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.
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.
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.