Distance - Gravity and Trajectory

Gravity accelerates objects in free fall.  Every second an object is falling it picks up speed at the rate of 9.8 meters per second.  In only 7 seconds, that's more than 350 mph!  Figuring out how best to use gravity's force during a distance throw, is part of winning this event in The National Paper Airplane Contest.


Drag is caused by the aircraft surface.  Even the smoothest material slows down air particles passing over it.  Aircraft shape also cause drag.  Shaping your plane correctly reduces drag and increases your chances of winning The National Paper Airplane Conteset.

Gliding for Distance

A dart seems like a sure winner for distance, but a glider holds the world record.  How you choose which plane to use for your competition may be the difference between winniing and losing The National Paper Airplane Contest.