Feeds

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

Pink missile lunges downward from 31,849m

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000
Through 25 per cent but more is needed: Get your UNIQUE rewards!
LOHAN tunes into ultra long range radio
And verily, Vultures shall speak status unto distant receivers
EOS, Lockheed to track space junk from Oz
WA facility gets laser-eyes out of the fog
Volcanic eruption in Iceland triggers CODE RED aviation warning
Lava-spitting Bárðarbunga prompts action from Met Office
NASA to reformat Opportunity rover's memory from 125 million miles away
Interplanetary admins will back up data and get to work
Major cyber attack hits Norwegian oil industry
Statoil, the gas giant behind the Scandie social miracle, targeted
China building SUPERSONIC SUBMARINE that travels in a BUBBLE
Shanghai to San Fran in two hours would be a trick, though
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?