MARSHALL - Folding technique, determination, design and a little flight practice were some of the steps necessary when it came to developing the perfect paper airplane.
As part of the commemoration of the first airplane flight at the Lyon County Fair in Marshall 100 years ago, a paper airplane throwing contest was Saturday morning in the Lyon County Ice Facility. Eight age levels were designated for the contest, which was open for those ages 6 to 100+.
Pauline Oster, 101, of Marshall, was chosen to throw the first paper airplane to start off the contest. Her son, Ray Oster, said people at Boulder Estates were making her planes to practice with. Pauline Oster said she's been practicing in the last week, but she wasn't sure her plane would go far.
Photo by Cindy Votruba
Kevin Elton, left, shows his son, Andrew, how to put together a paper airplane for the paper-airplane flying contest Saturday at the Lyon County Fair.
A few minutes after 11 a.m., kids, their parents, grandparents, other relatives and friends trickled into the ice arena to create a paper airplane that would fly the farthest. Jason and Keira Boedigheimer of Colorado Springs, Colo., were visiting their grandparents and wanted to take part in the contest. They made their planes the night before.
"It's easy," Jason Boedigheimer said about their folding technique.
Both brother and sister did a couple of practice flies before bringing them to the ice arena Saturday morning.
"It went across the living room," Keira Boedigheimer said.
Kevin Elton and his son, Andrew, headed to the lobby area of the ice arena to work on their paper airplanes.
"Dad, what's next?" Andrew Elton asked his father, referring to the set of directions they got.
Kevin Elton scanned the directions and said there's a couple of different ways to make a paper airplane that he knows of. He quickly started folding the paper.
Once the plane was finished, Kevin Elton asked Andrew if he wanted to give it a name.
"What do you want to call your plane?" Kevin Elton asked Andrew.
"Ed," Andrew Elton said as he tried the first prototype out.
Kevin Elton said they could do another paper airplane, this time folding the paper the long way.
"What's the long way?" Andrew Elton asked as his father showed him the steps.
Back in the ice arena, Cody Myhre was getting a hand with his paper airplane from his grandfather, Jerry Myhre.
"I threw a lot of these in school," Jerry Myhre said.
Kevin Elton and Jerry Myhre weren't the only adults helping kids with folding. Sitting in the bleachers, Nicole Peterson was folding her son Koda's plane.
"It's kind of hard with this little guy to do these planes," she said.
The Eltons finished their second entries, folding the paper the long way. The airplane flew better, according to Andrew Elton.
"This is sweet, it goes really far," Andrew Elton said.
Some kids used markers to design their planes. Everyone had to put their name on their planes so they could be identified after the flying contest for each age group.
Dalton Wambeke said he learned about designing a paper airplane in science class.
"We tested out some different designs," he said. He tested four different kids, but he couldn't remember which one did the best. He added that straightness and length was the key.
Wambeke said to release the plane kind of softly for good results, and you want the edges really sharp.
Oster lifted her arm and let the plane fly to open the contest. It went a couple of feet.
"It wasn't what I planned," she said.
Hailey Schaffran of Vesta was the only girl up against several boys in the ages 6-8 category. She was excited to get first place using a plane she made from a math worksheet.
"I can't believe I beat a lot of boys," Schaffran said. She said she made a few planes before getting the right style for her.
Sisters Isabella and Xandra Avedikian of Chaska, who were visiting their grandparents as well, entered planes using lime green construction paper. Isabella Avedikian called her plane "Dragonfly."
Isabella Avedikian said she found instructions online for the design she used for her and her sister's airplane. It was kind of difficult to follow, she said.
"It didn't describe it well," Isabella Avedikian said.
The sisters' grandfather, John Hansen of Lynd, decided to "re-fly" Isabella's plane for his age category. He took second place.
Oster got the chance to fly a paper airplane again in the ages 80-100+ category with Gordon Alexander of Vesta.
As to why Alexander decided to take part in the contest, his wife, Ardis, had a hand in it.
"I talked him into it," Ardis Alexander said.