Paper airplane flights put students on path to glory

When he woke up Tuesday, the last thing Paul Marchwica expected was to be entering a paper airplane competition. But the master’s student in mechanical engineering read in DailyNews about the Red Bull Paper Wings qualifier in the CAW Student Centre and set to work.

“I researched on the Internet and found the dragon design,” Marchwica said. “It pays to learn from the best.”

His creation flew 21.1 metres to win the longest distance category in the contest, sending him to the national championships in Toronto in April. Winners there will advance to a world championship contest in Salzburg, Austria.

Another mechanical engineering student, first-year undergrad Soham Singh, earned top honours for longest airtime with a plane that stayed aloft more than 6.5 seconds.

“I prefer to make a plane that stays in the air to one that travels far,” he said. “It looks more beautiful.”

Ali Khan won for the most aerobatic design, which rewards fancy flight patterns like loops and rolls.

Watch a video of the Windsor event on the Windsor Star Web site.