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45-Foot Paper Airplane Launches Over Arizona Desert

Launching a paper airplane and watching as it successfully floats across a room can be pretty satisfying, so we can only imagine how the folks at the Pima Air & Space Museum in Arizona felt watching its gigantic 45-foot creation glide across the Arizona desert. Despite several delays throughout the day and unpleasant weather conditions for the museum's Giant Paper Airplane Project, the plane soared across the Arizona desert for a good seven to ten seconds.

Constructed from layers of a corrugated cardboard-like falcon board, Arturo's Desert Eagle was a glorious 45-foot long paper airplane with a 24-foot wingspan and a massive weight of 800 pounds. The plane itself was constructed in Lancaster by Art Thompson, but the original idea came from the paper airplane folded together by Arturo Valdenegro, the 12-year-old champion of an earlier paper airplane fly-off sponsored by the museum.  

On Wednesday, March 21st, the plane was brought over to the Sonoran desert where it was supposed to be launched at 4,000 or 5,000 feet by helicopter. Due to adverse wind conditions and several false launches, the plane was let loose at 2,703 feet where it was able to glide at speeds close to 100 miles per hour before stress on the tail caused it to hurdle into the ground. For more photos from the launch and more information about the Pima Air & Space Museum and the Giant Paper Airplane Project, head on over to the museum's webpage here.