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NEW YORK – Reggie DeSalvo, an American aerospace engineer from New York, flew across the Atlantic Ocean on a paper plane!

DeSalvo took off from New York’s LaGuardia Airport at 9:00 yesterday morning and arrived in London’s Hearthrow Airport at midnight. He said the flight was an attempt to set a new world record.

An engineering professor at Carnegie Mellon University in New York, DeSalvo said he got the idea after one of his students threw a paper plane at his chalkboard during a lesson.

“I couldn’t help but stare as the paper aircraft sailed across the room and smashed into my face,” he said. “I was so impressed with the physics of paper airplanes that I set to work that night.”


DeSalvo built his plane using 100 sq yards of construction paper, which he folded using a forklift and crane. He spent a total of 36 days working on the project in his brother-in-law’s boat warehouse. The completed project weighed a total of 700 lbs. and had a 75 ft. wingspan. It even was even furnished with a paper cockpit, paper control pad, and paper lavatory.

The plane cost around $250 in total, DeSalvo said.

After researching the history of transoceanic flight, DeSalvo decided to test his paper creation by flying it Across the Atlantic Ocean, knowing full well that he was up against the odds.

“I’ve heard horror stories of people trying to cross the Atlantic in hot-air balloons and hangliders,” said DeSalvo, “but never in a paper plane. I wanted to take my chances and be the first one to do it.”

DeSalvo was right: never before had anyone flown such a long distance in a paper plane. The previous record for paper-airplane flight was only 11 ft.

Still, DeSalvo remained undaunted.

On January 11th, he and his brother-in-law, Mark Gershwin, rented a semi-truck and drove the paper airplane to Laguardia Airport, where they rigged the paper airplane to the back of the semi-truck with a detachable cord. DeSalvo then had Gershwin tow him behind the truck. When the paper plane caught lift, DeSalvo detached the cord and began his transatlantic flight.

Upon touchdown in London, DeSalvo told WWN reporters that the ride across the Atlantic was “safe and smooth.”

“I didn’t encounter any problems during the flight,” he said. “I did become nauseated at one point, but that’s only because the in-flight movie was The Notebook.”