Red Bull – Paper Wings Contest

March 27, 2012 / by / 0 Comment

A few days ago Red Bull came to HKU to hold its qualifier rounds for its paper plane contest (to be held in Vienna, Austria). After some tries, a student (and a friend of mine) from our university got a chance to go the finals at Innocenter in Kowloon Tong on the 26th of March.

Meet Jameel. A year 1 Electronic and Communications Engineering major from Sri Lanka, he never thought he would beat all the other people here at HKU and make it to the finals. Well, yesterday, Junaid (another friend of mine) came to me and asked to go with Jameel to the HK finals. I was having a meeting with my English project group, so duly refused. But it didn’t take much convincing on his part to make me agree, I had already finished my Red Bull stock (the one I took from the HKU qualifying rounds, and yes, they gave away loads of free Red Bull), and was willing to get more. So, me being my usual self (I love free stuff!) got lured quite easily.

Innocenter is a beautiful place (it becomes even more beautiful if you know you will get free Red Bull ;) !). The Red Bull guys had used the main atrium to setup the distance markers e.t.c.. I had really not gone for participation, but still picked up a few A4 papers and started making the only paper plane I knew. Jameel started making the plane he had sort of ‘invented’ and began testing it.

The trials began, and my number was called. I happened to have made an awesome airplane, with all flaps and aerofoils set beautifully. I learnt a few lessons about flying:

1. Eye-candy doesn’t mean your plane will fly.

2. Blowing air at your plane from below while it nose-dives doesn’t help.

My plane flew (if you can call falling flying) for 2 seconds. Watching other competitors, I think keeping you plane airborne for less than 2 seconds is actually an achievement in itself. Even a piece of paper can do better.

Me and Abrar (another friend who had come with us) started cheering for Jameel when his turn came. He was playing the finals round, since he had already qualified in the HKU trials. His plane stayed airborne for 6 seconds the first time, and almost 8.5 seconds the second time! How we cheered! Turns out, nobody could beat that time, and Jameel was announced the HK winner in the longest airtime category!

Jameel (center) holding his prize, a free ticket to Vienna, Austria to visit the world finals!

Jameel then proceeded to give an interview to a newspaper. He was obviously very happy (and so was I, got a lot of free Red Bull!).

Well he ought to be! Congratulations Jameel, and good luck at Vienna!

Jameel with his airplane. He leaves for Vienna in early May. We wish him all the best of luck!

Wish me good luck as well. I really need to get decaffeinated after the four Red Bulls I drank! Guess no sleep for me tonight :p  (I am writing this at 2.40 am).