Red Bull Flugtag returns to Bayfront Park in the fall

Defying gravity for as long as possible is the goal of each entry in the Red Bull Flugtag.
Defying gravity for as long as possible is the goal of each entry in the Red Bull Flugtag.

What happens before and after takeoff is optional, but landing is mandatory. Red Bull Flugtag is soaring into Miami this fall for the first time since 2010, and applications now are being accepted from avid aviators throughout the Southeast.

Bayfront Park will welcome thousands of South Florida residents and visitors to its beautiful waterfront to see the flights and follies of Red Bull Flugtag on Saturday, Nov. 3. Flugtag, German for “flying day,” is a competition that dares the brave and tests the brainy to design, build and pilot homemade aircrafts off a 30-foot high ramp in hopes of achieving human powered flight. Forty teams will be chosen to test their “wings” and compete in the flying spectacle that awes millions around the world.

Past applicants have created crafts representing everything the imagination can bring to life, from fairy tales and comic book characters to iPhones and cheeseburgers. Entry is open through Sept. 1 and applications can be submitted online at or via “snail mail.” Interested teams should draw up their blueprints of an imaginative craft and prepare to fly — at least for a few seconds.

Entrants must compile a team of no more than five people— four flight crew members and one pilot — to create a unique flying contraption concept. While distance is important, creativity and showmanship are necessary to impress the judges. These criteria have inspired such outrageous crafts as a towering Pope-mobile, an airborne outhouse, gangsters, hotdogs and a replica of Santa and his flying sleigh.

While the sky may be the limit on creativity, there are still a few flight regulations. All aircrafts must be entirely humanpowered — no motors or stored energy such as slingshots or catapults — and cannot exceed 450 pounds (including the pilot). Remember that size does matter, and all aircraft must be less than 30 feet wide.

Since the first Red Bull Flugtag in Vienna, Austria, in 1991, more than 100 Flugtags have been held around the world, attracting up to 300,000 spectators for a single event.

The record for the farthest flight to-date in the United States currently stands at 207 feet and was set at Red Bull Flugtag St. Paul in 2010 by team Major Trouble and the Dirty Dixies. The pressure is on for this year’s Red Bull Flugtag flyers to blow these records off the charts. The Red Bull Flugtag in Miami will be the third of four Flugtags held this year, with other competitions occurring in Chicago, Philadelphia and San Francisco.

Red Bull Flugtag is free and open to the public.

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