One of the most popular and best attended lectures I've gone to recently involved a paper airplane folding demonstration. Hundreds of people showed up to learn the paper folding techniques requisite to crafting high performance airborne origami.
Paper airplane folding is , to some at least, more than child's play. Here's an excerpt from the Red Bull (they of caffinated beverage fame) web site regarding the upcoming World Championship Paper Airplane event to be held in Salzburg, Austria this week:
As soon as ground control at Hangar-7 in Salzburg has cleared the airspace, paper airplanes will take the law of logic to its limits. Preconditions: one DIN A4 format sheet of paper, no scissors, no glue! The most creative junior engineers from 48 countries live out their dream of flying in the most simple way and long for their sense of flying without any turbulence or match to determine the most creative style of flying.
Catagories include longest distance thrown, longest time in the air, and most acrobatic.
I'd like to see a category for folded airplanes made out of something besides paper or cardboard. How about a sheet metal glider? Or starched cloth?
Check out these links for paper airplane ideas:
1. Cool animation:
2. Lots of airplane ideas:
3. Something in return for our tax dollars: