At the Red Bull Flugtag 2014

There was a break without any rain yesterday afternoon, so it was a good opportunity to go and see the Red Bull Flugtag myself. The only problem was that hundreds of people had the same idea, so there was a big group of people already at the location close to the central ferry piers.

Red Bull Flugtag Hong Kong 2014-0

Red Bull Flugtag Hong Kong 2014-1

When I arrived (together with my friend Rik), we stood behind the stage and watched the first few flights taking of – but actually, the term flight is exaggerating, it was more like a free fall.

Red Bull Flugtag Hong Kong 2014-3

But everyone put on a good show and the crowd was cheering… everyone seemed happy. There were lots of happy kids around!

Red Bull Flugtag Hong Kong 2014-2

We stayed behind the stage a little while, before walking around the area that was closed off. We could see all the flying (or maybe better said: falling) objects that would be put to a test shortly… and a bunch of very happy and excited crew members.

Red Bull Flugtag Hong Kong 2014-4

Every team that went on stage had to put on a 30 second show, and that was quite fun to watch – lots of dances and fancy moves, but also the odd topless male act or even more elaborate costumes. After that, the pilot had to get on top of the plane and his crew members would push the object forward – hoping it would fly. But actually, it was just falling and crashing.

We kept walking around the enclosure until we reached the public entrance of the main area – there were already thousands of people, a mix of locals, tourists, teenagers, families and couples. We stood at the back and just watched the big screen. There was no chance that we could get closer to the stage.

Red Bull Flugtag Hong Kong 2014-5

But the good thing was that from the screen, we could actually see the flight teams starting and falling … there were some impressive teams, I think number 19 did a good job in actually staying a fraction of a second in the air (and not immediately falling like a stone).

Red Bull Flugtag Hong Kong 2014-6

Red Bull Flugtag Hong Kong 2014-7

The weather was getting worse and worse, more clouds and wind was coming up – and we quickly decided to walk back into Central and enjoy a tea at Shortbread Teas. From what I can gather, team OUTSIGN.LAB won this year’s fun event. But I don’t know how long the stayed up in the air, does anyone have more details for me?

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6 responses to “At the Red Bull Flugtag 2014

  1. It was nice to have the rain stay away during the “performance”. At the same time, it was also very nice not having the sun baking us as it normally does.

    • Agreed! But it was so dark and windy, at 2pm it looked like it was already early evening! But great turnout and a fun way to spend Sunday afternoon. Nice seeing you too, Tony!

  2. Apparently Outsign.lab flew 7 meters.
    Source: http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/article/1509834/daredevils-attempt-jet-harbour-homemade-aircraft-red-bull-flugtag

    Outsign.lab did put up an all round impressive show (which I gathered from watching videos of the event).

    Highlights from the event can be seen here:

    The wind conditions were probably not conducive for a nice smooth flight. But there were teams (other than number 19) that seemed to manage to fly for some time.

    To get a sense about how far is it actually possible to fly on such contraptions and under similar restrictions, here is a video of the world record setting team at the similar event in California last year:

    They flew 78.64 meters!
    Guess what these guys do for a living… Well… of course they are aerospace engineers :-)

    • Haha – thanks for the detailed summary and update Rik. Somehow I’m not surprised that you did a proper research, you were really fascinated by this subject. Are you planning to come up with a design for the next Flugtag? :) See you soon!

  3. i remember watching this on west kowloon a few years back. the wind was in the wrong direction – made me cringe when some of the machines almost doubled back on themselves!

    • Luckily it was not as bad this time – but it was not really a contest of ‘flying’. It was more a contest of ‘falling’ in style! :)

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