I went to the Red Bull Flugtag this Saturday, which was being held on the Mississippi River at Harriet Island in downtown St. Paul. If you are unfamilar about the event here is the brief explanation.
Red Bull Flugtag, which means “flying day” in German, is a competition that dares both the brave and the brainy to design, build and pilot homemade flying machines off a 30-foot high ramp in hopes of achieving human-powered flight. But don’t be fooled – this is no ordinary flying competition! Distance is important, of course, but teams need both creativity and showmanship to impress the judges.
The video at the top of the post is of the world record settling team, going 207 feet with the previous world record being 195 feet. The design they have seems like the kind you would want if going for distance, a lower part that is used to give to height to take off and then a plane part to take flight once launched.
Once I was finally at the event it was enjoyable to watch these machines fly off or in some cases just fall for the most part. Given that the estimated crowd was 90,000 it was quite the hassle to get to downtown St.Paul for it. It took me a bit over an hour to get there, for a drive that normally would take me 15 minutes, the crowd was quite crazy to say the least. But overall it was interesting to see this event in person after only seeing pictures and videos from previous locations of this event.
To read more about the event and the winning team check out this article Flugtag: Flights of fancy | StarTribune.com.