Red Bull Flugtag challenges the brave and brainy to design, build and pilot home-made flying machines off a 28-foot high flight deck in hopes of soaring into the wild blue yonder…or more often, plunging into the waters below. Flugtag, which means “flying day” in German, pushes the envelope of human-powered flight, but competitors need more than airtime to reach the podium. Teams are judged on three criteria: flight distance, creativity of the craft, and showmanship.
What is Red Bull Flugtag?
Flugtag, which is pronounced FLOOG-TOG, means “flying day” in the German language.
It is a free family-friendly event where teams of up to five people have worked for months to build homemade, human-powered flying machines to then send them off an elevated flight deck in an attempt to fly in front of thousands of people. Some will soar and some will flop. The flying machines are referred to as “crafts” and come with a themes that the entire team rallies around.
When did the first Red Bull Flugtag take place?
The first ever Red Bull Flugtag took place in Austria back in 1992.
The first US Red Bull Flugtag was produced in October 2002 in San Francisco. Since then, Red Bull Flugtag has landed in Austin, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, Miami, Portland, Long Beach, Baltimore, Cleveland, Tempe, Nashville, Tampa Bay, Washington D.C., the Twin Cities and Philadelphia.
What do the crafts typically look like?
How much imagination do you have? Red Bull Flugtag flying machines range from realistic plane replicas to anything the imagination can conjure up. Past crafts include a Flying Purple People Eater, Santa and his sleigh, a flying toilet and even a flying cheeseburger. To gain more showmanship points, participants often wear outrageous costumes, act out skits, and create their own music soundtracks for the flight.
How many teams are involved?
Thirty teams from throughout the East Coast have been selected to compete.
What’s the furthest flown at a Red Bull Flugtag?
The current world record flight is 258 feet and was set on September 21, 2013 in Long Beach, CA by “The Chicken Whisperers”.
I haven’t entered but can I bring along my own flying machine and use the ramp?
We’re afraid not. Our fearless teams have worked hard to earn their place on the Red Bull Flugtag ramp. Only these teams will fly on event day.
How will the teams be judged?
All crafts must be human-powered – no engines or external energy sources allowed. Each craft must be less than 24 feet wide and not more than 400 lbs. (including the pilot). Craft pilots must be at least 18 years old.
A panel of judges has been recruited for the day to rank and rate your team’s performance across three categories, as follows:
Creativity: This is all about the design and originality of both your flying machine and your crew, the more inventive the better.
Showmanship: Your team will have to perform on the platform before take-off. This is your opportunity to wow the judges with your talents and win over the crowd – which can only help! Please think about your music well in advance, and which part of the track it will be, as we will need this information prior to the event.
Distance: Self-explanatory really. Just try to fly as far across the water as you can.
Each team has been encouraged to give equal consideration to all criteria to ensure they score the maximum amount of possible points.
Will there be any other entertainment at the event?
Yes, there will be lots of other activities on site to keep you entertained for the day but the main event is the 30 fearless pilots throwing themselves and their handcrafted, human powered machines off the 24-foot-high flight deck!
Who can attend and can I bring my Children?
Definitely! Red Bull Flugtag is FREE and OPEN to all ages. No tickets are needed.
What time should we arrive?
Gates will be opening as 11:00am on August 20, 2016. We strongly encourage you to get there at close to 11:00am as possible, because capacity is limited and entrance into the event will be closed once capacity is reached.
*Attendees should allow extra time for entrance into the event, as everyone will be required to pass security checkpoints.
What is the best way to get to the event?
The DCR’s Hatch Memorial Shell at the Charles River Esplanade is most easily accessible by foot. We HIGHLY recommend walking.
*Note – The Arthur Fiedler Footbridge will be exit-only. You cannot enter the event this way.
There are two entrances:
- Dartmouth Street Footbridge. This footbridge is located at Dartmouth Street and Back Street, near Dartmouth Landing, Dartmouth Street Comfort Station, Storrow Lagoon, and the Oliver Wendell Holmes Memorial. Closest T Stops: Copley Station (Green Line). Closest Public Parking: Garage @ 100 Clarendon Street and Copley Place Parking.
- Community Boating (Charles Street) This footbridge is located near Community Boating Inc. across from the intersection of Charles Street and Silver Place.
COMMUTER RAIL – T:
The commuter rail is a favorable alternative to driving and parking for Boston events.
A one day pass entitles riders unlimited travel on the Blue, Green, Orange, and Red lines, all local buses, zones 1A and 1B of the commuter rail system, and inner harbor ferries.
More info at MBTA.com.
Red Line: exit at the Charles/MGH stop and cross the Charles St. or Blossom St. footbridges to the Esplanade.
Green Line: exit at the Copley stop; walk down Boylston Street and turn left on Dartmouth Street to walk towards the Charles River and cross Storrow Drive at the Dartmouth Street Footbridge.
Having trouble finding the event? Take your smart phone and type “DCR’s Hatch Memorial Shell” into your Map application. Don’t have a smart phone? The world can be a confusing place, we suggest buying one.
Is there parking?
There is NO onsite parking. We strongly suggest that finding alternative means of transportation to the venue.
However, if you are driving to Red Bull Flugtag, we recommend parking at Boston Common Garage or the LAZ parking lot at Mass Eye & Ear.
Is there handicapped parking on Storrow Drive?
No, there will not be handicapped parking on Storrow Drive. However, there is a handicapped-only drop-off site on Storrow Drive, near the Community Boat House. Handicapped individuals can be dropped off here. Cars will then need to be parked off site.
Can it be watched from the water?
The Charles River is a blast to explore and a great place to see some of Boston’s history. While we encourage and welcome boaters to attend Red Bull Flugtag on the DCR’s Charles River Basin near the Hatch Memorial Shell, we kindly ask you to review and abide by the safety rules put in place during the event.
If you choose to spectate from the water, please note:
- Do not anchor or tie to the buoy line
- For the participants’ safety the water patrol will be asking you to stay out of the buoyed area marking the flight path of the Red Bull Flugtag flying crafts and that you observe all marine markers.
- There will be no dock or land access from the water during the event along the Esplanade.
We kindly ask all large boats to be respectful of the smaller boats that would like to view the event.
Can I take and share photos or videos at Red Bull Flugtag Boston?
Yes, you’re invited to share photos and videos on your Instagram using @redbullBOS #Flugtag!
When does the event start?
The gates open to the craft area at 11am EST. Please come talk to the teams, check out their crafts and vote for the fan favorite! The first flight is at 12:30pm EST.
What can you expect on-site?
There will be food and beverage vendors stationed in the event site.
- NO ALCOHOL
- No smoking allowed
What CAN you bring to the DCR Hatch Memorial Shell?
NOTE: Guests and their belongings are subject to search upon entry or re-entry. You can help keep the lines moving quickly by leaving large bags and backpacks at home.
- Umbrellas (small hand-held style)
- Baby Strollers
- Portable/collapsible chair
- Personal camera equipment
- Sealed Bottled Water
Items you CANNOT bring to Red Bull Flugtag / DCR Hatch Memorial Shell
- Backpacks / Large bags
- Weapons of any kind
- Glass containers
- No illegal vending is permitted
What's the schedule of events?
11:00am – Doors Open
12:00pm – Opening Ceremony
12:30pm – First Craft Flies
3:30pm – Awards and Closing at Hatch Shell
Can I bike to the event?
Yes! Bike Valet will be provided by MassBike at both security checkpoint entrances on each end of the park.
How can I get updates during event week?
Everyone planning to attend Red Bull Flugtag can follow our media partner, CBS Sports Radio @985thesportshub on Twitter and Facebook during the week leading up and on event day.
What if i have another question?
If you have a question that wasn’t answered here, send an email to FlugtagBoston@us.redbull.com
Red Bull Flugtag is meant to be an enjoyable day out for participants and spectators, but there is clearly an element of risk involved in leaping into a river off a 28-foot-high ramp and relying on a homemade aircraft for support. The basic rules below are an absolute requirement for participants.
All participants who jump MUST wear a life jacket and helmet provided by the production team.
The Pilot MUST NOT be strapped into the plane, or enclosed in any capsule or cockpit from which they can’t readily escape.
Any costume you wear must not pose any risk of getting caught in the aircraft or hampering the Pilot’s ability to see, breath or stay afloat.
All Pilots and Ground Crew who jump must be able to swim 100 yards unaided. When you design your costumes, remember you will have to swim in them…
Each team is responsible for the safe design and construction of their aircraft, and we’ll help wherever we can. Your design will be subject to inspection by our Safety Team, who will do all they can to ensure your flight is safe. If the Safety Team isn’t 100% satisfied, you will have to make adjustments.
When you are finalizing construction on site, and when you launch, the Pilot and Ground Crew shall not be under the influence of alcohol. This also means not jumping with a serious hangover. Any team or person who does appear under the influence will be disqualified.
You will be launching into water, so make sure your craft floats. Wherever possible select materials which are lighter than water (wood and plastics) rather than metal. Obviously there may be parts of the craft which require metal in their design, in which case, make sure these are attached to some kind of flotation device.
Only Human Power is permitted – no motors, rockets, battery power or sneaky elastic bands.
Your entry must be entirely designed and constructed by the Team; you cannot adapt a light aircraft or hang-gliders.
Your design must be no longer that 24 feet from wing-tip to wing-tip (assuming it has such things as wings), and no longer than 20 feet from nose to tail (assuming it has these too). Craft and pilot combined cannot exceed 400 lbs. The pilot on top of the craft must be in a good crouch position, not exceeding 8 ft high. For two-part crafts (where the base separates from the craft) the launcher cannot exceed a height of 5 feet.
Your aircraft needs to get up the flight deck ramp and be recovered from the river, so make it as light as possible – and preferably use materials which don’t become waterlogged (like heavy fabrics). This also applies to your costumes.
Avoid the use of any toxic material or substance which may dissolve into the river. We have a duty to protect the environment we’re using and this means selecting build materials carefully. You are also strongly advised not to use materials which may fragment or be hard to clear up.
When you are designing and building, consider what is likely to happen when it hits the water. Make sure there are no hard or sharp surfaces around the cockpit which may cause injury. Round off those corners and make sure no nails, screws or other sharp fixings project near handholds or the Pilot.
All crafts will be recovered from the river by the production team and trashed on a barge…. down by the river!
Each team shall consist of five people: one Pilot and four Ground Crew members.
All participants must be over the age of 18.
All participants must be fit and well at the time of the jump, and free of any medical condition which may be exacerbated by participation.
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