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Photos: Folding and flying at paper plane championships

At the world paper plane championships in Austria, 253 athletes from 83 nations push the limits of physics with nothing more than a sheet of standard A4 paper.

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CNET Reviews staff
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1 of 6 Rutger Pauw/Red Bull

Zain Hassan Zaidi from Team Pakistan

For once, there's a competition that rewards people for folding. On paper, the competition at the Red Bull Paper Wings World Finals was fairly evenly matched. But the key for contestants in the two-day paper plane contest was what they did with it.

A total of 253 pilots came from 83 countries for the world paper plane championships, which were held May 1 and 2 in Salzberg, Austria. Judged in categories including longest distance, longest airtime, and aerobatics, it was representatives from Brazil, Japan, and Croatia who proved to excel at folding and flying their sheets of standard A4 paper.

Here, Zain Hassan Zaidi from Team Pakistan launches his plane during the aerobatics portion of the event.

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2 of 6 Mirja Geh/Red Bull

Technique

In this time exposure image, an event participant demonstrates his throwing technique during the competition.
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3 of 6 Rutger Pauw/Red Bull

For the distance

Rahim Shukurov of Team Azerbaijan launches his folded paper plane down the playing field during the distance competition.

Croatian Jovica Kozlica eventually flew the longest distance using the official Paper Plane World Championship paper (80g/m2) with a throw of 54.43 meters. It was Kozlica's second consecutive win.

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4 of 6 Erwin Polanc/Red Bull

Peter Polomsky (Team Slovakia)

Team Slovakia's Peter Polomsky carefully measures and folds his standard A4 paper as he prepares for his next flight.
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5 of 6 Rutger Pauw/Red Bull

Barefoot flight

His bare feet firmly planted on the ground, an event participant aims and fires during the aerobatics category.

Japan's Takeshige Kishlura Kisshii, who took his first ever flight on a real plane traveling to the competition, claimed first place in the aerobatics category ahead of Poland's Tomasz Chodyra, Germany's Waldemar Hoffmann, and the United States' Ryan Naccarato.

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6 of 6 Marcelo Maragni/Red Bull

Longest Airtime

In the longest airtime category, it was Brazilian Leonard Ang who used the 80g/m2 official Paper Plane World Championship paper to loftiest effect. His plane touched down after a flight lasting an incredible 11.66 seconds. Second and third places were claimed by Switzerland's Michael Kummer and Israel's Gil Totan.

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