"I used to regularly win lots of prizes at the local paper airplane contest, at least until they got tired of me and one other person pretty much taking over the entire adult division," Zongker said. "I'd usually win distance or acrobatics--everything but time aloft, which is what this is about."
Zongker made the British version of the Guinness Book of World Records in 1985--but a competitor promptly broke his distance aloft record, so he failed to make the U.S. version of the book.
Zongker isn't sure which design he'll fly in Long Beach: "I may or may not win, but my design definitely will be interesting. It will not be boring."
Wainfan said he's tempted to copy Old Red, which has set the standard at McDonnell Douglas' internal competition. But the engineer added that, "as a Northrop employee, I'm honor-bound to at least try one flying-wing design."