Popular Science’s 140th Anniversary Issue Shows You How To Fold The Longest-Flying Paper Airplanes

by • May 4, 2012 • Random News, ScienceComments (0)3778

The 140th anniversary issue of Popular Science is on newsstands now (May 2012), entitled The New Age Of Flight, and it includes two very special gifts.  The magazine enlisted the world’s top two master paper-plane folders, Takuo Toda (current Guinness record holder for the longest timed paper aircraft flight of 27.9 seconds) and Ken Blackburn (a former record holder and engineer at Florida’s Eglin Air Force Base), to each come up with their best cracks at making a long-flying plane out of a sheet of super-light magazine paper.  For Blackburn’s design, POPSCI writes, “The Blackburn Popular Science 1 (BPS1) is a single-wing glider, designed to float gently from a slow, lofted launch. ‘This,’ Blackburn says, ‘is what the world-record plane would look like if [Guinness] didn’t need the 60mph throw at the start of the flight,’ Though a folded BPS1 looks simple, every fold, fin and flap is integral to maximizing flight time.”  And for Toda’s design, POPSCI writes, “His design, the Hyper Sky King, is a modification of the record-setting Sky King model. Toda focused his attention on setting more weight at the front of the plane, similar to how Blackburn did; he did so by widening the nose of the plane and doubling up its thickness with a few intricate folds at the tip.”  Both planes tested with equally impressive results, and you can read the entire story by visiting Popular Science.  The two designs are included in the May issue of Popular Science, and of course the thinness of the magazine paper is what you really want to get your hands on for the best results, but the POPSCI team is also giving away the two designs in PDF format for you to print out on regular paper as well.  Remember though: each of the planes requires a double-sided printing process, so it’s important to hold each print up to the light and check to make sure the front and back are lined up perfectly.  The following are the PDF links for each of the two planes: Blackburn Popular Science 1 (FRONT)Blackburn Popular Science 1 (BACK), Toda’s Hyper Sky King (FRONT)Toda’s Hyper Sky King (BACK).  For live updates from POPSCI be sure to follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

Source: Popular Science

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