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. This criteria has inspired flying tacos, prehistoric pterodactyls, winnebagos with wings and even Snoopy and the gang to grace the Flugtag flight decks! Since the first Red Bull Flugtag took place in Vienna, Austria, in 1992, more than 100 Red Bull Flugtags have been held around the globe, attracting up to 300,000 spectators for a single event.
What is Red Bull Flugtag?
“Flugtag” literally translates to “flying day”. It is a unique flying contest just for the public, where daredevil teams and budding pilots have the chance to show off their creativity, inventiveness & adventurousness in building human powered aircraft that are launched from a 28-foot-high ramp.
When did the first Red Bull Flugtag take place?
The first ever Red Bull Flugtag took place in Austria back in 1992.
Where and when does it take place?
All over the world, but this year, the event will take place at Portland’s Tom McCall Waterfront Park on August 1, 2015.
Has Red Bull ever run a Flugtag event before?
Yes, Red Bull has hosted over 100 Flugtag events since 1992.
Is Red Bull Flugtag a “world series” of events?
No, each city’s event is run independently, but Red Bull has spread it’s wiiings all over the world, with events taking off in cities like Stockholm, Moscow, Ottawa, Chicago, Buenos Aires and Abu Dhabi.
How many teams are involved?
This year, there will be 40 teams chosen via submitting an application.
What’s the furthest flown at a Red Bull Flugtag?
It’s a staggering 258 feet! The record was set in Long Beach, California in 2012.
Can teams still enter this years’ Red Bull Flugtag in Portland?
We wish! The highly competitive application phase kicked off March 18th and ended on May 12, with only the first 500 applications being considered.
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?
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 40 fearless pilots throwing themselves and their handcrafted, human powered machines off the 28-foot-high flight deck!
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 28 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 10 ft high.
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 ground crew members must be at least 16 years of age or older with a pilot 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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Where the fun happens.
Tom McCall Waterfront Park
SW Naito Pkwy
Portland, OR 97204