back to article LOST Vulture One PARIS spaceplane FOUND!!!

The Register's epic Paper Aircraft Released Into Space (PARIS) project ended in glorious triumph this afternoon as our Spanish ground pursuit team finally discovered the landing site of Vulture One, the cutting edge stationery spacecraft piloted by our intrepid playmonaut. Following a nail-biting few hours in which Vulture One …


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  1. Lottie


    Congratulations on finding it!

    Now I can get on with some work instead of updating the Reg homepage every couple of mins.

  2. Adrian Challinor
    Paris Hilton


    Well done all concerned. This is a major step forward for playmonauts through out the world.

    And now the words we have all been waiting for: PARIS - higher than a kite!

    Congrats all round.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    appallingly successful.....

    I love that phrase!

    On a personal note I'd just like to say that you are all completely barking mad

    1. Darryl
      Thumb Up

      me too

      I'm adopting that phrase for use in case something I'm involved in actually works

  4. IglooDude


    Drinks all 'round!!

  5. Peter Simpson 1

    Well done, that plymonaut!

    And the support team as well. Not surprising at all that the radio guy saved the day.

    73s to all and now, to find the nearest pub!

  6. Flugal
    Thumb Up


    Best bit of news I've had all day!

    Congratulations to all.

    1. Code Monkey

      My thoughts exactly

      It'd have been a goner if it wasn't for that brave, brave Playmonut

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Up

        A Hero!

        I heard he skilfully steered the damaged aircraft away from a school on the way down

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Thumb Up

          A _primary_ school

          with a "who has the cutest kitten" competition going on that day.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    This has been great today, can't wait to see pictures and video

    Well Done all (except the driver, who's obviously some kind of junkie pisshead)

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

      Driving Miss Paris

      Correct. I'm the driver, although I've been off the smack for six months now.

  8. Jimmy Floyd

    Great work

    Well done, those hacks.

  9. Lyndon Hills 1

    The Right Stuff

    Only one small hole in the wing, European construction at it's best. You guys could teach NASA a thing or two.

  10. Anonymous Coward

    One small step for playmobiles

    One giant leap for paper kind.

    Did he bring back any souvenir?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Playmobile re-enactment...

    ...or it didn't happen

    1. Mike Sallman

      re Playmobile re-enactment

      Nah, we need a Live re-enactment. With Lester playing the role of Playmonaut, perhaps?

      Well done!

    2. krza

      But it did happen ...

      And I believe this might be the first-ever recursive simultaneous Playmobil enactment/re-enactment. Well done, probably my favorite "white paper" ever!

  12. ColinP

    Best news all year

    Beats those Chiliean miners any day

  13. benzaholic


    Maybe you Brits ain't so bad after all.

    Nice bit of work, y'all.

  14. Dan 10

    Fantastic stuff

    Have one for me, looking forward to images etc

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I can't help wondering..

    ..If two craft were made for this eventuality, you know, to fake a success? Conspiracy theorists etc...

    It is what I would have done.


    1. marschw


      I heard they faked the recovery on a sound stage. On Mars.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Onwards and upwards!!

    PARIS II - with real-time video streaming !!

  17. Andrew Stevenson

    Bravo Bravo

    Well done

  18. Charlie van Becelaere
    Paris Hilton

    We'll Always Have PARIS

    Enough said, no?

  19. Simon Harris
    Thumb Up

    I'm confused...

    will the re-enactment be done with Playmobile, or in this case will you have to use real people?

    1. Number6

      Real People

      If you use a real person, I have a list of candidates that I would like to be considered for a trip to the edge of space and dropped as part of a paper aeroplane.

  20. Uk_Gadget
    Thumb Up

    Well Done...

    Everybody here in Westminster applauds your triumphant acheivement.

  21. EddieD
    Thumb Up

    Utterly bonkers

    but utterly cool!

  22. Jason Bloomberg
    Thumb Up


    I presume a suitable email has been dispatched to those whose failure inspired El Reg to take PARIS to great heights ... though it's been a while so I cannot even recall the details!

    Well done El Reg and team. A great victory for Britain, er Spain, er ... all concerned.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    title that!

    F5, F5, F5, F5, F5, F5, F5

  24. DJ 2

    Small hole in the wing,

    The PARIS space program will have to be grounded while the safety of the aircraft is assessed.

    Well done now let's see you on the news.

  25. Olafthemighty
    Thumb Up


    Go Spaceteam Reg!!!

  26. MrCheese

    Congraturuddylations to one and all!!

    I'd have been lost had Vulture 1 not been recovered after all the effort that went into this awesoem project! Hearty pats on the backs for the entire PARIS team, very glad to hear that from the minor damamge it must've flown rather than fallen :D

    Here's beers, to go with Iberian Vino Destructo!

  27. Anonymous John
    Thumb Up


    the Vulture has landed.

  28. Stumpy

    Well done all...

    Hearty congratulations to the team and aircrew.

    What's next for the intrepid playmonaut?

    ... Beagle III ?

  29. Anonymous Coward

    A great step for (the playmobile) mankind.

    Another round for that table please!

  30. Mike Moyle


    Next up: PARIS II -- Orbital Insertion!

  31. Tim Bergel

    Nice one

    Enjoy your well-earned booze & send us pics soon please.

    ... or it didn't happen ...

  32. Y0ur M4


    PARIS II – Plastic Akula Released in Sea.

    Surely our intrepid playmonaut could reach the depths of the sea since he has already made it into space.

  33. grum1965
    Thumb Up

    Well Done everyone

    Looking forward to the piccies

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Superb work, well done team

    I trust you will be sending large quantities of humble pie to all the naysayers

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    airrame by NASA?

    this thing looks to have had a worse glide ratio than an American space shuttle

    fire for crash 'n burn

    1. Will Leamon

      Here's your title.

      As opposed to all those other space shuttles out there?

      1. Anonymous Coward

        A right Le(a)mon

        Like the Buran perhaps.

      2. Anonymous Coward

        @Will Leamon

        Try looking up "Buran".

        America is not the only country to have ever built a space shuttle. Yes, Buran is no longer flying (it only flew once and was destroyed when its hangar collapsed), but in a few months that will apply to the American shuttles too.

        1. Will Leamon

          Ok I'll bite

          So what was the glide ratio on the Buran then?

        2. Will Leamon
          Thumb Up

          1 cup of title

          I can't believe you're going to compare a program that built six shuttles and flew them for 30 years to a program that built one shuttle that flew once and then died in a hanger fire. Sometimes it beggars belief the lengths people will go to belittle U.S. accomplishments. It was a stellar program that will (hopefully) continue on in new ways for another 30 years.

          Just with more robots and RC cars. How cool is that?

      3. Vladimir Plouzhnikov


        Like the Russian ones...

  36. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    Oh jolly good show

    Sadly I was unable to attend the Internetty live show as I had to wor... wo.. (sorry just can't seem to get the word out).

    Apologies for not supply my total attention and therefore failing to bite my nails in the appropriate manner when it was feared our brave playmonaut might be lost forever.


    Will s/he be taking interviews? Is there a book or film contract in the offing?

  37. vincent himpe

    hooray !

    next endevour Mars ! , or do we go all the way to Uran... stop giggling like a kid ! this is serious science !

  38. TimeMaster T
    Thumb Up


    Where is the photo of the grinning pilot walking towards the rescue team as the smoking wreckage of his downed aircraft burns picturesquely in the background?

    Surely he had the Right Stuff.

    Kudos on the success, and on the imagination to even make the attempt.

  39. Beelzeebub


    It didn't come down here, so it does not exist. pfffft!

  40. Pirate Dave Silver badge

    Great job

    congrats on the recovery.

    question though: who will play the part of the Playmonaut in the Playmobile re-enactment of the Vulture-1 flight? I'm hoping for Optimus Prime, but that's just me.

  41. Gavin Jamie

    Simply brilliant

    I can't have been the only one spending the day wishing I was hurtling through the Spanish countryside and beating my way through forest. Blair Witch?? It was more sleeping beauty in my head as I tried to rescue PARIS.

  42. b166er

    Tit le

    So, only a small hole after re-entry, bravo!

    1. Thorsten

      Small hole

      Better a small hole after re-entry than before (cf. Columbia)!

  43. Robin Bradshaw
    Thumb Up

    Superb effort!

    Congratulations on your successful near space adventure, are you planning on branching out into the sub orbital flights market :)

  44. Peter Simpson 1


    "hell-bent on celebrating their achievements with suitable liquid refreshment. However, they've promised that on reaching an area with good mobile data coverage they'll update this report with near-real-time imagery of events as they unfolded."

    Looks like they found a bar before they found the mobile data hotspot.

    Well deserved.

  45. Jellied Eel Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Delightfully bonkers!

    So, chat show appearences, book launch and movie deal sorted?

  46. NoneSuch Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Next project...

    Now that PARIS has landed, onto the next project:

    A Slinky down Mount Everest.

  47. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    Most annoying...

    Been on a job interview all afternoon, miles from home, so this is the first I've seen of the mighty chase.

    Congratulations all round, and one of these for the intrepid aeronaut!

  48. thecakeis(not)alie

    Good stuff!

    Many congratulations!

  49. TX_SS

    The Next Step

    .. is of course Playmobile space tourism.

    Congrats boys, well done !

  50. Trevor_Pott Gold badge


    Many congrats. Now it is time for Lester to get a homebuilt boat. (Nuclear carrier with proper catapults, natch...)

  51. Thorsten


    Congratulations all round!

  52. F111F
    Thumb Up


    small plane for giant fall/glide for plastickind!

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Here is the video of the build and flight...

    Stardust -

    1. Neil Barnes Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      @ Here is the video of the build and flight...

      Brilliant, as long as you watch with the volume down!

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    LOST Vulture One PARIS spaceplane FOUND!!!

    "Reg scribe John Oates, embedded with the mobile team, breathlessly reports that Vulture One landed "almost completely intact", having suffered only a minor "hole in one wing"."

    Shot down maybe?

    Culprit ->

    Anyhoo... Congrats to the PARIS team.

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    So now that that is done......

    Some ideas for a suitable follow-up:

    1. Asking Richard Branson if he wants to sponsor PARIS II, or maybe just take over the PARIS program entirely. He could probably get the real Paris to show up for the festivities! This would lead to:

    2. Pictures of Paris Hilton giving a big welcome back kiss to Playmonaut! (Just a kiss, Paris!!)

    3. Knighthoods or peerages all around for Playmonaut and the PARIS team! (Doesn't Buckingham Palace hand those things out like toy suprises in kid's cereal?)

  56. Johnny Canuck
    Thumb Up

    Thumbs up!

    Truly an exciting development in dirt cheap aeronautical engineering! Can't raise a glass to you tonight as I have to work the midnight shift but Friday when the pics (and hopefully video) comes out I shall raise several glasses of the traditional Canadian coma inducer - rye and coke.

  57. Bilgepipe
    Thumb Up


    Next stop, Mars!

  58. Steven Jones


    Hasn't Lewis pointed out that you could have bought an off-the-shelf one from the US at a third of the cost and with the electornics (on board camera) working properly and it could have been delivered in a quarter of the time.

    Where's his column on this scandal of waste?

  59. Adrian Esdaile

    Who needs a Virgin when you have a Vulture?

    Chuffed to hear Vulture 1 rode PARIS so high and long, and survived the come-down.

    Can we expect pics of Playmonaut (What IS his name?) reclining in a full schooner of ale?

    PS. I watched the flight live via the intertubes last night, with my wife cheering on as well. My those jet streams have some poke, don't they?

  60. Winkypop Silver badge
    Thumb Up


    The right stuff indeed !!

  61. Beanzy
    Thumb Up

    A triumph in paper and plastic.

    Well done all.

    How's the collective hangover?

    Did you get pics of the fame-crazed pilot snorting a line in the men's bogs? or falling out of the limo surrounded by a threesome of loose floozies.? Surely the pilot will be hounded by the 'paper'azzi now.

    ......In fact that could solve the photos problem for Vulture II; those snappers have got really long zoom lenses, or they could be dropped out of a baloon on vespas to chase the plastic pilot.

  62. Big-nosed Pengie
    Thumb Up

    The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

    Well done, chaps!

  63. Eddy Ito

    Have another boys!

    Bravo! Well done! etc. etc. Now then, out of curiosity, assuming you have accurate release data, a 6 km jaunt equates to what exactly as a glide ratio?

    Bah! It's beer-thirty, lets enjoy another round to celebrate just how sturdy that little craft is. I must say, having seen the LZ, I'm rather surprised to see her in such good condition. Bloody fine work lads.

  64. VeganVegan

    PARIS rocks!

    Congratulations on a typically-daft British endeavour.

    Let's see: PARIS was released at near 90,000 ft (a bit more than 27 km), and landed just 6 km from the balloon.

    Ignoring the usual complicating factors (wind, and spiral flight, especially), PARIS has a glide ratio of 6/27=0.22. That's even less than the Apollo space capsule. PARIS rocks! (or at least she falls like a rock). It's a miracle that she survived with just one small hole.

    1. mmiied

      not true

      not true it could have flown in circles till the pilote is debreifed we will not know the true epic adventure (are the movie rights still avaible?)

  65. HRH Martin

    Well done

    Well done!

    Now, given all you've achieved with so little, have you thought about bidding for MoD contracts?

  66. Pet Peeve


    It's in really amazing shape! Is there any recoverable onboard telemetry so we can find out if it flew or simply plummeted with style?

  67. Z80
    Thumb Up

    [Fist pump]

    Splendid stuff chaps.

    I hope the Vulture One GPS kit logged its flightpath - I'd like to see how she went down.

  68. BorkedAgain
    Thumb Up

    Well done!

    Well done indeed. A fantastic, triumphant end to an epic effort.

    More than ever, I wish I had your job. And I actually like my own job... :D

    (Wanders off humming "I like PARIS in the fall...")

  69. VMax

    Brilliant work!

    I'm relieved that all are home safe, but still... Paper space plane with playmobile pilot lost returning to earth. Possibly still circling the earth looking for a place to land. Could become the stuff of legend, re-told by geeks at pubs around the world.

  70. Randomyachtie

    Exclusive Pilot Interview

    Some f**king genius had the great idea of welding a couple of steel plates onto our deck to keep the General safe from ground fire…

    Well, it was like trying to fly a freight train. Ok? Gross overload, trim characteristics all shot to hell. I nearly broke both my arms trying to keep her level. And when we released, you know, I tried as hard as I could. Tried to gain some altitude and still keep her from stalling, but we came down like a f**king meteor. This is how we ended up.

  71. C. P. Cosgrove
    Thumb Up


    Brilliant !

    And a happy ending !

  72. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Thumb Up


    Considering the buffeting she must have taken (no sniggering at the back there) PARIS is seems incredibly undamaged.

  73. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    And the Reg chose to do these things

    Not because they are easy, but because they are hard.

    Well done!

  74. Kurgan
    Thumb Up


    Now, time for data analysis. We (well, I) want to se the graphs, want to read telemetry data, want to to see the pics and videos!

  75. koncordski

    There's only one hole in PARIS?

    Survived intact, congratulations from the Docklands tracking station. Do we all have to work now? Oh wait it's friday, that's all right then.

  76. Patrick O'Reilly
    Thumb Up

    To Madrid, and beyond!

    Congrats to the Vulture 1 team, it was one small flight for a toy, one giant leap for Playmobilkind

  77. Anonymous Coward

    Is this a Tory conspiracy?

    To justify budget cuts by proving that science can be done using nothing but paper, rubber and red wine. Lib Dem additional - don't forget the beer and the jolly old trip to Spain.

    But a great bit of bodging, lads. Great stuff. Personally I felt that insufficient use duct tape jeopardised the mission* but you did it anyway.

    * - Insufficient use of duct tape. or IDT as we know it, is the reason they can't find that Boggs Hissom follicle at CERN, of course. No duct tape in those tunnels at all.

  78. James Micallef Silver badge

    Congrats all round

    And pints :)

    Looking forward to any photo / video footage from plane and/or mother ship?

  79. Andrew Newstead

    What can I say...

    that has not been said already. Absolutely brilliant gentlemen and an example to us all. I hope that you've all got suitable hangovers this morning, here's another one!

    Congrats from the Chesterfield tracking station.

  80. kneedragon

    One small step.

    As a patriotic Australian, I feel it's only my duty at this moment to mock and belittle your efforts.

    ... Aw, stuff it! Good on yers. I've enjoyed the whole adventure. I hope Richard Noble feels suitably inspired. One Giant leap for Playmanaut kind.

  81. Graham Bartlett


    Only one that's worth commenting on, anyway.

    Congrats to the team - looking forward to the vids.

  82. Bill Fresher


    I jumped out of a balloon from 90,000ft this morning, without a parachute, and didn't even get one ickle scratch when I hit the ground. I didn't film it because the video camera had problems with the low temperatures.

  83. Gusty O'Windflap


    but be careful, I watched The Quatermass Experiment last night, you do not want a rampaging Playmonaut on your hands

  84. Am

    Congrats to all

    Glad plane and playmonaut are found :)

  85. Shakje

    It's nice of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall to help you,

    didn't realise he'd cut his hair short.

  86. Peter Mc Aulay


    Congratulations and beer all around!

  87. Francis Boyle

    The title

    is obviously crying out for an "ON THE MOON" at the end - perhaps a subtle hint as to the direction of your next challenge?

  88. Radelix

    Well done

    I offer my my humble congratulations from the west coast of the USA. Well done indeed.

  89. chrisjw37

    The score so far

    Flight Physics 1

    Technology 0

  90. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Mine's a Budvar

    I see a distinct comparison between PARIS having landed safely in the pine forest and those photographs we see of children's soft toys that just happen to have landed safely on top of terrorist bomb sites.

    If you don't believe me, then ask yourself, why is the search-and-rescue team running towards the camera?

    Come on, Reg, you can fool some of us into buying you free beer but we weren't all born yesterday.

  91. heyrick Silver badge

    Can I make a suggestion?

    Get one of those cheap'n'cheerful fixed-focus digital cameras that does MJPEG at 640x480 (or maybe 320x240 if it's a slow image processor?). Pop in an SD card. You should get reasonable results with a 2Gb (in case crap-cam can't hack SDHC). Pop it in the nose of the plane. Just prior to release, switch the thing on and into video mode (can somebody pop a hand out and prod the buttons? is this possible?).

    Then let the good times roll!

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