Monday, August 22, 2016

Red Bull Flugtag 2016 - Flight Day

Red Bull Flugtag 2016 was everything I thought it would be.  Listening to an ad for it on the SportsHub, I thought going to the Boston edition along the Charles River would be an interesting side note to our Summer filled with interesting trips.  I was generally familiar with the concept, although I did not know it was called "Flugtag."  The kids had no idea what we were doing. 

"Is this another beerfest?" C skeptically asked, thinking that every time we went somewhere outside away from our town, it usually involved something like.  No, and I don't think drinking alcohol and flying really go together.  Hey this isn't the Marshfield Fair!

The Flugtag Salute
And as we were driving in, I tried to talk the kids into the fact that Flugtag had its own hand signal.  I tried to sell them on the idea that the Mr. Spock "Live long and prosper" Vulcan Salute was actually the official hand signal for Flugtag.  But as Spock would do the salute with the fingers pointing, I did it with the fingers point sideways.  Well at least DLG fell for it, all while LC was snickering next to me.

German for "Flight Day,"  Flugtag originated 25 years in Vienna Austria as a lark for Red Bull.  But it was such a success that they decided to keep the tradition going.  Limited in wingspan and weight, these human-powered homemade flying machines would be helmed by teams of 5.  Usually with one pilot and 4 skit members.   Most teams don't take it seriously, and nor should they since homemade planes tend not to fly that far.  Dressing up in costumes seems more reasonable when faced with diving straight off of a barge 30 feet above the surface.

And was there a line to get in!  We were in midst of lumbermen with dirty beards and women wearing strange necklaces.  And while I wanted to make fun of them because they seemed to be everywhere, I came to the realization that I am a lumberman because I see them everywhere I like going.  But anyway, how about that line?  It seemed like we were in line for hours.  I think having one security check point when you are expecting 50,000 people probably was not the brightest idea.  But we told you to leave extra time for security, Red Bull people were telling us... 

Whether it was 2 Flug 2 Furious, or the Barstool Pirates or Something Wonderful (which was just a giant ad for LovePop greeting cards), there was flight machine for all three kids - well at least when they weren't asking for water, or Red Bull or something to eat.  My favorite was the team dressed as dinosaurs.  And while I have no idea what their team name was, I was intrigued by the dinosaur- themed contraption that we all knew had not chance of flying.  Looking back at the website, I think it was Dinosoars.  No really.

And with the winds whipping around - making things comfortable for us spectators - but downright dangerous for the pilots, it seemed that there was little chance of the record for longest flight (258 feet) being challenged.  We were laughing as one of the machines - I think it was the Murphy's Claw - not even get pushed off the platform and it was starting to fall apart.  The Barstool flight machine was just a pirate ship.  I think they just gave up.  Boston Creme Flies started going sideways while it was being pushed and ended up with negative distance. 

It was pretty funny.

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