Paper airplane flight record attempt set for Fort St. John

John Collins is best known as The Paper Airplane Guy for his world record-breaking paper airplane design and throw with his “arm”, former D1 football player Joe Ayoob in 2012. John became an internet sensation after his paper plane aircraft traveled 226 ft. 10 in., setting the new Guinness Book World Record for longest paper airplane throw, which was previously 207 ft. 4 in. 

More than six years later, John is flying from San Francisco to Fort St. John in northeastern British Columbia to attempt a new world record: 240 feet.

  • Why now? John and Joe are confident they can best the old record by at least 10-20 feet. “In terms of breaking the record, our worst practice day of that year was world record day. We’d routinely thrown beyond 230 feet, and sometimes beyond 240 feet. Adding a couple of meters to the record is likely if conditions are good.”
  • Why Fort St. John? Because his biggest fan and appointed “Senior Paper Airplane Correspondent”, 6-year-old Parker Andrews, asked him to come to his hometown to break the record so he could meet him in-person.

Watch John’s record-breaking attempt on Facebook Live from Fort St. John Friday, July 20 at 9:00am PDT. 

WHEN

  • Friday, July 20, 2018 | 9:00 a.m. MST/PDT (practice throws and streams start at 8:45am)

WHERE

  • Pomeroy Sports Centre, Fort St. John, British Columbia, Canada
  • WIRED, Sports Illustrated and Orbitz will broadcast the throw with Facebook Live
  • ABC News will broadcast the throw on its digital live stream channel, ABC News Live 

WHO

  • The Paper Airplane Guy and world record holder for paper aircraft distance, John Collins (@thepaperairplaneguy). John and his stunt paper planes have been featured on Conan, WIRED, Nat Geo, Discovery, CNN and the cover of the Wall Street Journal.
  • “The Arm” – aka John’s paper airplane thrower and official world record holder, Joe Ayoob. Joe is a former starting DI quarterback at Cal and has been working with John for almost a decade.
  • Senior Paper Airplane Correspondent and John Collins #1 fan, 6-year-old Parker Andrews. Parker called John and asked him to make the record-breaking throw in his hometown of Fort St. John, British Columbia. 

WHAT

Six years after his paper airplane, affectionately named “Suzanne” after his wife, broke the world record for paper aircraft distance, John Collins and Joe Ayoob are ready to best their own record. John famously offered $1,000 (and late night host Conan O’Brien pledged an additional $20) to anyone who could beat his record using his winning paper airplane design. Since no one has claimed the $1,020, John has been in search of a facility with the right conditions and square footage to attempt the record again. He’ll get the chance on July 20th at the Pomeroy Sports Centre in Fort St. John, British Columbia.

The world of competitive airplane throwing is surprisingly regimented. Rules state that John cannot both fold the plane and throw it, hence the need for “an arm.” John and Joe will fly to Fort St. John three days early to practice, set optimal temperature and air flow conditions at the Sports Centre, and fold hundreds of planes in preparation. Joe will practice throwing the planes at several different speeds, and practice with “fresh” planes for upwards of 2-4 hours before the throw.

Viewers watching the event on Facebook Live will see:

  • 8:45-9:00: Warm up and plane selection with John and Joe
  • 9:00-10:00: The World Record throws: Up to 10 attempts
  • 10:00-10:15: Sign off and instant replay of the world record throw(s)

WHY

Last month 6-year-old Parker Andrews recruited his dad to help him find a facility in his home town where John Collins could set the new paper aircraft world record. Parker has watched all of John’s videos on YouTube and knew that John was looking to make another world record attempt soon. With help from his dad Cole, he called John and asked him to come to Fort St. John. John agreed, and now travel site Orbitz is making Parker’s dream a reality by sending John on this trip to meet his biggest fan and break the record.