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Giant paper "Eagle" flies over Arizona

CASA GRANDE, AZ (Tucson News Now) - It was a short flight, but a memorable one for the team behind a giant paper airplane project.

"Arturo's Desert Eagle," A 45-foot paper airplane with a 24-foot wingspan, was launched Wednesday by a team with the Pima Air & Space Museum.

Aeronautical engineers designed the plane, inspired by 12-year-old Tucson resident Arturo Valdenegro.  His paper airplane flew the farthest when he competed against hundreds of children in a contest held at the museum in January. 

The 800-pound paper airplane flew for about six seconds at an altitude of 2,703 feet and speed of 98 miles per hour.  The falconboard paper airplane got into the air with help from a  Sikorsky S58-T helicopter that released the airplane to fly independently.  The launch was delayed by problems related to the winds, and the engineering team had to reinforce the craft before taking it up.

The public can view the larger-than-life paper airplane in person when it goes on display at the Pima Air & Space Museum later this spring.

For more information on the Great Paper Airplane Project visit

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