Question:Can you clarify for Aerodynamics, what is the maximum number of planes that can be thrown in the competition? I know you have four throws (two distance, two flight time) but can you make four planes and fly each once, or do you need to make two planes and fly each twice? The handbook states “Teams will have 5 minutes to build two paper airplanes onsite.” although the supply list indicates four sheets of paper are provided. Thanks.


There is no maximum number of planes. Each team will have 5 minutes to build at least two paper airplanes using the materials and tools provided. No airplane can be flown more than twice. There will be a total of four flights. Given the above, both of your examples are acceptable:

– make four planes and fly each once


– make two planes and fly each twice



I’m coaching aerodynamics. I know the kids have 5 min to make 2 planes. My question is, if I have two kids as a team, can I have each of them make 1 plane in the 5 min, and use the plane from each kid as distance and time plane, respectively? Thanks!


As a team they can divide the building labor anyway they want. The event description clearly states they can have 2 tries at distance and 2 for flight time.
Teams will design, construct, and fly at least two paper airplanes. Two initial flights will be measured for distance. Two final flights will be measured for flight time.
They should know in advance what the plan is for a plane designed for distance and a planer designed for flight time.
One paper airplane should be designed to fly as far as possible. The other paper airplane should be designed to stay in the air as long as possible.

We do encourage them to work as a team to decide their strategy, having used scientific process to determine  the optimal designs.


Question:   I am coaching Aerodynamics and am wondering can the throwers lift their heel as they carryout the thrusting motion? We know there is no run-up or fast walk allowed and that they have to stay behind the starting line.

Answer:  Lifting the heel during the throw is allowed.