MEMBER ALERT: AOPA will be closing at 1:45 p.m. Eastern on Dec. 6 and will reopen at 8:30 a.m. Eastern on Dec. 9.
September 17, 2012
Barbara A. Schmitz
Everyone has seen birds, insects and airplanes fly. But have you ever seen the following take to the air—Muppets, a baseball bat, a gondola or disguise glasses complete with nose, mustache and bushy eyebrows?
You’ll have a chance to see just that,as well as many more unique “aircraft,” during the 2012 Red Bull Flugtag competitions. Just how far these flying machines will go, however, will be the question.
The Red Bull competition challenges teams of everyday people to build homemade, human-powered flying machines and pilot them off a 300-foot high deck in hopes of achieving flight. Flugtag means“flying day” in German, but all the crafts ultimately splash—or crash—into the water below. While they are judged on their flight’s distance, they are also judged on creativity and showmanship.
Competitions are scheduled Sept. 8 in Chicago, Sept. 15 in Philadelphia, Nov. 3 in Miami, and Nov. 10 in San Francisco. You can follow the events on Twitter at @redbullCHI, @redbullPHILLY, @redbullMIA and @redbullSFO.
What makes for a good flying machine and crew? Red Bull says teams should consist of one fearless pilot and four people to aid in takeoff. Only self-constructed gliders with a maximum wingspan of 30 feet and a maximum weight of 450 pounds (including pilot) are cleared for launch.
Teams are chosen to participate based on information they provide on their application. And since personality is as important as craftsmanship, teams also have the option to submit a one-minute video introducing the crew. A special event committee then sorts through all the applications and clears roughly 40 human-powered flying machines for takeoff at each site.
Since 1991, more than 90 Red Bull Flugtag competitions have been held around the world from Rome to San Francisco. However, the record, with a distance of 207 feet, was set in 2010 in St. Paul,Minnesota.
Pilot Youth and Introductory,
Tickets for the 2014 Red Bull Air Race World Championship series, including two U.S. races, are now on sale.
Youths ages 13 through 18 who are members of the AOPA AV8RS program can now apply for scholarships to help them achieve their aviation dreams.
Pilgrim Aviation is hoping that a Cessna 150 parked at Hanover Mall in Massachusetts will promote general aviation and attract new pilots.
AOPA thanks our members for their continued support in protecting the freedom to fly.