Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Flight of fancy ends in Austria

Flight of fancy ends in Austria
Video of Max Betteridge's Engineering

FLYING HIGH: Massey engineering student Max Betteridge is flying his way to Austria after taking out the national paper aeroplane competition. He managed to keep his plane in the air for 6.82 seconds.

What is usually thrown at the back of teachers' heads has given one Massey University student a plane trip to Austria.

Third-year engineering student Max Betteridge has won an all-expenses paid trip to Salzburg, Austria, after taking out the longest airtime category in the New Zealand edition of Red Bull Paper Wings – a competition to see who can make and throw paper planes the best.

It seems a bit ridiculous, even to Mr Betteridge.

"I don't really know their motive behind it," he said. "I just went to have fun and just give it a go."

While an engineering student, Mr Betteridge said he did not come up with a new design based on advanced physics or expert knowledge of aerodynamics. Instead, he went to video website YouTube and copied world record- holder Ken Blackburn's design.

While Mr Betteridge's plane flew for 6.82 seconds – not getting close to Mr Blackburn's 27.6 seconds – it was enough to score a trip to Austria.

Mr Betteridge said he had been busy since then, getting his passport renewed and figuring out if he had any assignments due while he is away from May 2 to 7.

"It's unreal – I don't even think I'm good at paper planes," he said.

"I just had a couple of lucky goes."

He said he had been to Germany before, but not for at least 10 years.

He said he was most excited about getting to see Red Bull's Hangar-7 – a museum that houses historical helicopters, aircraft and racing cars.

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