If you have never heard of the RedBull Flugtag event, you might want to brush up on the event's history here.
A brief description:
Red Bull Flugtag challenges teams of everyday people to build homemade, human-powered flying machines and pilot them off a 30-foot high deck in 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.
I first heard of the Flugtag when I was living in San Francisco. They played commercials advertising the event which took place down by Piers each year. After moving to Arizona I continued to see commercials since there was also a local event atTempe Town Lake. When I heard from my friend Devika that they were having a Flugtag in Long Beach this past weekend and her husband Cliff was competing in it, I asked David if he wanted to go. His answer? "Are you kidding me? I've always wanted to go!" And so we did!
The event ran from 1-3:30pm and had 36 teams competing. Devika's husband Cliff was competing on team 28 of 36 which allowed us to waste time stopping for lunch, sitting in traffic, struggling to find parking, and walking to the event. Wow the area was a ZOO! We walked up to the area around 2:45pm just in time to see Cliff's team pushing their 'firetruck' down the ramp and into the water! I wished we had gotten there a few minutes earlier but I'm glad we didn't get there a few minutes later.
We watched the next eight teams complete and saw a variety of crafts pushed off the pier - a flying piano, Obama's head, a giant pinata, Chuck Norris' head, a Coast Guard helicopter, and a few less notable others.
As an engineer (can I still claim that?) I enjoyed making a quick mental prediction based upon the craft's design of how its launch and trajectory off the pad would look. I was wrong in most cases. I was surprised to see most of them drop off the edge of the pier like a sack of rocks with few getting much horizontal flight outside. Several of the crafts had hangliders on top which would propel the "pilot" a bit further before crashing into the water.
If you haven't been to a Flugtag event you should go! It was a lot of fun and a neat new experience and I'm glad we had a chance to go.