FlugTag: Ballito team confident their bird will fly

2012-12-08 00:00

FOUR would-be aviators of Ballito will be hoping that Red Bull gives their gigantic red flamingo wings at the Red Bull Flugtag at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town tomorrow.

Cuan Rootman, Genie Raatz, Shaun Joffe and Timothy Lyle, of team Red FlaminGoes, have spent months building their

flying machine and are keen to test it against the other 45 teams taking part in the


In the Flugtag, teams are challenged to build homemade, human-powered flying machines and to pilot them off a six-metre high ramp in the hopes of achieving flight. They are judged not only on their flight’s distance, but creativity and showmanship as well.

Asked why they had entered the contest, where most of the craft end up in the water below the ramp, Rootman said: “I thought it would be fun to get involved. This is the first time any of us have taken part in an event like this. The crowd can definitely expect some fancy legwork and some cool flamingo outfits as we prepare for flight.”

The flamingo design was, he said, thumbsucked out of nowhere. Rootman simply scribbled his idea down and then asked Ballito aviator William Yeo to help them “get it to fly”.

As to whether they believe their bird will soar, the team is confident. “We do think it is going to fly. It’s made with plywood, PVC and cellophane for the wings. One of our team [William] is an engineer who has built a few aircraft before, so we’re confident we’ll be able to fly. But it is a big-ass flying machine ... it got a bit out of control and is bigger than we thought it would be.”

Over 400 entries were received for this year’s Flugtag.

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