back to article PARIS HAS LANDED!!! Epic supra-atmos flight ends

The Register's epic project to launch a cutting-edge spaceplane fashioned entirely from paper and piloted by an intrepid plastic playmonaut - dubbed PARIS* in honour of our favourite socialite and inadvertent porn star - has come to an end. The main balloon payload launch module is now stationary on a hillside above thick …


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  1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

    Congratulations on a successful launch

    even if it did not separate!

    The Reg: Taking paper airplanes to unprecedented heights!!!!

  2. Lottie


    So far it all seems to have gone well. Have an icon beer because I can't get you one in person!

    Good show chaps!

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    ToDo: Insert creative title here

    Oh no, PARIS is missing!!! I hope teams of boffins around the world are crunching the numbers on their slide-rules trying to find paris and bring her home! Theres never been a paper aeroplane lost in space and it sure as hell isn't gunna happen on our watch!

    *Paris, our generations Apollo 13

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    conspiracy theory

    I wonder if the Playmonaut has done a Steve Fossett and deliberately turned the transponder off and is now living it large under an assumed identity.

  5. Harvey Trowell

    So what are we hoping for?

    Vulture 1 released but the GPS failed and it's lost forever.


    Vulture 1 is found stuck up a tree attached to main payload, is knocked down with a big stick and flies again next month/gets sold on eBay/gets donated to the Smithsonian.

    Place yer bets... either way the 1 looks a good shout right now.

  6. rahul
    Paris Hilton

    PARIS spaceplane disappears...

    Yup, it's gone on to introduce humanity to the rest of the universe... congratulations... for what? For the endeavor.

  7. DZ-Jay

    Man, I missed the excitement :(

    Though I've been awake for a few hours (it's early morning on this side of the pond), I just now hit El Reg's site. I've forgotten about the PARIS morning launch, and now it appears I missed it!

    So... I'm caught up now, but there's still no news on the Vulture 1 and Playmonaut's whereabouts.

    I'm eager to know how it all went, though it appears that it did not go too well. Sorry guys, have a pint or three and relish on the success of the mission: the plane was indeed built and launch, and it hit the ground as warranted; and that's all that counts :)



  8. Ken 16 Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Thick wood?

    Not sparse bush?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    wow this is better than watching the space shuttle return on TV

    you can almost cut the excitement with a knife...awesome.

  10. Adrian Challinor
    Paris Hilton

    The Iberian Triange

    They have one in Bermiuda, so we can't they have one in Spain? PARIS, rose to great heights but sadly missing in action. Does this remind you of anyone?

    Either that or someone forgot to plug in a new duracell before the flight.

    Anyway, did the release balloon really top 81MPH? Maybe the Spanish Police are giving the playmonaut a hard time for speeding. All together now .... "no one expects the Spanish Inquisition".

  11. John Robson Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    Chase car

    " G6UIM-9 - info

    2010-10-28 11:49:37z

    91 km/h 113° alt 851 m

    EA/ PARIS Chase Car (APRSIS32)"

    91 km/h - on that road?

  12. Bracknellexile
    Black Helicopters

    If Found...

    You guys did remember to put an "If found, please return to Vulture HQ" notice on the side of Vulture 1 just in case it got lost, didn't you?

    Didn't you?

  13. Fluffykins Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    Is the frikkin' balloon imaged on Google Maps already?

    Just checked out the Tracking map and the corresponding location on Google Maps, where the baloon transmitter says it is.

    Look at:'+N+4%C2%B019.80'+W&ie=UTF8&ll=40.331497,-4.329987&spn=0.0194,0.031457&t=h&z=15

    That's not the frikkin' baloon imaged there, slightly southeast, is it?

    Conspiracy theory ignition in 5 .......4........3.........2.........<whup whup whup>

  14. Daniel Evans

    Seeing as we have a car and many people with a map...

    Is backseat driving via APRS telemetry permitted?

  15. Bilgepipe

    When the going gets tough...

    Tension mounts as the chase car turns back...

    We need a Police Camera Action helicopter providing live video.

  16. Jon Double Nice

    Playmonaut in the 25th century

    It's pretty obvious, the pilot got sucked through a space vortex or whatever and will return at some point in the future just like Buck Rogers or something.

    1. Anonymous Coward


      Biddy biddy biddy

  17. Anonymous Coward

    Guys you want the M501 to Pelayos de la Presa..

    don't they have google maps in that car?

    Wonder why they turned around in San Martin del Valdeiglesias??!?!

    Roads closed due to UFO sightings?

    1. TeeCee Gold badge


      "Wonder why they turned around in San Martin del Valdeiglesias??!?!"

      Because some disembodied voice asked them to perform a U-Turn and it was indeed possible?

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Leaking news.... reached 89,590ft

      KJ4ERJ-AP>G6UIM-9: I'm seeing 89590 at the hightest. Quite respectable.

      KJ4ERJ-AP>G6UIM-9: And contrary to my earlier suggestion, the tracks antics at the+

      KJ4ERJ-AP>G6UIM-9: peak may have signaled a release and loss of weight. Where/when+

      KJ4ERJ-AP>G6UIM-9: was it supposed to trigger?

      G6UIM-9>KJ4ERJ-AP: we thought 85 at most

      G6UIM-9>KJ4ERJ-AP: we should have had a plane release at around 55

      KJ4ERJ-AP>G6UIM-9: I'll check the track back there and see if there's any anomalies

      G6UIM-9>KJ4ERJ-AP: not a reliable trigger so any sign of a release would be good

      KJ4ERJ-AP>G6UIM-9: The track from 50-60K feet is a steady 300-400 feet per beacon+

      KJ4ERJ-AP>G6UIM-9: climb rate. No sign of release in that range at least.

      G6UIM-9>KJ4ERJ-AP: worth looking elsewhere if you would please

      KJ4ERJ-AP>G6UIM-9: Working on an altitude vs time graph now. I'll keep you posted.


      KJ4ERJ-AP>G6UIM-9: constant ascent rate, I don't think the release occurred.

      G6UIM-9>KJ4ERJ-AP: that was our thinking thanks for the help

      KJ4ERJ-AP>G6UIM-9: Ascent actually slowed at about 9:00 and 12-13K feet. It was+

      KJ4ERJ-AP>G6UIM-9: climbing about 150 feet per point and slowed to about 100 after+

      KJ4ERJ-AP>G6UIM-9: that.

      KJ4ERJ-AP>G6UIM-9: My graph doesn't account for missing points (ie I didn't scale the+

      KJ4ERJ-AP>G6UIM-9: Climb delta by the time interval), so please excuse the spikes. I+

      KJ4ERJ-AP>G6UIM-9: just noticed them and figured out what they probably mean.

      KJ4ERJ-AP>G6UIM-9: Correction, replace 12-13K feet with Meters. Didn't even know my+

      KJ4ERJ-AP>G6UIM-9: own scale.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Anonymous Coward

        To be Continued...

        2010-10-28 12:36:36 UTC: 2E0JXE>G6UIM-9: you driving away from it?

        2010-10-28 12:50:40 UTC: KJ4ERJ-AP>G6UIM-9: Your balloon was hitting most of Spain while flying.

        2010-10-28 13:27:28 UTC: G6UIM-9>KJ4ERJ-AP: alt in metres on that chart?

        2010-10-28 13:27:31 UTC: G6UIM-9>KJ4ERJ-AP: cool

        2010-10-28 13:27:33 UTC: G6UIM-9>KJ4ERJ-AP: got payload

        2010-10-28 13:27:35 UTC: KJ4ERJ-AP>G6UIM-9: Yes, meters.

        2010-10-28 13:27:52 UTC: KJ4ERJ-AP>G6UIM-9: Three Cheers! Intact? Plane still on board?

        dun dun duhhhh....

        1. Anonymous Coward


          2010-10-28 13:43:15 UTC: G6UIM-9>KJ4ERJ-AP: plane released not a scratch

          2010-10-28 13:43:33 UTC: KJ4ERJ-AP>G6UIM-9: Plane released now, or in flight?

          2010-10-28 13:45:58 UTC: G6UIM-9>KJ4ERJ-AP: in flight

          2010-10-28 13:46:18 UTC: KJ4ERJ-AP>G6UIM-9: And the Plane is recovered? From where?

          2010-10-28 13:47:52 UTC: G6UIM-9>KJ4ERJ-AP: plane not recovered yet

          So Vulture_1 is MIA... Now just holding out for a squawk from the beacon, as it seems the GPS has not functioned (no internet or no gps). If they can find it Steve has got his work cut out to triangulate the beacon... wondering how long the batteries will last on it....

  18. Matt_payne666

    so, did it fly?

    its missing, but any indications as to if the thing flew, or just hurtled to earth in the manner of a stone???

  19. Ralph B

    90,000 feet?

    That'd be the stratosphere rather than space proper though, wouldn't it?

    Well done all the same. And the acronym still works.

  20. Bill B
    Black Helicopters

    Goat track

    Yup, watching the car chase and i reckon they have a sat nav in there just about to direct them up a goat track.

    Black helicopter 'cause they may need that to get them off the mountain

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  21. Graham Dresch
    Thumb Up


    Whatever the outcome, we deserve a full Playmobil reconstruction.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Blofeld's Cat Silver badge
      Thumb Up


      With a blow-by-blow commentary from the Playmonaut.

  22. Kay Burley ate my hamster

    How very negative!

    Well done guys, a successful launch, and from the GPS data quite a flight (balloon or wing). Can't wait for the recovery and the stills from the on-board time-lapse camera.

    Have a pint!

    1. Brian Morrison
      Thumb Up

      I think....

      ...that they've already stopped for at least one, possibly more :)

  23. Paul 37

    I'm willing to bet...

    ....that when the plane is retrieved from the tree there's a PlayMobil ape piloting it

  24. Dr. Mouse Silver badge

    Where are they going?

    They seem to have got lost in San Martin de Whateveritis, turned round, then decided to go for a joy ride, completely forgetting where they are aiming for. By my reckoning they should have turned left about 3 miles ago.

    They been at the celebratory vino a little early? Or just as good at navigating as my mother (who often mixes up left and right, and has thrown the map out of the car window on the motorway before)?

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I bet they're in the lee of the hill so no APRS signal is getting to the repeater.

    This APRS thingy looks interesting. Much better than my shoddy GPS over GSM plaything...

  26. nordwars

    Are you guys lost?

    I guess we can't see locked gates from our satellite view. Cos it definitely looks like you turned around when you were going the right way!

    1. Wize

      I think...

      ...they were stopping for petrol, looking at street view.

  27. Graham Bartlett
    Paris Hilton

    How unusual

    Someone rode Paris to her highest point but didn't deploy their payload? I image that doesn't happen very often.

  28. kneedragon

    ?googlemaps data

    I must be reading the info at google wrong, because it seems to say that the little green men have cunningly stashed the paris transponder in the chase vehicle, and for some time, forgot to switch it off.

    Where is the BOFH these days? Not taking a junket in the s of Spain by any chance?

  29. Matthew Smith

    Just missed Transformador

    If the ballon had kept its SE heading for a few more miles, it would have reached a point on the map called 'Transformador'. That would have made a fun ending.

    Well done all concerned.

  30. Tim #3

    More refreshments?

    At this rate they'll be in no fit state to perform a bit of mountain rescue on our intrepid aviator.

    BTW, anyone got any ideas for the next mission yet? It'd be nice if it involved a bit of rocketry this time.

  31. Blofeld's Cat Silver badge


    Looking forward to the write up and photos once the current recovery operation and "Beagle 2"-style search for "Vulture 1" is over.

    Here's to "Vulture 2"!

  32. Tom 7 Silver badge


    on the successful launch of the plastic reinforced with paper vehicle!

  33. Bilgepipe


    The balloon seems to be moving slightly. Has it been picked up by a hungry bear? Or Bigfoot? Perhaps the plastonaut is wandering around the trees in a daze following his epic trip.

  34. james 68

    we want pics...

    or it didnt happen

  35. MaXimaN
    Paris Hilton

    Chase car on the move again

    ...presumably having done all of the chasing and scooped up the payload (and PARIS, possibly).,G6UIM-9&mt=hybrid&z=10&timerange=3600

    Did PARIS fall from the heavens? We must know!

  36. Kurgan
    Thumb Up

    Balloon payload recovered?

    I can see from the map that the main payload has been recovered!

    Now we want photos!

  37. Thorsten

    Plane was released

    2010-10-28 13:43:15 UTC: G6UIM-9>KJ4ERJ-AP: plane released not a scratch

    2010-10-28 13:43:33 UTC: KJ4ERJ-AP>G6UIM-9: Plane released now, or in flight?

    2010-10-28 13:45:58 UTC: G6UIM-9>KJ4ERJ-AP: in flight

    2010-10-28 13:46:18 UTC: KJ4ERJ-AP>G6UIM-9: And the Plane is recovered? From where?

    2010-10-28 13:47:52 UTC: G6UIM-9>KJ4ERJ-AP: plane not recovered yet

    2010-10-28 13:48:15 UTC: KJ4ERJ-AP>G6UIM-9: ah, so "no scratches" is on the launch mechanism and balloon+

    2010-10-28 13:48:15 UTC: KJ4ERJ-AP>G6UIM-9: payload?

    Hmm... with the GPS transmitter apparently not working on the plane, this could be a lengthy search!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      This is brilliant

      A really great alternative to work. Posted as Anon Coward because whilst my job may be as much fun as a guillotine testers, does at least pay the liquid refreshments.

    2. Adrian Challinor
      Paris Hilton

      So when you say "PARIS has landed"

      can we read that as a little tiny bit of journalistic exaggeration?

      What you mean is "PARIS had been released, but we don;t know where it is"

  38. This post has been deleted by its author

  39. multipharious

    Intentional GPS Sabotage!

    Perhaps our intrepid Playmonaut is just happy staying in PARIS for as long as possible.

    Great show! Please reward yourself with more brandy, more pints, and well...more brandy!

  40. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    I know where PARIS is!

    It's slipped through a warp in time to the planet of the apes!

    I bet that right now, our intrepid Playmonaut is holding back the simian hordes with a cry of "Get your hands off of PARIS, you damned, dirty apes!!'

    Since we aren't getting telemetry, I think a Playmobil recreation (perhaps with a melted Statue of Liberty souvenier in the background) is in order!!

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