back to article Vulture 1: Plane plans planned

The Paper Aircraft Released Into Space (PARIS) team would like to assure readers that we will be providing full constructional details of the Vulture 1 aircraft - just as soon as the thing's finished In response to requests for plans of the beast, we've enlisted some top-notch illustrative and CAD operatives to make sure that …


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  1. playtime

    Sanity check

    Have you talked to any aeromodellers about this? Or even the BMFA? I've a hunch you materials and construction methods are laughably heavy.

    Another scenario amuses me - the volume of air trapped in the straws would expand by a factor of 100 going from sea level to 100k feet. If this had no outlet, the stucture would go pop!

    1. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge


      Well, the total weight of the fuselage as currently seen, with the GPS/APRS unit and FlyCam on board camera is 149 grammes, so it's hardly going to be a flying brick.

      Regarding the air inside the straws - we've already addressed this. Our release mechanism is based on the expansion of air at altitude, and our trip to Qinetiq's hypobaric chamber gave us a pretty good idea of what would happen if we didn't allow air to vent from the structure.

      Accordingly, each void is punctured with a needle, so nothing is going to go bang, trust us.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        What's the battery weight?

        1. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

          Re: Batteries?

          That includes the batteries.

    2. /dev/me


      PARIS has to be created from high quality printer paper, to provide the project with the necessary IT angle. And with PARIS neatly classified as an IT project; well when was the last time you consulted aeromodellers on an IT project? It just wouldn't make sense *shakes head in disbelieve*

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Details, details!

    Please put an end to this speculation.

    Can you tell us the Specific Wing Loading figure?

    The semi-symmetrical wing profie is an interesting choice and have you worked out the centre of lift and centre of gravity lines?

    1. Prof

      Won't somebody think of the dihedral!

      How is the plane going to right itself and get into a good gliding attitude assuming you can't determine exactly how it is going to fall at the point of release?

      And is it going to be set to try and fly in a straight direction or come down in a big spiralling loop?

      1. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

        Re: Won't somebody think of the dihedral!

        Right you lot. We've got the design under control, so you'll just have to trust us on this one. All details are currently classified, so there will be no plans, dimensions, weights dihedral angles, centres of gravity, inside leg measurements or anything else for that matter until Vulture 1 rolls out of the hangar.

        I offer you one word, though: survivability. First and foremost, the aircraft must be able to survive the ascent to 20,000 metres, the conditions in the blue yonder and the descent. The structure reflects that prerequisite.

        It won't be a championship glider, but it'll fly alright, although quite how it'll fly we'll have to wait and see until we've finished it.

        Of course, your constructive comments are always welcome, and we've taken a lot of previous posts on board when mulling our design.

        1. Anonymous Coward

          Fair enough

          20,000 Metres? Wow.

          At that height Indicated Air Speed is about half True Air Speed so it has some accelerating to do !

          It's all very Heath-Robinson and terribly British :o)

          I wish you clear skies.

          1. Mike 102
            Paris Hilton

            Or Spanish

            Actually if you look at the videos you'll see a fair amount of work appears to be 'Hecho en Espania'....

  3. playtime

    Save me re-reading all the previous articles

    What's your wing span and area?

  4. playtime

    @Mark_T - Damn! - Beat me to it!

    Also, shoot the guy who's handling the glue gun. Far too messy. More glue = more weight.

    1. David Ndhlovu

      read first, ask second

      Like seriously, you should go to the Paris articles, re-read everyone from scratch, don't just skim read.

      Its embarrasing to read your comments. Each objection you have brought up has been explained in previous articles.

      Your latest statement about 'shoot the glue guy' is just fail. They clearly stated that they are doing a messy hot glue job in the mock-up of the wing section. They also stated this because they knew fully qualified members of the fail brigade would post stupid comments over the finishing quality on a test mock up.

      Oh yeah, to answer your question, they won't be using hot glue on the wings. It will be neatly secured with epoxy.

  5. Aaron Fothergill

    Record breaking

    I suspect a bit of laziness on the part of the PARIS design team. It's guaranteed to fly 60,000ft at least, so should beat the 27 point something second record for paper aeroplane flight.

  6. Trevor_Pott Gold badge


    Lester's making paper planes. Is Lewis going to be making a big paper boat?

    1. The old man from scene 24

      Nuclear powered

      I hope

      1. James O'Brien

        For that they need to get


        Nuclear reactor with some gun, a bit of twine and duct tape with alittle sodium metal to jump start the reactor

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No se necesita un titulo.

    "(PARIS) team would like to assure readers that we will be providing full constructional details of the Vulture 1 aircraft"

    GPL paper plane?

  8. Jon Double Nice

    I see you're summoning the power

    of the Tri-Force from the Zelda franchise there. Is this to be the next instalment on the DS? "Zelda: Another thing we never really mentioned in any of the games before (in this case, paper planes)"

  9. MPT

    TV tie in??

    All excited now, well not that excited, and wondering if TV's 'Dave' will be showing a Ten part special in the lead up to Christmas detailing the in and outs of 'PARIS', and the trials and tribulations of getting a the project off the ground?

  10. jamieathom


    Let's cut to the chase, development is clearly accelerating and you must by now have some kind of launch date in mind. Isn't it about time we had a Gloriously Tacky Javascript Countdown Thingy beside all the other trash at the right hand side of Reg pages?

    Vulture 1: Countdown


    Till PARIS goes -down- ... er... *up*.

    On actual launch day of course we're going to need one of those Olympic Sized Clocks and someone with a Loud Commanding Voice so you can do the launch commentary properly:

    " balloons primed, ignition and Lift Off! Lift Off of Vulture 1! And PARIS has slid off of the launch pole and is thrusting skywards. The cork has popped and she's coming up fast... some scattered applause from mission control here - there hasn't been this much excitement since Moses parted the pink sea."

    Now is the time to contact Brian Blessed and one of the Big Names in clock manufacture... or perhaps you could do two birds with one stone and ask Channel Four to lend you Jeff Stelling and that big clock he sits in front of*?

    NASA apparently start their countdown a mere 43 hours** or so before launch. Amateurs. We should start now!



  11. mzerod


    Ok, so whos the ham license holder for the APRS unit? and whats the callsign gonna be? :-)

    1. Paul 77


      If I'm *actually* in the country at the time, and it doesn't happen around the time a certain happy event (i.e. the birth of our child) is happening, I would love to have a go at tracking it. Any ideas of a launch site for the actual flight yet?



      1. mzerod
        Thumb Up


        And for those APRS-less, is excellent for tracking on-line.

        73 pe2grt

    2. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

      Re: aprs

      Steve Daniels, callsign G6UIM. More here:

  12. John 181

    Ice Ice baby

    Paper + Water Vapour + High Altitude = Flying block of ice!

    I hope the paper is completely coated because there is a very real chance of it picking up moisture on the way up and then it freezing solid!

    This is not a good thing!

  13. Robert Heffernan

    500 straws, some tissue-paper and dope.....

    ..... Sounds like a friday night out in these parts!

    *Ok, ok, im going!

  14. Ronnie660

    About brass monkeys...

    Did you put your flight electronics in the freezer already? It gets mighty cold up there and most electronic stuff doesn't like -60C...

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