Women of Aviation prep for paper airplane recordWomen of Aviation prep for paper airplane record

Pilots are polishing their paper airplane-folding techniques for a March 8 Women of Aviation Worldwide attempt to make the most paper airplanes in 15 minutes. Photo courtesy of Women in Aviation International.

Aviation enthusiasts are polishing their paper airplane-folding techniques in advance of a March 8 Women of Aviation Worldwide attempt to make the most paper airplanes in 15 minutes.

The idea is to support women in the aviation industry during the organization’s worldwide awareness week and the details are simple enough—for men, women, and children to build three symbolic pink paper airplanes each, and in as many time zones as possible from 12:00 to 12:15 p.m.

The organization, which is partnering with Women in Aviation International, is actually attempting three different challenges at the same time—most people making a paper aircraft, most paper aircraft built simultaneously, and most paper aircraft built within 24 hours.

The Guinness World Record attempt at constructing the most paper airplanes will be a simultaneous event, meaning women and men around the world will try for a 24-hour total that bests a 2014 record set by a Southeast Asia business services firm.

It’s all in honor of the anniversary of Harriet Quimby’s achievement of earning a pilot certificate from the Aero Club of America in 1911, which made her the first American woman to earn her wings. The Michigan pilot and journalist also became the first woman to fly across the English Channel.

“We really wanted to get our chapter involved in the Pink Paper Plane Challenge because not only is it a great way to raise awareness about the amazing strides women have made in aviation, but it’s a chance to help set a world record. Who can turn that down?” said Kristen Bodnar, Women in Aviation—AOPA Chapter President. “And besides, we’ve all thrown paper planes around the office at one point or another, but at least this time it’s for a good cause.”

Employees of Deloitte Southeast Asia, a member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Ltd., hold the current 15-minute record, according to Guinness, after participants each folded three paper airplanes for a worldwide total of 3,067 to help illustrate teamwork.

There are other paper airplane records that stand to be shattered at some point. Guinness recognizes David Green for the highest paper airplane flight. Green launched his craft from 114,970 feet for a high school science club activity in 2015. Takuo Toda of Japan set an indoor world record for flight aloft in 2010 with his gliding time of 29.2 seconds, besting American aeronautical engineer Ken Blackburn’s 1998 record, according to Guinness.

There are no age restrictions and no memberships required. For more information and rules, see the website.

David Tulis

David Tulis

Associate Editor Web/ePilot
AOPA Associate Editor Web/ePilot David Tulis joined AOPA in 2015 and is a private pilot who enjoys vintage aircraft, aerobatic flying, and photography.
Topics: Aviation Organizations, Events

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