This Saturday, 10/25/03, Red Bull hosted their second annual San Francisco Red Bull Flügtag Competition where teams create flying hand-made machines and launch them off a pier. Here are the rules:
- Human Powered - Flight crafts must be powered entirely by human muscle power. External energy sources (including rubber bands, motors, springs, etc.) are forbidden, as are existing wings (e.g., hang glider or a parachute canopy).
- Less than 30' wide - So the craft will fit on the launching ramp.
- No more than 450 lbs (including the pilot) - So the recovery crew can do their job safely.
- Craft Cost - Limited (discreet) sponsorship of crafts is accepted.
Flying crafts are given a score between 1 and 100. They are judged by these three criteria:
- Distance - The farther the better. Most of the submissions we saw didn't go past 45 feet.
- Creativity - (Almost) more important than distance is craft design. According to the website, "It's not enough that it flies. Actually it's not even required that you fly at all. A dramatic stone-like path into the water can lead you to victory if your craft is outrageous enough."
- Showmanship - Teams are given a 2-minute skit prior to launch. We saw some hilarous routines that were carefully choreographed to music.
I checked the results today, and defending champions El Toro Guapo won again this year. Oregona Wagoner STOL came second, and Running of the Red Bulls (obvious pandering to the organizer) took third place.