Feeds

Cheeky LOHAN chaps in gutsy snatch at El Reg's paper spaceplane crown

Pink missile lunges downward from 31,849m

Build a business case: developing custom apps

In an audacious and extremely cheeky high altitude operation over the weekend, Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) team members Dave Akerman and Anthony Stirk had a pop at our Guinness World Record for the highest-altitude paper plane launch.

The SNOW aircraft

The underside of the SNOW aircraft

The pair's SNOW aircraft - hewn from fetching pink card and packing one of Anthony's lightweight PAVA trackers (more here) - was launched from Brightwalton in Berkshire attached to Dave's CLOUDY payload, complete with the traditional Raspberry Pi and Picam rig.

The balloon and payload just before launch

The mission was a "floater", designed to level out before balloon burst and invade European airspace; something of an Anthony and Dave speciality.

The aircraft release was executed at a predetermined longitude via a resistor cut-down, some 31,849m (104,500ft) over the North Sea, from where SNOW glided to earth in Holland.

Map showing track of the flight from the UK to Europe

Map showing the track of SNOW over Holland

The CLOUDY payload's batteries eventually gave up the ghost over the Ukraine, and the balloon "probably burst soon after that, landing in or near the Caspian Sea".

Splendid stuff, and there are full gory details from Dave here and Anthony here.

So, the question is: did SNOW break the Paper Aircraft Released Into Space (PARIS) record? Well, although the aircraft was tracked pretty well to the ground, it hasn't yet been recovered. This may not be a prerequisite for the title, but we think Guinness will demand some vid of the release, as it did when our plucky playmonaut glided into the history books from 27,307m.

We shall see, but we invite readers to offer a toast to this excellent mission. Previous attempts on the record - including the University of Southern Indiana's ill-fated Geronimo, and our own Covert High Altitude Vehicle (CHAV) stratodangle - have demonstrated just how tricky it is to successfully launch paper aircraft from the very brink of space. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Boffins attempt to prove the UNIVERSE IS JUST A HOLOGRAM
Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?
Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000
Through 25 per cent but more is needed: Get your UNIQUE rewards!
China building SUPERSONIC SUBMARINE that travels in a BUBBLE
Shanghai to San Fran in two hours would be a trick, though
LOHAN tunes into ultra long range radio
And verily, Vultures shall speak status unto distant receivers
SpaceX prototype rocket EXPLODES over Texas. 'Tricky' biz, says Elon Musk
No injuries or near injuries. Flight stayed in designated area
Galileo, Galileo! Galileo, Galileo! Galileo fit to go. Magnifico
I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me. But at least I can find my way with ESA GPS by 2017
EOS, Lockheed to track space junk from Oz
WA facility gets laser-eyes out of the fog
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.