back to article US team claims PARIS paper plane launch crown

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, …

  1. AndrueC Silver badge

    Bah. We'll get it back :)

    Mind you I had to read that headline twice. I thought at first it said PARIS was beaten by 96,000 ft. That would have been very impressive :)

  2. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    Are you really, really sure you want to meddle with the US Army?

    After all, they do operate plenty of these --->

    1. Michael Hawkes

      Re: Are you really, really sure you want to meddle with the US Army?

      It's the Civil Air Patrol, not the Army. They're affiliated with the Air Force, but they're civilians. They're more military-like than Scouts, but a bit less military than Junior ROTC.

      Civil Air Patrol at Wikipedia.

      The Child Catcher because the cadets are children.

      1. Danny 14 Silver badge

        Re: Are you really, really sure you want to meddle with the US Army?

        or space cadets.

  3. Billa Bong

    Have any contacts at SpaceX?

    Rebuild, send Lester up with it, open a window on the ISS and lob it out. Job done...

    Oh, you want to recover it too.... never mind.

    1. Stoneshop Silver badge

      Re: Have any contacts at SpaceX?

      Now I'm wondering, if you were to throw a model plane out of the ISS window, so to speak, would it survive descent though the atmosphere? Initially it'll have a speed of about 8km/s, so throwing it backwards, forwards or just letting it drop won't make a noticeable difference. But at some point it'll start encountering drag, and start dissipating its kinetic energy (64000kJ for every kg the craft weighs) as heat. The question is, at what rate will it decelerate, and, from that, can it shed the resulting heat fast enough to prevent its Playmonaut pilot getting roasted? What model shape (and material) would be best suited? Would it need Additional Stuff to help keep the craft cool?

      And, given the land/water area ratio, the project will need more than just a car to retrieve the Playmonaut at the end of his journey, lest he join #1 in his watery grave

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Have any contacts at SpaceX?

        "The question is, at what rate will it decelerate..."

        An ever increasing rate. Even worse, the rate of increase will increase as well. Also the rate of the rate of increase...

        1. Tom 7 Silver badge

          Re: Have any contacts at SpaceX?

          Is that where the US cops and TV presenters go on about an 'increasing rate of speed' or accelerating acceleration if taken literally.

        2. Stoneshop Silver badge

          Re: Have any contacts at SpaceX?

          An ever increasing rate


          At some point it will stop decelerating, ultimately when its speed reaches zero (which will happen when its height reaches zero), but also at some point earlier when drag and gravitational pull reach equilibrium. So the increase of deceleration will have stopped before that and turned into a decrease of rate of deceleration, and ditto the rate of increase of increase.

      2. Benjol

        Re: Have any contacts at SpaceX?

        Sounds like a good candidate for xkcd's What If?

  4. MyffyW Silver badge

    Never mind, consider yourselves the Burt Rutan of paper space planes - privately funded, independent of military agendas etcetera, etcetera.

  5. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    Not playing fair

    It's not really fair for a group with the multi-trillion dollar financial and research backing of the entire US military-industrial complex to compete against the amateur garden-shed wizardry of SPB.

    1. Shrimpling

      Re: Not playing fair

      True, it's not fair.

      Do you think we need to give the Americans some kind of advantage?

      1. Wyrdness

        Re: Not playing fair

        Send the Americans a cask of London Pride. That should help to even the odds somewhat. Though most of their team would be too young to drink it.

  6. Neil Barnes Silver badge


    starts wondering if we can incorporate another plane on Lohan...

    1. Michael Hawkes
      Paris Hilton

      Re: /me

      Do you mean to have PARIS mount LOHAN?

      1. Graham Marsden

        @Michael Hawkes - Re: /me

        > Do you mean to have PARIS mount LOHAN?

        Sure, you'd just need a device for Supplementing The Register's Aircraft by Penetrating Orbital Navigator or STRAP-ON for short...

        1. Thunderbird 2

          Re: @Michael Hawkes - /me

          If i'd been drinking coffee at the time of reading this comment and its progenitor, i'd definitely have needed a new keyboard. Massive thumbs up, both of you.

    2. Camilla Smythe

      Re: /me

      Hmm.. something like a B52 launching an X15... but sort of in reverse? Sling the paper plane under rocket powered one and cut it free when the rocket powered one has finished its launch/boost phase to maximum altitude.

      1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

        Re: /me

        I worked out the acceleration and terminal velocity for the launch some time ago. Lester asked me not to say, but let's just say that the launch could be, um, stressful.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: /me

      Something like a Gee-Bee special...with only enough smarts to pull up at 100m. You could get the record for fastest controlled descent by a model plame from 100k ft.

  7. Cripes Chief!


    Isn't that more of a drone than a plane considering theirs had no Playmonaught on board?

    1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

      Re: Pilot?

      Interesting point. They clearly don't have enough room for a playmonaut, although they may have had place for a legomonaut (does not look like they had, however)

    2. The First Dave Silver badge

      Re: Pilot?

      Possibly, but at least this one _looked_ like a paper plane, even if it really wasn't any more of a paper plane than PARIS was.

  8. Bassey

    Clearly Stressful

    Launching paper aeroplanes from the upper atmosphere is clearly VERY stressful. The bloke in that picture looks WAAAAAY over 18 years old. Do we have a shot of what he looked like before the project?

  9. frank ly

    re. the first picture

    Is that actually an inflated condom?

  10. i like crisps

    Cheating YANK BASTARDS

    How the hell is that ORANGE thing a paper plane? What are the Guiness 'SPECS' for this record to be valid?....NO, NO, NO a paper plane should be made from a single sheet of A4. In my head this record does not stand......what's next...steroids????

    1. gotes

      Re: Cheating YANK BASTARDS

      Well PARIS was made from straws and didn't look much like your traditional paper plane, so by your reckoning that record is invalid too.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Cheating YANK BASTARDS

      "How the hell is that ORANGE thing"

      I thought the was colour a nice homage to the one, the only, the original PARIS!!!

      And don't forget, no matter how many times the PARIS record is beaten, PARIS was still the first!

      Does anyone remember the second man on the moon? (Yeah, it was Buzz, but Neil was first! What about the 3rd, 4th 5th or 6th men on the moon)

      Who remembers the second expedition to conquer Everest?

      Who remembers the second flight across the Atlantic?

      1. Captain DaFt

        Re: Cheating YANK BASTARDS

        "Who remembers the second flight across the Atlantic?"

        Hell, who even remembers the first?

        First non-stop flight across the Atlantic in an airplane.

  11. Craigie

    How far

    did it fly upside-down?

  12. Marketing Hack Silver badge

    Now you need to program the Vulture 2 to release a tiny paper airplane at apogee!

    I can just imagine Vulture 2 laboring those last few feet to maximum altitude, and then a tiny paper airplane made out of a Post-It note is released into space!

  13. BillsBacker

    re: /me

    I had a well thought comment for this article, but you just made me lose it...

  14. Gazman

    Those Magnificent Plastic Figurines in Their Flying Machines

    Now what we need is a German paper plane with a playmonaut reading from a teeny tiny manual during takeoff ...

  15. Captain DaFt

    I've been tempted to do my own PARIS project


    A. Launch a donkey shaped pinata via balloon.

    Paper Ass Released In Space


    B. Launch a paper, winged pig similarly.

    Porcine Aviator Released In Space

    What would these make me eligible for, aside from a trip to the loony bin?

    1. Martin Budden Bronze badge

      Re: I've been tempted to do my own PARIS project

      "What would these make me eligible for?" See icon ------>

    2. Khaptain Silver badge

      Re: I've been tempted to do my own PARIS project

      I once saw a flying pig in a Pink Floyd concert so technically something must be possible.

      1. Richard Altmann

        Re: I've been tempted to do my own PARIS project

        @Khaptain:Shouting "Das Schwein!! Das Schwein!!" and jumping up and down without end,

        bystanders had to finally drag me to the lawn and dose me with a monster reefer to calm me down.

        First and only time ever, that i lost the plot. The pig must have left the galaxy by now. Thanks for reminding me.

  16. daveake

    Although we didn't do the Guinness thing, Anthony Stirk and I did manage to drop a paper plane from higher than these guys managed - see and Should Lester want to regain his Guinness record he knows who to ask ...

    1. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

      Paper shenanigans

      Tis true:

  17. cray74

    Victory is ours!

    Hah! This'll learn those Brits a thing or two for taking away the land speed record. Totally balances things out.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    watched the video

    the plane didn't fly at all . . it darted, spinning straight into the ground.

    Nice effort, lousy plane!

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