Red Bull Flugtag Portland

Off all the competitions for poorly performing human powered flying machines, the Red Bull Flugtag is one of our favorites. Honestly, it’s the only one we can think of, but that doesn’t mean we’re any less enthusiastic about giving flight to half baked ideas. Today was the Portland round of the international event. Teams have to submit an application for their craft in advance. The vehicle can have a maximum wingspan of 30 feet and a weight with pilot of 450 pounds or less. Power is from muscle or simply gravity. The vehicle also has to be easily retreivable so they can get it out of the water. Judging isn’t just for distance, but for creativity, too.

Flickr users [pdx-kate] and [Jabin] have uploaded images and video from the day: The winner was Team Yakima’s big wheel that flew 62 feet. Second place went to Greased Lightning at 55 feet. Third was the FreeBallin sneaker which you can see in flight here. The People’s Choice award went to the Space Balls Winnebago, which we unfortunately can’t find a very good picture of. You can read more about each individual entry on the results page.

Embedded below is the video of the current US record holder: a banjo that went 155 feet in Nashville. The next US event will be September 6th in Chicago.

9 thoughts on “Red Bull Flugtag Portland

  1. I was at the portland flugtag, and most teams did put a glider on top of their plummeting crafts. (it usually didn’t help that much) Part of the distance rule has to do with where the pilot’s bum lands, not the rest of the craft.

    I must say, the best ones were the most poorly designed ones (as far as aeronautics is concerned) whose wings were more for show than flight.

  2. I was there, the best part was looking at the contraptions up close. Unfortunately, we opted to leave our excellent spots for cheaper, better food several blocks away from the river and could barely see until we climbed into trees.
    I really would love to see what a real aeronautical engineer could come up with for something like this

  3. Not really the first one, the Red Bull Flugtag’s are good but the Moomba festival in Melbourne, Australia has been running their Birdman contest for decades.

    Makes no difference, just means theres thousands more pictures now to search for.

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