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National Paper Airplane Day

Paper airplanes take flight around the world today. Thankfully, it doesn't take an aviation maintenance technician to build and maintain them, since these gliders made of folded paper are the easiest aircraft to build and fly! The creators of the day say that "flying paper planes is an inexpensive, healthy, and stimulating form of entertainment" and that the mission of the day is "to encourage everyone young and old to put down their smartphones and iPads, get off the Internet, put down their Portal guns, and get outside for some primitive fun, tossing paper airplanes around with family and friends—even if for only a few hours one day of the year!"

A paper airplane's design affects its flight. The distance it travels depends on its aerodynamics: it must not have much drag and be light enough so that gravity doesn't make it fall immediately. In order for a paper airplane to fly a long distance, it must have a balance of lift, thrust, gravity (weight), and drag. Lift, drag, and weight are innate to a paper airplane's design, but unlike an engine-powered aircraft, a paper airplane has no thrust. The thrust is provided by the person throwing it. There is no shortage of people throwing paper airplanes today, for it is National Paper Airplane Day!

How to Observe National Paper Airplane Day

Celebrate by making and flying a paper airplane! There are many different designs you could choose from, and you could also experiment with different types of paper. Perhaps you could gather some friends together for a contest. See whose airplanes go the farthest or stay in the air the longest. The artistic merit of the airplanes could also be judged. For some inspiration, you could learn about the paper airplane that holds the Guinness World Record for farthest flight. You could watch the flight that set the record in 2012 and build a replica of the aircraft. Find more information about the day on its official Facebook page.

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