Red Bull Flugtag Gives South Floridians a Chance to Earn Their Wings

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At Red Bull Flutag (Flugtag is German for “Flying Day”), teams of up to five people have worked for months building homemade, human-powered flying machines which one person pilots off of an elevated flight deck, through the air, and into a body of water.

Teams are judged based on three criteria, like flight distance, creativity and showmanship, by a panel of local and national celebrities. Red Bull has produced more than 100 Flutag around the world — from Rome to Los Angeles. The first Red Bull Flugtag took place in 1991 in Vienna, Austria, as the brainchild of Red Bull founder Dietrich Mateschitz.

Red Bull Flugtag Miami 2012 sets up shop at Miami’s Bayfront Park on Saturday Nov. 3. at 12 p.m. the proverbial hangers will open where the crafts will be lined up with the team members getting ready for flight. At 2 p.m. the first craft is set to take flight off a 30-foot high ramp after the team’s 30-second skit as an attempt to win over the judges and crowd.

After the last team takes off, the awards ceremony will follow, when the Red Bull Flugtag Miami 2012 winner and the People’s Choice winner will be crowned.

More than 30 teams have signed up to throw themselves and their flying machines into the bay in front of an expected crowd of more than 85,000 people. Members of Magic Carpet Ride are back to defend their soaring 2010 title to fly the farthest against some wacky flight crews — including the Bacon Soldiers, Banana Pelada, $2.50 and Space Cadets.

Paolo Pincente, executive producer for Miami Beach Pride 2012, is the team captain for the Space Cadets, as well as general manager of space Miami. The team is comprised of Paolo, a few gorgeous girls from the bar and another male worker who has doubled as the designer and pilot of the team’s craft.

“Space and Red Bull have a great partnership. We missed the chance to participate two years ago so our owner wanted to be sure we were in for this year,” Pincente said.

Pincente added they have put together the most remarkable group of people together to have fun and to hopefully win.

“We even had an engineer come in to spec out the details of our craft to make sure it worked,” he said.

Their craft, measuring 20 feet long and 30 feet from wing tip to wing tip is comprised mostly of PVC and Styrofoam and is piloted by a single person.

“When we remolded Space in 2010 we built a space man and in the lobby there is a miniature space shuttle there too,” Pincente said. “The idea was for people to see our design and know exactly where it came from.”

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