back to article El Reg to launch space paper plane

It's official: We here at the Vulture Central Science Bureau have had enough of writing about space shuttles, orbiting Japanese laboratories and Chinese taikonauts, when the best the UK's space programme can offer is to lose touch with a 300g wedge of Somerset farmhouse cheddar somewhere over the south of England. Accordingly …

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Paris Hilton

Propper Aeronautical terms please

@Anomalous Cowherd

"rake of the wings"

That would be anhediral or dinedrial (up or down) or sweep (foward or back)

Paris, who also has been know to twatdangle

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Paris Hilton

No wood?

Be hard to have a paper plane without any wood... But I would think that epoxy resin soaked paper (=high-tech papier mache) ought to be superior to balsa for structural members anyway.

Vulture Venturer gets my vote for the craft , but the project name should be PARIS: Paper Airplane Into Space is too good to miss!

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Too lame?

Vulture Ship 1 riding up on the Dark Knight

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Thumb Up

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For the airplane "aplanefromMars".

For the launch vehicle "Twatdangle"

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Megaphone

I might have a name . . .

Sarah Bee @ Vulture Central

Nah ???

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Go

HAPPYBEE

High Altitude Paper Plane Yearning Beyond Earth's Edge

And yes, let's make the operational one s/n 03568 !

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Coat

Why make it a vulture in name only?

Since it will, in all likelihood, be called the Vulture (or some variation thereof), why not make it look like one too? I don't just mean a paint job. I mean something, which seen gliding majestically through the British skies, would be mistaken for an actual vulture by the casual observer.

Mine's the one with the "Birds of Britain" book in the pocket.

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Boffin

+1, looking to model rocket community

-1 using balsa (or any kind) of not-made-into-paper wood for airframe. It should be just paper and binder/glue/finish material.

+1 the idea of checking out tech and techniques from model rocketry. I recall from long-ago youth an article in a model rocket newspaper describing how to make your own body tubes from paper and glue. IIRC, laminated paper strips wound in different directions around a form. Those were the days, young lad.

For internal structural strengthening, could use thin cardboard (like that in disposable coffee cup insulators), laminated several layers thick, then cut to shape.

Also look at SPAD model airplane construction (Simple Plastic Airplane Design, gooyabinghoogle for it). It uses corrugated plastic for wings ... so use the designs but with cardboard finished with some stiffening/weatherproofing finish. These are powered designs but there might be a glider model or two in there.

Why put all the electronics in the plane? It could relay via heavier equipment in the ballon for at least a while, and/or to a powered craft (manned, moderatrixed, ROV, or autonomous) in the vicinity.

Why transmit GPS? How about emitting a copy of the Sputnik signal, and using tracking and telemetry volunteers? You'd get crowd-sourced data that you could statistically crunch in the ... er ... cloud to compute likely positions. Of course you could put a GPS receiver in the plane and store its info locally, to be compared with the c{lou,row}d data later.

What fun!

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Flame

Yes, I'm a Merkin

A balsa and paper "Cellulose I" with "cell phone" avionics would provide a lot of punning room here in the USA. But with "mobo", the best I can do is "Combustamobol".

"Firefly"?

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Welcome

I for one welcome our Vulture overlords...but...

Why not save a helluvalotta effort for the ship by simply stapling a few paper plates together?

In true Blue Peter fashion, "Here's one we made earlier": http://www.newscientist.com/data/images/ns/cms/dn2822/dn2822-1_370.jpg

Then, call it Beagle -1.

I can't wait to get an invite to the splatdown.

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Names (does anyone read these things before commenting?)

"Our tentative plan is to construct three aircraft: Low altitude prototype for initial testing; fully-equipped medium altitude example for systems-test release from aircraft; and the final operational model."

The first two are experimental prototypes, so "Vulture X" and "Vulture X II".

The final operational model simply HAS to be called "Sarah".

And it's not even Friday yet.

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Anonymous Coward

How about..

The 'king Vulture

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balsa no good?

Solomon Grundy, for something like 80 years balsa was the main material used for model aircraft. It is even now commonly used as a core material in composite boats. I have a model aircraft in my basement that was built in the mid sixties, and most of the original joints are still intact. The wood itself is still fine. OK, the stuff is vulnerable, particularly if soaked in water, but given a good choice of glue and a bit of protection over the top it is fine. At least to the point where most of my structural failures were caused by impact with the ground rather than material degradation. One of my gliders that spent six weeks out in the weather on a farm needed an extensive rebuild, but I don't think any other construction would have faired much better. The tailplane, rudder and fuselage were all OK, the wings had gone a bit soggy. The cows may not have improved matters either.

Of course, balsa is not paper, but if it is vital for it to be a paper aeroplane then borrow from the techniques used by an earlier generation and make it all out of paper. (including light card) You can make some quite amazing structures with paper if you put in the time and trouble.

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Black Helicopters

Names

Paper Aeroplane Remote Ionospheric Shuttle (PARIS) = The balloon mothership/launcher

Vertical-drop Upper-atmospheric Long Traverse Ultra Ranging Experiment (VULTURE) = The paper aeroplane

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Names

Anastasia

(Do I need to explain?)

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Jobs Horns

It might have escaped your notice but....

..model aircraft are not made of balsa wood any more, nor are RAF and USAF spy/attack aircraft come to that; you are as likely to find carbon fibre, titanium and kevlar.

So buck up your ideal lads this is a real techno challenge. All we need is the money. Let me see now, I wonder, where did I put those Lottery Fund application forms.

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Alien

name suggestion

how about

Space Vulture One

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Happy

No confidence?

Construct THREE aircraft?? You're assuming, therefore, that the first two crash beyond repair? So by implication the third isn't ready for launch. Until you've got a successful landing.

Myst-all-Chucking-frighty, imagine if the space shuttle designers had the same mindset....

C'mon - have a little faith in your abilities!

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FAIL

GPS Fail!!!!!!

Commercial GPS dont work above 60K feet and 1000 knots, so good luck getting tracking data from space.

now if you ask the yanks niceley enough for a military gps, then you are in business.

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Happy

@ Names

" (Do I need to explain?)"

No.

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How about

A4 adventurer? (a for adventurer obviously!)

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Go

Tracking....

Ham radio operators have been doing this sort of things for years, just without the plane part. You might want to take a look at some of the APRS radio trackers available here: http://www.byonics.com/microtrak/. Of course, you will need someone with an amateur radio license on that side of the pond, but I am sure some of the IT Geeks are also Ham geeks.

Once it is launched, tracking it can be done by anyone with a web browser through APRS mapping sites. You just have to know the call sign to look for..

- John

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Joke

The Name doesn't matter as long as

You pack each individual componenet in their own boxes which are in turn packed into a bigger box with then have to be bubble wrapped and put into an even larger box with foarm around it inside a nother box that can then be put on a palet and wrapped in plastic, all for it's own protection of course, after all we must protec the paper at all cost.

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Black Helicopters

KISS

I like the design illustrated at :-

http://www.paperairplanes.co.uk/swallow.php

although as a variation you can simply not tear off the tail

and use it as a flying wing. You will need to bend down the wings

and bend up the tips as well as bending up some trailing edge

flaps to trim the flight. This flies nice and slowly.

This would require a sheet of A4, and could provide a simple

backup in case a more complex model was not 100% successful.

There doesn't seem to be an aeroplane icon...

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Black Helicopters

Yes, we need an icon!

@Geoff Bin In --- Yes, well spotted. Given the significance of this project to Blighty and ElReg (including faithful commentards), and the likelihood of this lark^H^H^H^Hvulture turning into a Genuine Aeronautically Significant Program (GASP), we need an icon!

Black Helicopter 'cuz it's as close as can be gotten presently.

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@Geoff Bin In

You mean "Jeff bin in?", referring to the late Jeffrey Bernard, frequenter of the "Coach and Horses",Soho. Near Winnet Street (Snigger!)**

Saw the play with Tom Conti - main actor - , called "Jeffrey Bernard is Unwell"*. Brilliant. Old Vic theatre, IIRC

Now, with Bernard, THAT was journalism. These underage Reg hacks wouldn't get it. 'Till pissed.

*Often, the British papers he wrote for (Spectator?) would write that phrase. Everyone knew Jeff was hungover, and couldn't do his column. Piss-artist of the first order. Had he lived longer, he might have got a knighthood for "drinking well beyond the call of duty".

** Winnet in English might translate to mean "Klingon". Captain James T. Kirk and toilet paper. Both eliminate Klingons. Gerrit?

(Ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeffrey_Bernard_is_Unwell)

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