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'[EE]:: [AR] If you find this paper aeroplane,pleas'
2008\01\31@003218 by Apptech

IFrom ARocket.
Worth a read by anyone interested in paper aerioplanes or in
interesting things.

80 miles glide from just under 20 miles high release point
is not bad.

And falling fast enough to end up sticking vertically into a
"packed dirt road" is interesting.



{Quote hidden}

Very interesting.  The best I'd previously heard of for a
paper plane
was a suspected Mach 1.  It was a pretty effective way to
inspire school
kids though.

I was a participant with JP Aerospace back in March 2002,
when we were
invited to participate in the dedication ceremony for the
Spaceport.  That was basically the point where they had
passed the
legislation to get started on turning the Clinton-Sherman
Airport into
the OK Spaceport.  I have pics at

We flew a weather balloon to 95,000' which carried 550 paper
made by Oklahoma school kids.  We recovered about 200 paper
planes in the
same field where the balloon landed (some still in the
balloon basket),
about 10 miles north of El Reno OK and 80 miles ENE of the
launch site at
the OK Spaceport/KCSM Airport.  So the planes around there
were obviously
not trimmed for level flight, and probably got out late in
the descent.
One streamlined paper plane was found sticking straight down
in a
packed-dirt road - we thought some of the streamlined ones
might have
gone supersonic early in their descent.  (But they'd have
all slowed
significantly in the lower atmosphere.)

Here's the part that ties back into the URL you posted, how
to track them...
The balloon had redundant Amateur Radio APRS tracking
devices.  So we knew
where the release point was - where the balloon popped and
started dumping
overboard the basket's contents.  But the paper planes, of
course, were
not equipped with any telemetry or avionics. ;-)

Remarkably, one plane was found on the other side of the
Oklahoma City
metro area, about 80 miles beyond the release point.  So
that one was
trimmed for level flight.  The planes all had stickers on
them saying
something like, "You've found an Oklahoma Spaceplane!  Enter
code xxxxx
at and the child who made it will
be notified
where it was found."  I can hardly imagine how pleased the
child or
children who made that one must have been.

I figured they'd be lucky if 10% of the 350 that were not
found near the
balloon landing site were found at all.  They slightly beat
that guess.
The count was something in the upper 30's.  The statewide
media coverage
and participation from most schools in the state probably
helped with
awareness to look for them in fields.

It turned out to be a popular technical and educational
exercise.  After
we returned home to California, Oklahoma residents
reproduced the event
successfully at least a few times over the next year.  This
kind of thing
can be done anywhere in the world that you can arrange to
fly and track
a weather balloon.  But it helps to have some population in
the downrange
area that you scatter the paper planes over.

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