Creativity, showmanship, and distance. That’s what Red Bull Flugtag teams will be judged on when they take their flying machines off a 30 ft tall platform on the Delaware river in hopes of flight. I’m using the term “flight” loosely, since most of the machines end up crashing flying into the water. I was able to meet a couple of the teams during the team announcement party at Cavanaugh’s River Deck.
Teams consist of architects, engineers, hillbillies, bros, and families. Pretty much every walk of life was represented.
5 Guys 1 Disguise: These 5 guys were winners of the People’s Choice Award in the Philadelphia Flugtag in 2010. After their win, they were swarmed by so many people that they were forced to wear a disguise. But they all wear the same disguise since they’re funneling all their creativity into their giant glasses, mustache, and nose flying machine.
Society Hillbillies: Cletus is their pilot because he is not a clever man (his words, not mine). His beard is the outcome of the general store being out of razor blades, but he postulates it will provide extra lift. Society Hillbillies consider themselves the best dressed team punctuated with their devilish good looks and 4th grade education. Their flying machine is a moonshine still with wings to escape the authorities.
Boats and Bros: You are probably familiar with the term “Boats and Hoes” from Step Brothers. But most of the guys on this team are single so they are lacking the “hoes”. They have plenty of bros though. Their flying machine is a boat with wings. They’re planning on jumping sailing off the platform and instead of crashing they will float.
Skydive School Dropouts: While talking to this team, I couldn’t help but notice their sheer confidence. They’re a team of skydivers so they’re very familiar with falling through the air. They do it for fun. Their flying machine will have ejection canopies.
Ram This: Ram’s aren’t known for flying, but this team from Philadelphia University is looking to change that with their giant ram flying machine with horns providing lift. They told me they’ll win because they are charming, cute, charismatic, and they have industrial design and engineers on their team.
Land Before Flight: If you thought dinosaurs were extinct, think again. Land Before Flight is building a flying dinosaur with their team of engineers. They described their team as dinosaur awesomeness. This isn’t their first dinosaur rodeo since they competed in 2010.
Road Runner Extermination Services: This team of engineers loved Looney Tunes in their childhood. RRES channeled Wile E. Coyote while designing their air foil with detailed calculations. They’re sure to be as successful as him.
Carnival: Carnival is no stranger to Flugtag. They placed 3rd in 2010 and are looking to improve their performance this year. Look for a bearded lady, snake charmer, strong man, and clown to launch their log flume flying machine into the air/river.
Stealth Bomber Zombie Killers: This team understands that zombies are a menace and need to be stopped. That’s why they’re building a stealth bomber to wipe out the zombie infestation. Competing in the Flugtag is an added bonus. Their age separates them from the other teams. Sure they’re older, but there’s wisdom that comes with age.
School of Rock Flugtag Heroes: This team traveled three hours from NY state to attend the event. They have a laundry list of Red Bull events under their belt, including two other Flugtags and a soap box derby. They thrive with grace under pressure and seek it out by participating in these events. Their flying machine will be a Gibson flying V guitar.
Shore Phlyers OCBP: This team of Ocean City, NJ lifeguards is bringing 80s style lifeguarding to Philadelphia. Their superior tans separate them from the other teams. The only details they were willing to share about their flying machine is that it will have a “big” wingspan.
Tasty Deliciousness: The reigning champions from 2010 want to continue their success in 2012 by calling on their past experience building a cohesive flying machine with a clever skit. Their flying machine supports breast cancer awareness (it’s a pair of giant boobies).
These are only a sampling of the 34 teams that are competing on September 15 at the Camden waterfront.
These creative people help to make Red Bull Flugtag a spectacle. In 2010, over 85,000 spectators swarmed the Camden waterfront to see teams soar gracefully into the Delaware river. The event is free and open to the public. On September 15 Camden waterfront gates open at 11:00am and the first flight is scheduled at 1:00pm. There will be remote viewing across the river at Penn’s Landing if you don’t want to consort with NJ people.