Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sydney Flugtag

If I told you to get a few friends together and spend every waking moment you're not in work building a flying contraption, and then I told you to chuck it off a building and throw yourself off after it, you'd probably say that's not a very good idea.

In fact this idea is so good it has been institutionalized by the fine folks over at Red Bull, who have been hosting Flugtag, an annual celebration of building shit that won't fly, since 1991. The first was held in Vienna, Austria and it changes location every year. It just happened to be taking place in Sydney a week after we landed.

The rules are simple: Anyone can enter. The contraption cannot be motor powered. It must meet size and weight limits determined by each location. There can only be one pilot and three crew. You must launch your machine off of a 30 foot high tower into some body of water, which in our case was the Sydney harbor. It must float. It helps to drink heavily prior to your turn.

Entrants are judged based on distance they fly, creativity, and showmanship. Most people worked the "creativity" angle and entered things that ignored basic laws of aerodynamics, such as "Don't make it shaped like a pint of beer" and "Don't make it shaped like a pirate ship."

The team that won for distance did decide to follow these rules, but they also had an unfair advantage: they were all students at an aeronautical college.... We only got a few photos because it was so packed, but you can check 'em out below.

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