The official Paper Plane World Championship, Red Bull Paper Wings, was concluded in Salzburg, Austria recently. The World final was participated by three competitors representing Sri Lanka who emerged as winners of the Northern, Central, and Western provinces at the local-level qualifiers.
61,000 participants from 60 countries
The sixth edition of the World Final at Hangar-7 in Salzburg saw a record number of pilots competing in three categories: Distance, Airtime, and Aerobatics. More than 61,000 hopefuls across 60 countries participated at this year’s event. According to the rules, all Distance and Airtime pilots were required to make their plane from identical materials: namely a single, standardised sheet of A4 paper provided by the event organisers. Their task was to create the most aerodynamic shape possible by folding only – no cutting, tearing, glueing, stapling or other such modifications allowed.
Serbian Lazar Krstić takes the win in ‘Distance’ category
Lazar Krstić of Serbia dominated the distance event, launching a first throw of 57.13 metres that no one could top, and then – even though he’d already won – he took his second throw even farther, to 61.11 metres.
In the Airtime category, pilots threw their planes high into Hangar-7’s arched glass ceiling, aiming for the longest time between takeoff and landing. Competing in the Super Final, Rana Muhammad Usman Saeed of Pakistan ended a 10-year-wait for redemption by winning with a time of 14.86 seconds setting a new Red Bull Paper Wings World Final record.
In the Aerobatics competition, pilots had just 60 seconds to dazzle the judging panel, who based their scores on creativity, overall flight performance, and technical proficiency. Music, costumes, props, and multiple types of paper planes were allowed, and Seunghoon Lee of South Korea captured first place in a performance where he wore a formal black tuxedo.
Sri Lankan participants grateful for Redbull
Manitha Abeysiriwardana and Senesh Weerasiri who represented Sri Lanka at this year’s event thanked Red Bull for giving wings to them to experience an international event. “We’ve been making and flying paper planes since childhood; never imagined we’d be representing the country one day. We are very grateful to Red Bull for the opportunity and will surely aim higher next year!”
What is Red Bull Paper Wings?
Red Bull Paper Wings invites students from around the world to a global paper plane championship. The idea is simple and ingenious at the same time: Participants must make a plain sheet of paper fly as far, as long or as artistically through the air as possible. All national winners of the three categories – Distance, Airtime and Aerobatics – are invited to the World Final in Austria at the iconic Hangar-7, where the new world champions are crowned.