Andy Chipling – Paper spacecraft pioneer

Browsing the Imperial College news digest, I was pleasantly surprised to find this gem from the Daily Mail about Andy Chipling of the Paper Aircraft Association. I have fond memories of Andy from his days as a technician at IC, when he would help us each year to organise the C&G Egg Race.

Imperial daily news digest – Friday 24 August 2006


“Plane crazy” The Daily Mail p15 – “This man plans to launch a paperaeroplane into space at 16,500 mph – with a little help from Nasa…

EVEN the most generous of observers would have to concede that Andy Chipling doesn’t look like the sort of man to have a hotline to Nasa…

Ever since he fired off a chance e-mail to Nasa four years ago while working at Imperial College London, Chipling has been trying to persuade the space administration to release a paper airplane into the atmosphere during one of the shuttle missions. Now, the founder of the Paper Aircraft Association believes he may be nearing his goal and says it will be a fascinating way to educate children about the science of outer space.”

A paper craft thrown out of a Shuttle? I have to say, with no drag, I’m not sure what the point is. (In the near-vaccum of space, it’ll go far no matter how much it lacks in aero-dynamic design.) Nevertheless, it has a certain novelty value to it. Go Andy, go!

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