45-Foot Paper Airplane Soars in Arizona

12-year-old helps build contraption
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Mar 23, 2012 12:27 PM CDT

(Newser) – Two days ago it was the Bird Man (er, make that the Fake Bird Man); now the Web's flying sensation is a humongous paper airplane, built in part by a 12-year-old boy. Some 45 feet long with a 24-foot wingspan, it may be the biggest paper plane in the world, says the Tucson museum behind it. The giant device was carried 4,000 feet upward by a helicopter over Arizona; upon release, it sped at 98mph for six seconds, the Telegraph reports.

The plane was built by a team that included Arturo Valdenegro, 12, who earned his spot after winning a newspaper contest challenging kids to design far-flying paper planes. "The arresting visual of the paper airplane in flight rekindled the childhood creativity in all of us," says the director of the Pima Air & Space Museum. Called Arturo's Desert Eagle, the paper airplane is "part of our larger effort to inspire America's youth and spark a passion for aviation and engineering in the next generation."

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