Daring Students Take to the Skies in Homemade Flying Machine at Red Bull Flugtag

A team from PhilaU will attempt to fly past the competition in a homemade flying machine at RedBull Flugtag.

A PhilaU team will take to the skies in Philadelphia’s annual Red Bull Flugtag, which will take place Saturday, Sept. 15, on the Camden Waterfront.  The Red Bull Flugtag challenges teams of five to build homemade, human-powered flying machines and pilot them off the end of a 30-foot deck into the waters of the Delaware River.

PhilaU pilot Christian Loos and flight crew members Adam Letherby, Marty Perkins, Lucas Ciccarelli and Mike Leonard have been hard at work for the past few months building their giant, flying Ram, inspired by PhilaU’s mascot. ThePhilaU team, which will compete against 32 others, is aiming to fly high and put on a great show at this slightly strange, extremely fun event.

The teams will be judged on three criteria: flight distance, creativity and showmanship. So even though “flugtag” means “flying day” in German, how the team and their machine look may prove to be more important than how far they soar. The event is free and open to the public, so  expect a crowd — in 2010, nearly 85,000 people flocked to the banks of the Delaware River to watch Philadelphia’s finest self-taught pilots fly– and fall—with style. Fans can help the PhilaU team win the popular vote by texting TEAM4 to 72855. Up to 15 votes are allowed per mobile phone.

There will be limited parking at the Camden Waterfront on Saturday, but a ferry will run every 15 to 20 minutes from Penn’s Landing to the main event. The event will open to the public at 11 a.m., giving spectators two hours to stake out a good spot to relax, hang out with friends and watch the first team take flight at 1 p.m.

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