Forty-six teams out of 135 applicants have been chosen to compete for the first Red Bull Flugtag in Qatar, where about 30,000 people are expected to watch the event on 1 November 2013 at the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) Park.
Since the event kicked off in Vienna in 1992, almost 100 Red Bull Flugtags have been held around the globe. According to The Peninsula, Qatar is the fourth country in the region to host the Flugtag which means ‘flying day’ in German. However, Qatar is not the first in the Middle East to host the event. Red Bull Flugtag has been held in the UAE, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Around 35,000 people attended the event in Jeddah in December 2012.
Held under the patronage of HE Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad Al Thani, Chairperson of Qatar Museums Authority (QMA), the one-day competition will be held in collaboration with Ford Middle East, as one of the main sponsors, Innovations Unlimited ME, the event management agency and QMA and the MIA, as the host of the venue.
The Managing Partner of Innovations Unlimited ME, Markus Jordan, was quoted saying:
Many teams have signed up and we are very excited to see such great interest in the event…We are working very closely with the Red Bull team and the QMA to create an amazing day at MIA for all participating teams and the Doha community. It’s going to be as much fun for the spectators as it will be for the contestants.’
Red Bull Flugtag challenges the brave and brainy to design, build and pilot human-powered flying machines off a six meters high flight deck in hopes of soaring into the wild blue yonder or more often, plunging into the water below. Besides trying to fly as far as possible from a six-meter high platform, Red Bull Flugtag participants will also have to perform an entertaining show for 60 seconds to impress both the crowd and the five judges before taking off and landing in the water.
All teams consist of a pilot and three crew members, and are bound to Red Bull Flugtag rules which consists of some of the following: the flying machine plus the pilot’s weight should not exceed 180 kg, and the air-crafts width should not exceed eight metres. The use of engines or any pulling source is forbidden as the crew members shall be the only manual assistance.
Ford Middle East’s Marketing Director, Paul Anderson, said:
We’re really excited to be supporting the first Red Bull Flugtag in Qatar, and help participating teams take their flying dreams further. As usual, Ford will be integrated into the event, adding fun elements as we reach out and engage the youth with our latest technologies and models.’
Teams will be evaluated on three main criteria: creativity of the craft, showmanship and flight distance.