It’s a paper airplane folding frenzy! On January 26, 2013, the Pima Air & Space Museum will host The 2nd Annual Great Paper Airplane Fly-Off. Children ages 6-14 can put their paper airplane folding abilities to the test by signing up for the competition on-line at www.GreatPaperAirplane.org. Registration for this year’s event will be limited to the first 200 contestants. On the day of the Fly-Off each registered contestant and up to four of their family members will be admitted into the Museum free of charge for the day.
The 2nd Annual Great Paper Airplane Fly-Off will once again be emceed by Ken Blackburn, Guinness World Record holder of the longest time aloft at 27.6 seconds. The competition will be divided into three age brackets: 6-8, 9-11 and 12-14 years old, with each bracket being judged on flight distance. The crowned winner of each age bracket will be awarded a $500 savings bond and their name will be placed on a perpetual trophy in the Great Paper Airplane Project permanent exhibit at the Museum.
“This inspirational project is part of a greater campaign we started last year to interest kids in aviation and engineering”, explained Yvonne C. Morris, Executive Director of the Arizona Aerospace Foundation and Pima Air & Space Museum. “Museums today are not just repositories of our past,” she said. “We must inspire the future. Having kids help us create aviation history is what this project continues to be all about.”
On March 21, 2012 the Pima Air & Space Museum, made history by flying a 45-foot paper airplane with a 24-foot wingspan. “This is the largest ever paper airplane flown”, said Tim Vimmerstedt, the Museum’s Director of Operations and Community Affairs. The airplane was inspired by 12-year-old Tucson resident Arturo Valdenegro, whose paper airplane flew the farthest when he competed against hundreds of children in the 2012 Great Paper Airplane Fly-Off. Arturo got to meet with the engineers who oversaw the design and construction of the 800-pound paper airplane, which flew at an altitude of 2,703 feet and a speed of 98 miles per hour.