COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Jeff Lammers folds airplanes with precision.
“You fold them to the center line. About like that,” Lammers explained as he creased an 8×11 piece of paper.
Lammers is an engineer who worked in the 1990s for airplane maker McDonald Douglas in St. Louis. That’s where he met Ken Blackburn who would go on to become his co-author.
“Oddly enough, he loved aviation, I loved aviation,” Lammers said. “Since he was in high school, (Blackburn) held the Guiness world record for the longest flight of a paper airplane.” Blackburn set the record of 28.6 seconds at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.
Lammers convinced him they should make a book together about paper airplanes.
“We talked about the books on the market and there was only one decent one published in the 60s,” Lammers said. “We thought we could do a better book.”
After publishing the book themselves and traveling the nation trying to plug it, Lammers and Blackburn finally got a big publisher in Workman Press out of New York and called it The World Record Paper Airplane Book (Paper Airplanes).
“They made the graphics much brighter and better, ” Lammers admitted. “We thought it would be neat if all the planes were in the book and you just tear them out, fold on the lines and throw them.”
The first book was published 25 years ago. It comes complete with full-page colored graphic pictures and several paper airplane designs — including the world record holder. They’ve made several revised versions of the book since.
“You know the books have been pretty successful. We’ve sold about three million copies in the last 25 years, ” Lammers said.
Now, Lammers has put the tray table up and his chair in the upright position as another project lifts off. He’s recently written and published a travel book of Colorado Springs, Colorado Springs: The Collectible Photo Guide.
“It’s packed with colorful pictures of the places you want to see in Colorado Springs,” Lammers said. “Of course the cover has the Garden of the Gods and Pikes Peak..”
He hopes the book is popular with tourists visiting the Colorado Springs area.
“I know many travel books are long,” Lammers said. “Nowadays you can find all that information on the internet. I wanted a cross between a nice travel guide and something you could take home and keep and remember of the places you did or give as a gift.”
The book was published three months ago and hit local store shelves shortly after that. It’s just over 100 pages long, filled with colorful prints.
“We highlight all the things to see and do in Colorado Springs.”
Like the airplane book, Lammers hopes this book takes off.
“I hope so, that would be geat!” Lammers exclaimed with a grin.
Lammers hopes to start a series of travel books. He’s working on a Florida book now.