Provo Municipal Airport hosted Red Bull’s Paper Wings competition Friday and allowed students to test their mettle with the art of making and flying paper airplanes in UVU’s private hanger.
“Red Bull is like obsessed with flying and aviation,” said Aaron Eddy, Red Bull coordinator when asked about the purpose for the competition.
For two years Red Bull and UVU’s Aviation Department coordinated to put together a competition in which students compete in three categories with their paper airplanes: distance, air-time, and aerobatics.
More than 600 college campuses around the world compete to qualify The top 5 from each category will have the opportunity to represent their nation at the Paper Wings Finals in Austria from May 4-5 of this year.
The idea of adults competing with paper air planes may seem childish, but as the paper began to fly it was clear that there is more than just folding involved in making a good run for each of the categories. Other factors such as arm strength when throwing and flap position also played a big role in winning.
Wesley Ballard and Sean Snorgrass won the distance category with a score of 81 feet even. Dave Taylor grabbed a win in air-time with a score of 4.16 seconds, and Maria Jarman took the win for aerobatics.
One contestant, Taylor Jarman, spent a fair amount of time preparing and had folded over 250 airplanes, and spent a month practicing his throws prior to the event.
“It’s ironic, I actually got into aviation probably because I used to make paper airplanes as a kid and had paper airplane kits and things,” Jarman said.
For many it was just a fun opportunity to come out, drink some Red Bull, and make crazy airplanes. For Skyler Pusch, who helped UVU organize the event, it was an opportunity to get the best and brightest from the aviation department together. For Ken Sink of the aviation department it was a chance to get people interested in aviation all together.
“It’s a great opportunity to get people interested in things with wings,” said Sink.
It most certainly was an evening full of flying, Red Bull, music and fun. Whether or not you flew the farthest, highest or most creatively, the whole event, with the help of Red Bull, made for high altitude fun.
By Stephen R Pew
Photos by Connor Allen