Monday, 28 Dec, 2009 Offbeat
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Origami Specialist Builds Paper Plane that Breaks World Flight Record

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Takuo Toda, a Japanese engineer, was able to launch a paper plane that set the new world flight record, staying in the air for 26.1 seconds. Now he looks forward to break the 30-seconds barrier.

It is worth mentioning that earlier, the engineer, who also happens to be the president of the Japan origami aeroplane association, managed to launch a plane that stayed in the air for 27.9 seconds; only that time that plane was made using not just paper but cellophane tape as well.

The new paper plane was launched in a Japan Airlines hangar, located near Haneda airport in Tokyo. Toda made the 10cm plane by hand using just one sheet of paper which he did not cut and did not use scissors and glue, reports The Guardian. According to the engineer that key to a successful flight of a paper plane is avoiding a flat trajectory, plus you have to launch the aircraft as high as possible so it would have enough time to perform a long flight down to earth. "The throwing technique is very delicate," he says.

In 2008 Toda, together with his friend Shinji Suzuki, who works as an aeronautical engineer and professor at Tokyo University, decided to have 100 paper planes launched onboard the International Space Station, orbiting 250 miles above our planet. Their planes were created from heat-resistant paper covered with silicon. During trial runs, these planes managed to resist temperatures as high as 250C and wind speeds that reached mach 7. Unfortunately, the attempt was put off. But Toda intends to accomplish his plan and hopes to get help from China or Russia.

Posted by Stew

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