Trick flying over Moscow

Have you ever seen a flying chicken’s nest? Or a giant Russian balalaika with flapping wings? Well, prepare to meet them all as Moscow gets ready for the next edition of one of the craziest summer events – the Red Bull Flugtag contest.

On August 7, west Moscow’s Strogino was transformed, for the second time, into a battleground for the most unusual flying machines. Daredevils from all over Russia gathered in readiness to present the most outrageous hand-made flying machines.

One of the contest’s main concepts is “no limits to the imagination”, as the Red Bull Flugtag is first of all a show, and only then a competition for engineering nerds. However, particpants’ safety remains a priority, which is why the organizers begin preparations for the event well in advance.

The contest’s jury has been considering thousands of designs and concepts since April 1. The rules state that teams of five people must construct a flying machine, test its technical characteristics and eventually pilot the aircraft from a six-meter springboard “runway” over the water. It is certainly not for the faint-hearted!

As hundreds watch the eccentric goings-on from the stands, the jury judges the flights according to the speed, originality of the idea and, of course, showmanship.

The first Red Bull Flugtag was held in Vienna, Austria, in 1991. Since then, more than 35 Flugtag festivals have been staged worldwide.

In 2009, when the Red Bull Flugtag was held in Russia for the first time, over 3,000 applications with ideas and designs for flying machines were submitted for the organizers’ consideration. And just 45 of them made it to the final show.

The record for the longest flight was set in 2010 in Minnesota, USA, where a man-powered aircraft flew 63 meters over the water. This record beat the previous one set in Austria in 2000 by three meters.

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