Concrete plane takes flight, makes history

RAPID CITY, S.D. – South Dakota School of Mines & Technology students have made aeronautical history with their concrete airplane recently taking flight.The flight was quick and wobbly with the landing equally erratic, but it was enough for the record books. The 18-pound plane held its own during a crash landing to become the second known concrete plane to fly and the only one to stay intact upon landing.The only other concrete airplane known to have flown was designed at the prestigious Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) in Daytona Beach, Fla. That plane crashed and was destroyed, according to Mines advisor, M.R. Hansen, Ph.D., an expert in concrete design. “My friend, Dr. Mark Fugler, concrete advisor at ERAU, was my inspiration to try this project. Their concrete airplane did fly first and proved that it could be done. Our goal was to do that and have it land safely.”


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