From elementary school on, children and adults alike display a fascination with paper airplanes. There’s something about the ability to build a flying machine with nothing more than two hands and a piece of paper that ignites the imagination, leading to some really fantastic creations. While most people limit their paper plane construction to simple projects constructed during idle moments, some take the hobby much further. One of the most daring paper plane projects is set to launch this summer in the United Kingdom. The aircraft will be carried aloft by a weather balloon with a GPS tracking unit attached and then released remotely, with the intention of setting the record for the longest paper plane flight in history.
The GPS tracking device carried by the Vulture 1, as the plane has been dubbed, will send signals every couple of minutes to a computer, allowing viewers to watch the plane’s progress and also to locate it once it has reached the ground. Dedicated plane watchers can follow the flight in real time via their computers as the GPS unit sends each signal rather than waiting for a complete report at the end of the flight.
The masterminds of the project have already given their GPS tracking unit its first test run by carrying it in a vehicle through some remote parts of the country, with outstanding results. Despite traveling through various terrains, the GPS tracking unit continued to transmit and produced an accurate log of its travels. The technology works by sending a signal from the transmitter to a computer and then plotting the unit’s location at each transmission on a map. As launch day approaches, fans of the project can expect a progress map that reports location at each transmission accurately within a few feet.
While most of us will never send a paper plane launching into the sky with a GPS tracking unit attached, still, almost everyone can benefit from the technology that will be carried by the plane. GPS tracking devices can assist in care for the elderly, keep children safe, protect your vehicle, monitor criminals on parole, and keep an eye on the family pet. They provide a measure of safety and peace of mind that can’t be achieved any other way, since they provide another pair of eyes to watch out for the people and things you care about most when you can’t be there.