Red Bull made a giant splash with this one. Saturday was the first-ever National Red Bull Flugtag. Five different cities all competed on one day to see who could construct the ultimate human-powered flying machine. The cities involved in the action were: Chicago, IL-Washington, DC-Miami, FL-Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX and Long Beach, CA. I was at the event in Long Beach along with 110,000 other spectators.
redbullarch

So, see that giant 30-foot ramp in the picture above? Well, 28 teams launched their aircrafts off the end of it attempting to take flight. Right before their launch, each team performed their own choreographed dance routines that were sure to make the Lakers Girls jealous (ok maybe not, but these guys could shake it). The teams consisted of one pilot and four others who aided in take off by running behind and pushing the machines off the ramp. Celebrity judges including Carson Daly, Kevin Ryder, Robbie Maddison, Yarel Ramos and the stars of “Workaholics” Adam Devine, Anders Holm and Blake Anderson rated the flights based on distance, creativity and showmanship. Here are a few pics from the day:
flugtag

Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how you look at it because they were extremely entertaining), most of the flying machines, while they looked good, just couldn’t quite fly and ended up like this:

But one team of aerospace and mechanical engineers, The Chicken Whisperers, defied the odds and brought the crowd to their feet. Their flying machine went a distance of 258 feet and they broke the Flugtag world record. Here they are before their miraculous flight:
chickenwhisperers

And here’s video of their flight courtesy of Gazettes Sports:

I’ve never seen anything like this event and I definitely recommend going, or if you’re feeling daring, competing if it comes to a city near you. To find out more go to redbullflugtagus.com.