RED BULL FLUGTAG
“Flugtag is a chance to do something amazing,” says 22-year-old Northwestern University mechanical engineering student Matt Dolph, who will pilot the Ms. Fizzle’s Third Period aircraft, constructed solely in the Northwestern University machine shop.
“To me, being a competitor in Flugtag is the pinnacle of creativity vs. function, and a chance at eternal glory. At the end of the day, Flugtag means a chance to harness and display your imagination to the world in a physical way.”
The Chicago event will be the first of four flugtags, with other competitions occurring in Philadelphia, Miami, and San Francisco later this year. And since the first Red Bull Flugtag took place in Vienna, Austria, in 1991, a number of flying records have been made. The current record is 228 feet held by a German team from this
11a.m. (flights begin at 1 p.m.), September 8
North Avenue Beach, West La Salle Drive, Chicago Free Visit www.redbullflug tagusa.com year’s competition in Mainz, Germany. The record for the farthest flight in the U.S. currently stands at 207 feet and was set at Red Bull Flugtag St. Paul, Minn., in 2010 by team Major Trouble and the Dirty Dixies.
“None of us really know what we are doing,” laughs Dolph, whose craft is based on the children’s book and TV show “The Magic School Bus.” “Once we launch, we are just hoping for the lift we will get from our wings. Of course, we also made a call to some friends we have at Boeing for some advice. Who knows what will happen? We just basically saw an opportunity and ran with it.”
Unfortunately, many of the crafty aircrafts will find their ultimate fate via the evercommon back flip or nose dive just seconds before they ultimately crash into Lake Michigan.
“Yep, I’m not looking forward to seeing all of the work we put into this thing sink,” said Harvesty, laughing, who hints that his team members just might be dressed up as flies. “But we have high hopes. I put on our application that our biggest challenge will be flying too far. According to our calculations, we should be landing in the Grand Rapids area.”
He’s joking, right?
Team Red Frog member Terry McMahon constructs its new flying machine for 2012 Chicago Flugtag.