Takuo Toda ended his 10-trial run on Sunday less than 4 seconds
from his goal of a full 30-second flight for a paper
airplane. The 10cm-long plane was flown in a Japan Airlines
hangar near Haneda Airport in Tokyo, Japan.
Toda is the head of the Japan Origami Airplane Association and
is well-known world-wide for his ability to fold paper
aircraft. The aircraft he flew Sunday followed traditional
Japanese origami rules that require objects to be made from a
single sheet of paper that is not cut or pasted.
The craft did not hit Toda's April World Record flight time of
27.9 seconds, but that plane included a piece of tape.
Although Guiness allows cellophane tape, Toda instead used a new
design and left off the tradition-busting adhesive. The
26.1-second flight was still wrote a record of its own as the
longest flight of a paper-only aircraft.
Throwing the paper airplane correctly is critical to gaining
altitude and achieving a long flight. Toda suggests aiming
upward to allow the airplane to gain altitude before circling
slowly back to the ground. Aiming away from nearby objects is
also a good idea: impacts with aircraft parked in the JAL hangar
ended two of Toda's best throws.
"I will get the 30-second record," Toda said. "It's just a
matter of time."
made headlines by proposing a paper aircraft that could survive
reentry from space. Plans for a 2009 launch to the
International Space Station were put on hold while space agencies
tried to determine how the aircraft would be tracked as they glided
back to the ground.