24 May 2020 – Paper Planes

Today I’ve been making paper planes. I could have waited another two days until 26 May for National Paper Airplane Day (US) to do this, but given that Amy Johnson landed in Darwin 90 years ago today making her the first woman to fly solo between the UK and Australia, I thought it more important to celebrate this epic woman now. Although obviously there’s no comparison between a paper plane and a Gipsy Moth named Jason. 

Paper planes are huge. Sometimes literally. The practice is thought to be around 2500 years old having originated in China and Japan. World records for paper planes include distance, time aloft, longest line of paper planes, most paper planes made in an hour, and my personal favourite, most consecutive throws into a bucket (or to give it its correct title, most consecutive times to hit a target with a paper aircraft):

I now want to write a short story just about this moment.

But if you’re a regular reader of this here project, you’ll know just how much paper folding excites me. To quote myself on St George’s Day ‘The only paper folding I’ve ever done really is paper planes, and in hindsight that should have given me a clue as I was pretty shit at that too‘. Although my last attempt had been ‘tantamount to torture’, I prised my mind back open, and set to work.

I chose three: a pointy nose, a snub nose and a stunt plane. The first was called Susanne after the designer’s wife. Susanne was folded by John Collins, aka The Paper Airplane Guy and broke the World Record for farthest flight by a paper aircraft in 2012. I made Susanne out of some old fancy paper I used to print my CVs on and was relatively easy to fold. And she flew awesomely (pity about my aim). 

The second was a recommendation from a Twitter friend who had received it as part of their first week of Aerospace engineering at university. I’m not good with working from diagrams except strangely, flat packed furniture, so I didn’t hold high hopes for this. I used printer paper this time, and kept going wrong between stages 5 and 6. But I finally nailed it, and it also flew exceptionally well. 

With my confidence buoyed, I felt my last attempt should be the Boomerang, also engineered by John Collins, Boomerang cementing the Australian connection. Plus my lovely friend, Michaela said she and her family would throw some planes around over in NSW to celebrate too. 

However, within seconds of the video starting that familiar feeling of folding dread seeped back into my bones. After three goes with the pink paper, I swapped back to printer paper and tried again. It was this one fold that totally spun me off kilter. It just wouldn’t work. So I botched it. And then botched the next fold, and the next, until nothing looked like it should and I lost the will to live. And unsurprisingly, instead of flying round in a circle, it nosedived about a foot away from me. 

I did try and fly the first two outside but the wind wasn’t having any of it. Both only managed to travel a car and a half’s worth away, so I had to content myself with indoor flight instead. My appreciation of paper folding really hasn’t increased, but I’ll be the first to admit that when it works, it really works. 

The Veg Vigil
Firstly, Glorious Barbara, a frequent commenter came up with the new name for my Sunday gardening round up. All hail the mighty GloBarb! And secondly, I found three potatoes when I was watering my grow bag (not a euphemism). On my discovery, my voice went so high pitched the cat woke up. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised, after all I did plant the tatties 15 weeks ago, but I thought all the dying meant nothing was going on. I also didn’t expect them to be so near the surface that a bit of water would uncover them. So at the very least I’ll have a small amount of mash for next Sunday’s Whitsun lunch. 

Other than that, the beans are very beany, the garlic seems to be thinking about it, and the herbs are doing nicely. But the onions are dead, long live the onions. I am really looking forward to getting the light back in my spare room after I’ve harvested the spuds though.


Resources

https://www.foldnfly.com/#/1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-2

https://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/farthest-flight-by-a-paper-aircraft?fb_comment_id=786239468116352_869588083114823

https://disciplesofflight.com/history-of-the-paper-airplane/

https://www.thepaperairplaneguy.com

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2 Comments

  1. Glorious Barbara
    26 May 2020
    Reply

    Ah, you’re making me blush! Spudtastic news re the tatties 🙂

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