Who hasn't folded a sheet of paper & made paper airplanes? For me it started in first school (kindergarten). At play times (recreation breaks) we'd steal a fist full each of those rough blue paper hand towels from the dispensers then scoot out into the yard. Within minutes the sky around the yard would be filled with blue paper airplanes of many shapes & sizes. I remember everytime we threw them we'd know we would not get them back & would have to begin making more that instant the planes left our hands. It was great fun while it lasted. Of course those of us who made the best fliers would be conscripted into making them for everyone else. Then of course the more we made the more our fun drew to a faster end. It got so bad that the toilets were never re-stocked fast enough to replace the missing paper towels lol.
Buy the time i was around 8 years old my facination with flight (space too) had grown even stronger. We lived (back then) near some local farmers fields which backed onto an old brick 'clay' supply area. Basically some giant pits left over from an old brick making yard a few miles over in the opposite direction. Of course by the time i was old enough to be wandering into such area's they giant pits had long since half filled with water & become miniture wildlife area's. One was named the big pond another the local swimming hole was called the 'dolphin pond', the 'little pond' etc.
The 'clay hole' we called the collection of massive ponds. Anyway. By the time i was 10/12 years old the land was sold off & became a rubbish tip. Yes you guesed it (those who tried anyway) we called it the 'tip'... We'd often roam over there to see what goodies we could root out. Ah the paint fights & other boyhood fun we'd have lol. MY main goal was ply wood. I'd troop back with arm fulls of the stuff some days lol. Once i got the stuff home i'd cut it up & make airplanes from anything with 2 feet wing spans to 4 feet. There was an open patch of ground we called 'the green' that was used for everything from rounders (base ball) to football (soccer) to giant bonfires on Guy Forks nights (Nov 5th) catapult (sling shot) fights & more lol. That all ended when someone brought an air rifle to one games of armies one day, but i digress a little here.
So as my airplanes were getting bigger getting plywood big enough or carrying it was becoming a real problem so i chose the ONLY option open to me i scaled down the airplanes to around 2 feet in wing span. Of course THEN it became the school break time all over again people would turn up with wood for me to make airplanes for them. In then end I was making a little spending money out of it. Of course they didn't always bring the right kind of wood & the planes i made for them never lasted more than a day or two. Then i got the brilliant idea of attaching a length of nylon fishing lines to one wing of the planes. The idea being you stood in one spot & slowly let the line out as you spun the airplane around your head. They only flew in circles but they flew & lasted longer too.
As more people wanted them the supplies of the right wood like the paper towels at school came to an end. I simply switched to stunt kites after that lol. My first real stunt kite was a huge blue 'Peter Powel' stunt kite (http://sweetswheniwasakid.com/1970s.aspx scroll down about half a page to see an example on left of screen). Sadly many local fools would come into the school yard & grab at the tails of my then expensive kites. I would then ahem!, quite naturally dive bomb them. I broke my Peter Powel kites spine twice before i gave up trying to repair it anymore.
So enough rambling about my childhood (some of the good times) & back to the point of this post. A while back i was wondering if i still had the airplane building skills i once had. Can i build an airplane or two that can take a small working model airplane motor & fly? Of course this would not be a fully functioning acrobatic model. It WOULD just be a stake in the ground with a fixed cord on the wing to keep the airplane flying in fixed circles, nothing fancy. I know how to make paper mache as thin as 1mm & NOT warp & still be as strong as several layers of PM. But, can i make some single wing custom airplanes that fly from PM?
I might just take that challange up one day in the near future. For now though i am wandering IS there anyone, any place where people ARE doing this right now? Are there any websites, blogs, group etc where i can find this information to see whats occuring in this field? I am NOT talking about wooden, plastic or even fibre glass etc airplane modelling & flying here remember. I am talking about paper mache'd airplanes that fly. I Am going to have to take the plunge & do some research on this one soon for sure even if it is just a pointless go nowhere curiousity filling research trip lol.
In the meantime anyone know of anythng going on anywhere? Remember 'flying' ACTUAL paper mache airplane models.