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  Laser-powered paper aeroplane takes off
Updated 10 June 2002, 21.31
Paper aeroplane
Wacky boffins in Japan have decided the boring old paper aeroplane isn't quite hi-tech enough.

So they have found a way to use a laser to give their plane more power on take-off than a simple throw with the hand can produce.

  Click here for a template to build a cool paper plane

The plane itself is tiny, and is made of tin foil, and uses a little drop of liquid on its surface as fuel.

The scientists fire a blast from the laser at the drop of liquid, which heats up and sends the paper plane off with fiery kick-start.

Planes could one day monitor volcanoes

The experiment was reported in the science magazine Nature, who said that once the plane has taken off, it can't be given any more power by the laser.

Eventually it is hoped the technology can be used to help monitor volcanoes or weather changes where it's difficult to send scientists.

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