Paper aeroplanes have fascinated children and adults alike around the globe for generations. A simple toy to some, an aeronautics research tool to others, paper aeroplanes can be folded into a variety of designs, from basic darts and gliders to intricate stunt planes and World War II aeroplanes. Turning paper into a flying machine may seem simple, but paper aeroplanes use the same principles of flight as aeroplanes. Whether they are made to set a world record or design a better aeroplane, paper aeroplanes can be educational, interesting and fun.
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The invention of the paper aeroplane is mystery, but Leonardo Di Vinci is often given credit for the feat.
According to the Paper Aircraft Association, a paper aeroplane thrown in space will not fly; it will float in a straight line. Unless it hits an object, it could literally float forever (see Resources).
The record wingspan of a paper aeroplane is 40 feet and 10 inches. The craft flew over 114 feet before crashing into a wall.
Scientists, engineers and students use paper aeroplanes to study aerodynamics. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) sent a paper aeroplane to space on a space shuttle.
Paper aeroplanes can be made in many shapes. According to world record holder Ken Blackburn, aeroplanes in the shape of an "X," a hoop and a "futuristic spacecraft" can all be made to fly (see Resources).
The humidity outside can affect the performance of a paper aeroplane thrown inside.
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