Who knew space museums could be anything but excruciatingly boring? The Pimo Air & Space Museum in Arizona has become the first of its kind to excite people with the launch of its Great Paper Airline, as they call it. The 800-pound, 45-foot paper aircraft was taken by helicopter to a height of 2,703 feet and released to sail freely in the open skies. A marvelous sight on the level of the Wright Brothers’ or Barrington Irving‘s accomplishments.
The airplane’s design was inspired by 12-year-old paper airplane distance contest winner Aturo Valdenegro. He had the honor of meeting with engineers who oversaw the gargantuan plane’s design and construction after winning first prize in the museum’s competition. Lifted off the ground by its nose, hopes seemed dim for the paper airplane as heavy wind started to pick up.
But the helicopter pilot pushed through and gave the signal to cut the plane loose from its cable, where it then flew at 98 mph for a few short-lived glorious moments. The pilot then got four days of detention for releasing the paper airplane.