ft (29,430m).

A group of cadets from Fox Valley Composite Squadron of the Illinois Wing, Civil Air Patrol, sent their vehicle aloft on 13 September from Kankakee, Illinois, and recovered the aircraft intact some 82 miles (132km) away, southwest of Rochester, Indiana.

Fox Valley Composite Squadron cadets and officers with the balloon and paper plane

Cadets and officers preparing for launch. Photo: 1st Lt Gary Brown

The balloon lifts off with the aircraft slung underneath

The aircraft heads for the stratosphere. Photo: Manda Larson

According to the team's press release (PDF): "The squadron started the project as a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) experience for their cadets (youths ages 12-18). The cadets completely designed and constructed the traditional paper airplane design - one recognizable by every grade-school child - made of paper board and measuring 30 inches (76cm) in length, with a 14½ inches (36cm) wingspan and weighing a total of 424 grams (1 pound).

"The paper airplane was also outfitted with a GPS tracking system, temperature sensors, barometric pressure sensor, flight computer, batteries, solar panel and HD video camera to record the entire historic flight. The aircraft was then tethered to a large helium weather balloon and launched to altitude, where the balloon burst and the paper airplane’s flight computer cut itself away for its record-breaking flight."

The forward view from the aircraft in the stratosphere

Aircraft's-eye view of the stratosphere

The Paper Aircraft Released Into Space (PARIS) mission launched on 28 October 2010, establishing the Guinness World Record at 89,591ft (27,307.39m). A seemingly simple proposition, successfully dropping a paper plane from altitude is actually rather challenging.

Previous pops at the record include two attempts by the University of Southern Indiana. The first ended in premature balloon burst, while the second resulted in disintegration of the Geronimo 2 aircraft at 107,000ft (32,612m).

Indeed, Fox Valley Composite Squadron similarly had two failed attempts under its belt before finally cracking it.

Commander Maj John Fletcher poses with airplane after recovery. Photo: 1 st Lt Gary Brown

Commander Maj John Fletcher with the aircraft after recovery. Photo: 1st Lt Gary Brown

We at the SPB offer congratulations to our American cousins on their success. Speaking to the squadron's 1st Lt Gary Brown last week, we suggested that national pride requires we reclaim the record at some point. He replied: "Yes, I guess we have a fun, healthy 'space race' going now!" ®

Similar topics


Other stories you might like

  • Yet again, Cream Finance skimmed by crooks: $130m in crypto assets stolen

    Third time's the unlucky charm for loan outfit

    Decentralized finance biz Cream Finance became further decentralized on Wednesday with the theft of $130m worth of crypto assets from its Ethereum lending protocol.

    Cream (cream.finance and not creamfinance.com) reported the loss via Twitter, the third such incident for the loan platform this year.

    "Our Ethereum C.R.E.A.M. v1 lending markets were exploited and liquidity was removed on October 27, 1354 UTC," the Taiwan-based biz said. "The attacker removed a total of ~$130m USD worth of tokens from these markets, using this address. No other markets were impacted."

    Continue reading
  • OpenID-based security features added to GitHub Actions as usage doubles

    Single-use tokens and reusable workflows explained at Universe event

    GitHub Universe GitHub Actions have new security based on OpenID, along with the ability to create reusable workflows, while usage has nearly doubled year on year, according to presentations at the Universe event.

    The Actions service was previewed three years ago at Universe 2018, and made generally available a year later. It was a huge feature, building automation into the GitHub platform for the first time (though rival GitLab already offered DevOps automation).

    It require compute resources, called runners, which can be GitHub-hosted or self-hosted. Actions are commands that execute on runners. Jobs are a sequence of steps that can be Actions or shell commands. Workflows are a set of jobs which can run in parallel or sequentially, with dependencies. For example, that deployment cannot take place unless build and test is successful. Actions make it relatively easy to set up continuous integration or continuous delivery, particularly since they are cloud-hosted and even a free plan offers 2,000 automation minutes per month, and more than that for public repositories.

    Continue reading
  • REvil gang member identified living luxury lifestyle in Russia, says German media

    Die Zeit: He's got a Beemer, a Bitcoin watch and a swimming pool

    German news outlets claim to have identified a member of the infamous REvil ransomware gang – who reportedly lives the life of Riley off his ill-gotten gains.

    The gang member, nicknamed Nikolay K by Die Zeit newspaper and the Bayerische Rundfunk radio station, reportedly owns a €70,000 watch with a Bitcoin address engraved on its face and rents yachts for €1,300 a day whenever he goes on holiday.

    "He seems to prefer T-shirts from Gucci, luxurious BMW sportscars and large sunglasses," reported Die Zeit, which partly identified him through social media videos posted by his wife.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021