Aerospace, Red Bull invite MTSU students to compete in Paper Wings qualifier

MTSU’s aerospace department and a popular national energy drink’s parent company are looking for a few good paper airplane makers.

The aerospace department will host the Red Bull-sponsored Paper Wings Regional Qualifier at the MTSU Flight Operations Center’s Donald McDonald Aerospace Maintenance Laboratory (hangar) at Murfreesboro Airport at 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 27.

Any MTSU student — but especially aerospace students — are eligible to compete, with the ultimate national winner advancing to the world final in May. Red Bull markets it as the world’s largest paper plane competition.

While not eligible to compete, the public is invited to the qualifying event where MTSU students will attempt to make a plain sheet of paper fly as far, as long and as artistically through the air as possible.

All national winners of the three categories — longest distance, air time and aerobatics — will be invited to the world final in Austria at its iconic Hangar-7, where the world champions will be crowned.

“Students build and fly paper airplanes in various events, with the potential winner being invited to Austria for the Global final,” said Nick Lenczycki, MTSU Flight Operations program manager.

Lenczycki said that in addition to “this amazing event,” Red Bull pilot Kevin Coleman will be talking with students about his career and life as an air show pilot and Red Bull Air Race Challenger Class Contender.

After the competition, MTSU students will have an opportunity to meet Coleman, who will share his story at an exclusive event for them outside the hangar.

“Partnering with Red Bull to host their event is a great way for our students to work with a world-class partner and have a little fun as an extremely busy semester for the department moves into the final stretch,” Lenczycki said. “It is truly a great time to be in aerospace and this is a great way to reward our students for their hard work with a truly unique event. It should be a night that all our students will remember and Red Bull is the perfect partner.”

Including aerospace and its various concentrations, MTSU has more than 300 combined undergraduate and graduate programs. Aerospace is one of 11 College of Basic and Applied Sciences departments.

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