They had a lot to prove and Team SAAA, members of the Sport Aircraft Association of Australia, didn’t disappoint, taking out Red Bull Flugtag 2010 today and setting a new Australian record.
The victorious Victorians were thrilled to fly their Thunderbird-inspired craft into the record books, and pilot David Zemel says: “We were hoping to pay the fine for flying under the Harbour Bridge – unfortunately we didn’t make it quite that far, but we’re still stoked with today’s result.”
And so they should be – not only did they win the overall event, but they set a new Australian distance record, sailing to 20.5 metres.
Coming in second place was Australia’s favourite outlaw, The Ned Kelly Gang, whose pre-flight shootout impressed the performance judges and who ambushed competitors with a 15.1 metre flight.
It was another Aussie icon in third place – an outdoor ‘dunny’ that transformed into a mean flying machine and flew 12.8 metres. This team had it all – an emu emerging from the thunderbox, a reworked version of Waltzing Matilda, and a boomerang to test the wind pressure. The Flugtagnuts and its flying loo were unanimously judged first for creativity, which shows that all the best ideas come from the dunny.
Sydney put on a spectacular day for this year’s Red Bull Flugtag, and an appreciative crowd of more than 30,000 looked on as crews risked it all to take their zany creations to the sky.
There were flying anvils, a muffin and a tent, and more than one politician ended up in the drink. Australiana was popular with a pie floater, killer drop bear, and an Aussie barbie complete with tomato sauce leaping gracefully off the six-metre ramp.
The day saw plenty of familiar characters among the crews. Marilyn Monroe made an appearance as well as Kiss, the Flintstones and not one, but Four Fat Elvises, who had a little too much junk in the truck to meet the world record.
While most of the fabulous flying machines showed potential, some didn’t stand a chance. The crew of the Fail Whale were determined to see the Twitter icon at the bottom of the harbour, while the Coogee Bay Hotel Super Schooner was down in one.
The performance judges included world champion pole vaulter Steve Hooker, TV personality Erica Heynatz, pro skateboarder Corbin Harris, and host Renee Bargh. Providing aviation commentary was flight combat instructor and RAAF fighter pilot Matt Hall.
For more information please visit www.redbullflugtag.com.au