Free trip to Austria awaits SAR's high-flyers

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 29 March, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 29 March, 2006, 12:00am

Throwing paper planes might sound like bad behaviour, but a new contest has given students the opportunity to indulge in the activity - and win a trip to Austria.

The winners of three categories at next week's Red Bull Paper Wings Hong Kong 'Qualiflyer' will be awarded all-expenses-paid trips to Salzburg, Austria, to challenge champions from 48 countries for the world title in May.

The competition, for university students, will determine which plane flies the farthest (longest distance), which one resists gravity the longest (airtime), and which one takes the most elegant path through the air (acrobatic flight).

The event, to be held at the Hong Kong International Trade and Exhibition Centre in Kowloon Bay on Tuesday from 6.30pm, has already attracted 159 entries for the three categories, and it's not too late to join. Participants' efforts will be judged by several 'experts', including Dr Billy Hau, assistant professor of the Department of Ecology and Biodiversity at the University of Hong Kong, Leung Wai, chairman of the Hong Kong Radio Control Helicopter Association, and Dr Stanley Chan, chairman of the Hong Kong Radio Control Soaring Society.

Li Man-kit, 21, who studies Science in Airport Operations and Aviation Logistics at City University of Hong Kong, was one of the first to sign up for the contest. He said there is more to it than basic folding skills.

'It helps to know some physics and airplane flying theories,' he said. 'The only way to improve is to exchange ideas with friends and practise.

'This is a chance for us to make use of what we learned during practical lectures.'

The rules are the same for all those taking part in the qualifiers around the world. All contests must be held indoors - without any wind - and the planes must be made out of just one piece of paper - the standard A4 format, weighing 80 grams.

The sheet can be modified only by folding and there must be no ripping, gluing, cutting, stapling or ballasting (adding a weight for stability). Planes have to be built at the venue, with paper provided by the officials.

The participants need to have both feet firmly on the ground during the attempt, and only one step is allowed before release.

To enter the contest or learn more about it, visit or contact Anissa Cheng on 3180-3321