Last staged in South Africa in 2002, there have been over 200 versions of the event worldwide since the first in Vienna, Austria in 1992.
Teams are challenged to build homemade, human-powered flying machines and pilot them off a 6m high ramp in the hopes of achieving flight. Flugtag may mean “flying day” in German, but all these crafts ultimately splash into the waters below. They are judged not only on their flight’s distance, but creativity and showmanship as well.
Spectators are treated to the pilots and crews hilarious pre-flight antics, elaborate flying machines, cringe-worthy attempts at the longest flight record and subsequent plummets into the wavy waters below.
Over four-hundred entries were received for this year’s Red Bull Flugtag, and the forty-five teams chosen will put their flying machines to the test at Cape Town’s V& A Waterfront on the 9th of December 2012.
An eclectic mix of the über serious to the just plain ridiculous, teams have started building their contraptions in the aim to wow the crowd and hopefully achieve flight.
Cape Town-based team, the Cape Mayans are excited to be amongst the chosen teams. “We chose our name based on the fact we’re from the Cape and that the Mayan calendar says the world will end twelve days after Red Bull Flugtag.”
Team leader Adam Neville is sure they’ll be ready for flight day: “We’re already way ahead of our building schedule so we’re all on track.” The team plans on impressing the crowd with an elaborate phoenix structure with the pilot being sacrificed, they say, in a bid to save the world.
The Red Bull Flugtag festivities will happen right in front of the V & A Waterfront’s Jetty 1 – the perfect spot for spectators to watch the teams channel their inner Amelia Earhart or Wright brother with the striking backdrop of Cape Town’s famous Table Mountain for good measure.
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