Flying high with paper planes

Flying high with paper planes

Omkar Rai and Shahid Landge from Goa College of Engineering, Ponda won the Goa Qualifiers of Red Bull Paper Wings 2019. They will now compete at the national finals in April. NT KURIOCITY gets more details


Often considered as just child’s play, making paper planes has now turned into a full-fledged competition.  And Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Stadium, Taleigao recently witnessed the return of the 5th edition of Red Bull Paper Wings 2019- a paper plane competition, after a gap of four years. The tournament saw around 160 participants from across Goa in both the categories - long distance and long airtime. The participants prepared artistically designed paper planes to vie for a place in the finals at national level. Omkar Rai and Shahid Landge, students of Goa College of Engineering, emerged triumphant in the longest distance and longest airtime categories respectively, and will now compete in the national finals in April.

All national final winners will then move on to represent India at the world final in Austria in the iconic Hangar-7, where the world champions will be crowned.

Omkar who is a final year mechanical engineering student decided to participate in the long distance flight category because he observed that the planes that he designed in the trial stage were capable of travelling long distance with ease. As he participated in the event just for fun, he didn’t do any prior research before designing the plane. “The plane had to be made on the spot itself and it took me less than a minute to design it. My only strategy was to make the plane thick and pointed so that it doesn’t go out of the gangway,” he says.

He adds that there are four types of forces that act on the plane while it is in motion. These forces are as follows: Thrust, ie the force which pushes the plane forward through the air; Drag, i e the force which resists the forward motion of the plane through the air; Weigh, which is the gravitational force that pulls the plane downwards; and Lift, the counter force against gravity which lifts the plane. “One of the most important factors that decide the range of the plane is the shape of it wings,” adds Omkar.

While no prize was awarded for qualifying for the national finals, Omkar says that after winning at nationals they will have to compete globally. “Only after winning globally the winner will be sponsored a seven day travel across Europe,” he informs.

Meanwhile, Shahid, a second year mechanical engineering student, decided to register for the event after noticing the announcement at his college event ‘Happenings’. He participated in both the categories and won in the airtime category clocking 5.49 seconds. “I made the paper plane with basic knowledge and it took me around five minutes to make it,” he says. Echoing Omkar’s words, Shahid also says that the plane design should be such that the four force are balanced, then only plane will have long distance and airtime.

Shahid says that qualifying for the national finals has motivated him to perform better going forward. “I always try to further improve the dynamics of the plane, if it does not get the desired results,” he says.