Biggest Paper Airplane: You Should Read Before You Make One!

Rajnandini Roychoudhury
Sep 29, 2022 By Rajnandini Roychoudhury
Originally Published on Dec 13, 2021
Edited by Rhea Nischal
Fact-checked by Pradhanya Rao
Facts about the biggest paper airplane ever made.

What are some of the biggest paper airplanes ever flown?

How were they designed? Who designed these paper airplanes?

The Arturo’s Desert Eagle was claimed to be the largest paper aircraft in 2012. It had claimed the world record then. The Arturo’s Desert Eagle was named after its young designer, who had initially provided the designs.

The grand version of the plane was built by Art Thompson. Art Thompson had helped to build the famed bomber, the B-52.

Though the plane weighs a lot, it is made of mainly cardboard material. The cardboard material used is similar to that of pizza boxes. The grand size of the model resembled the smaller version of the plane built by Lancaster-based Arturo Valdenegro.

The competition was sponsored and conducted by a museum in the month of January of that year. A new world record was created by the employees and students of the prestigious Braunschweig Institute of Technology, located in Braunschweig, Germany.

This record was made in the year 2013. Did you find this article interesting? Keep reading to learn more!

If you like reading this article, you may also like reading about why do people breathe into paper bags and how is paper made.

Fantastic Facts About The Biggest Paper Airplane

What are some of the fascinating facts about the biggest paper airplane? The world's largest paper airplane had a length of 45 ft (13.7 m). It had a wingspan of 24 ft (7.3 m). The weight of the world's largest paper airplane was 800 lb (363 kg).

The design of the plane on a miniature scale was first created by a small boy. Arturo Valdenegro, age 12, first created this design. He is based out of Tucson, Arizona, in the United States of America.

Arturo, the designer of the preliminary version of the world's largest paper airplane, won the contest that was held by a prestigious museum. The Pima Air & Space Museum had arranged for a contest. In this contest, children would compete with each other to decide whose airplane was the farthest flyer.

A team consisting of engineers decided to manufacture a much larger version of the winning airplane. They managed to free the airplane from the helicopter. It was launched with the help of a Sikorsky S-58T helicopter.

The Sikorsky S-58T helicopter launched the plane over the Sonoran Desert. The Sonoran Desert is located in Arizona. The airplane flew at a height of 2,703 ft (824 m).

It flew, reaching speeds of 100 mph (161 kph) for around 10 seconds before crash-landing. The plane, built in Germany, was launched from a platform that was horizontal and located at a height of 8 ft (2.5 m). It flew a distance of 59 ft (18 m).

14 people have spent about 1200 hours building this plane. This German plane holds the Guinness World Record at present. The trials for this plane were conducted in the aircraft hangar located at Braunschweig Airport.

Wonderful Facts About Biggest Paper Airplane

What are some of the wonderful facts about the world's largest paper airplane? When the plane was being readied for its maiden fly off at the designated site, it crumpled under its own weight.

Several adjustments were made on the ground, and finally, the airplane was successfully attached to the lower part of a vintage military helicopter, the Sikorsky S-58T.

The attachment was made with the help of a cable, and the plane was lifted into the open air. The helicopter, Sikorsky S-58T, was incidentally the exact one that was a part of the TV series named 'Riptide' in the 80s.

Initially, it was planned that the largest paper airplane would be released from the tethered cable at a height of 5000 ft (1524 m). However, some difficulties arose. The plane was swaying heavily because of the surrounding wind.

In this situation, it might have proven dangerous for the helicopter. Thus, it was released at a height of about 2,700 ft (823 m).

Even at a reduced height, the paper airplane was able to glide for a time period of about 10 seconds. The paper airplane flew at a speed of at least 100 mph (161 kph) even at a lower altitude. However, it crashed after that.

A cute little paper airplane ready for a short flight in the air.

Most Valuable Facts About Biggest Paper Airplane

What are some of the most valuable facts about the world's largest paper airplane? The team of the Great Paper Airplane Project, which was led by Art Thompson, an aerospace engineer, had initially built a 5 ft (1.5 m) model for trial.

The trial model for the desert eagle project was assembled by hand. This was done to determine how well the project design would prove on a grander scale.

The next part of the project involved the building of a slightly larger model of the desert eagle. This model was a 15 ft (4.6 m) plane. The team experimented with this model on the back of a pickup truck that was moving fast.

It was also launched with the help of a helicopter. All in all, a close watch was kept on the performance of the desert eagle at various levels.

For the final model, a type of corrugated cardboard was used. This kind of cardboard is also referred to as the 'falcon board'. A video was made of the final plane gliding in the air.

Interesting Facts About The Biggest Paper Airplane

What are some of the interesting facts about the biggest plane? The Great Paper Airplane Project was conducted with a motive. It was meant to intrigue and draw young and bright minds towards the engineering and aviation sectors.

Was it successful in drawing the attention of young minds towards the aerospace industry? It seems to have been successful, at least to some extent. Young ones like Valdenegro have shown interest in the industry. Young ones can use the help of a video to fold the biggest paper airplanes.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for the biggest paper airplane, then why not take a look at the biggest muscle in the body or airplane facts?

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Written by Rajnandini Roychoudhury

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English, Master of Arts specializing in English

Rajnandini Roychoudhury picture

Rajnandini RoychoudhuryBachelor of Arts specializing in English, Master of Arts specializing in English

With a Master of Arts in English, Rajnandini has pursued her passion for the arts and has become an experienced content writer. She has worked with companies such as Writer's Zone and has had her writing skills recognized by publications such as The Telegraph. Rajnandini is also trilingual and enjoys various hobbies such as music, movies, travel, philanthropy, writing her blog, and reading classic British literature. 

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Fact-checked by Pradhanya Rao

Bachelor of Commerce specializing in Marketing and HR

Pradhanya Rao picture

Pradhanya RaoBachelor of Commerce specializing in Marketing and HR

With a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from Christ University, Bangalore, Pradhanya's passion for the English language and literature led her to explore the field of content writing, where she has gained extensive experience in writing, reviewing, editing, and fact-checking. She has also earned certifications in Google Ads Search, Google Ads Display, and Social Media Marketing, showcasing her proficiency in digital marketing.

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