(Santa Monica-April 10, 2007) This August 25, Red Bull Flugtag, the outrageous human-powered flying competition, will make its triumphant return to Austin’s Auditorium Shores after four long years away. Santa’s sleigh, Oompa Loompas, and many a flying Elvis have
graced the U.S. skyline over the years, but Flugtag is coming back to see what the Lone Star state can offer.
Flugtag, or “flying day” in German, dares creative individuals to pilot their homemade flying machines off a 22-foot high ramp and into the wild blue yonder – or, as is more often the case, directly into the waters below. Thirty teams of up to five members each will be chosen to soar
over Austin’s shores this summer. All those who think they’ve got what it takes should apply to fly online at www.redbullflugtagusa.com by June15 – don’t miss your chance!
Since the first Red Bull Flugtag held in Vienna, Austria, in 1991, more than 35 Flugtags have been held around the world, attracting up to 300,000 spectators for a single event. The record for the farthest flight-to-date currently stands at 195 feet and was set at Red Bull Flugtag
Austria in 2000. A new U.S. record was set just last year at Red Bull Flugtag Baltimore with a flight of 81 feet.
Don’t expect to see any ho-hum helicopters or commercial aircraft replicas flying above Auditorium Shores this August. Instead, perhaps a stack of pancakes or a two-story puffin will soar through the air. In short, the more flamboyant, the better because teams aren’t judged solely on whether or not they’ll go the distance. Just ask one of the 50,000 spectators who crowded Auditorium Shores and screamed at the shenanigans at Red Bull Flugtag Texas in 2003!
Teams are judged on three criteria: distance, creativity and showmanship. Distance means exactly what you think: how far can you fly? Creativity, well, keeps it interesting. The aesthetically pleasing and eye catching crafts score best here. For the showmanship portion, each team will be given one minute on the flight deck before they launch their craft. This minute can be filled with dancing, skits, and general tom foolery to get the crowd roaring. The sky’s literally the limit here – so get inspired, brainstorm the implausible and sketch something
What would a contest be without a few rules? First off, all flying machines must be entirely human-powered (no external energy sources or stored power so forget about the slingshots, catapults or anything other than your brute strength). Secondly, all crafts must be less than 30
feet wide. And finally, no matter what they say, size does matter – all crafts must weigh no more than 450 lbs (including the pilot).
The payoff can be sweet for those who play fair. The first place prize is a pilot’s training course (cash value $7,500), second place gets skydiving lessons (cash value $3,000) and third place can learn to paraglide (cash value $1,500). There is also a special prize awarded for the People’s Choice which will be decided day of by spectators’ SMS voting.
Red Bull Flugtag Texas is free and open to the public