Making Paper Planes Fly Forever (Or Not)
The blatant oversimplification of basic aerodynamics displayed in a new video implies we'll soon learn what agency, what company, or what individual has decided that showing a paper airplane steadily thermalling over a stove would be a good marketing concept. But, until then, let the debate rage. The video's own description claims it teaches viewers "how to make a paper airplane fly endlessly." It then shows a high-speed version of someone folding a paper airplane before initiating a seemingly perpetual flight. It also notes one very important step along the way. And that, for many pilots, may be where the questions begin.
At a pivotal juncture, the builder creates elevons and folds them to keep the airplane in a turn over an electric stove. The idea promoted here is that, with the burners on, the plane will turn left over the stove ... and maintain continuous flight in the lift created by rising currents of hot air produced by the stove's burners. Pilots might be more inclined to buy into the idea if the builder did not proceed to fold the airplane's elevons in a manner that would cause a traditional aircraft to bank to the right. Of course, the fact that the video is posted by ViralVideoLab may have its own implications. Have a look for your amusement at the video titled "Infinity Paperplane" as it appears to engage in autonomous dynamic soaring over an electric stove.