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Published on Feb 1, 2017
John Collins had been a professional in television since 1979, working as a creative director, executive producer, live television director, camera operator, news graphics supervisor, voice-over artist, and in other capacities, when he designed a paper airplane in 2012 that broke the world record for distance flown. The record still stands, and Collins, whose original designs have since been published in three books (with tear-out planes to fold and fly), translated into German, Russian, and Chinese, is now the world’s foremost paper airplane expert. His designs are recognized around the world; one was featured in the film Paper Planes (2015), which dramatized an Australian boy’s quest to break the world record. In 2016, Collins turned paper airplanes into a full-time career, launching the National Paper Airplane Contest and providing STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education programs to aviation and space museums, science museums, libraries, and schools across the U.S.