Flugtag Flight Record Broken in Long Beach

The madcap flying machines of the Red Bull Flugtag go the distance.

If modern air travel has become a little too jet-powered and streamlined and engine-vroom for your tastes, we're just betting you're a fan of the Red Bull Flugtag.

What is flugtag? Whimsically attired adventurers board contraptions that may or may not fly, depending, and if they do fly they probably won't fly very far, and then team members push the contraption in question off a high ledge over some water.

After that? Anything can happen, but the most likely result is that the plane, which may or may not be a plane, but could be a vehicle shaped like an old-fashioned bicycle, an animal head, or anything else you can stick wings on, will fall into the water along with its pilot(s).

The Red Bull Flugtag -- flugtag is German for "air show," of course -- travels the world but it alighted in Long Beach on Saturday, Sept. 21.

What went down, literally? A number of homemade flight devices powered only by human-pushing, currents, hope, dreams, gumption, and the laughter of the teams. Yes, laughter powers flugtag, and we don't mean to be all greeting-card-y about it: It's a day of mishaps and wrecked plans, and everyone has a pretty grand time.

Let's pay tribute to the teams that are behind the seconds-long flight attempts, too; many, many people will put a lot of sweat and effort into a single device, only to applaud as it tumbles off the 30-foot dock.

San Francisco's Chicken Whisperers -- they were the team dressed as, yep, chickens -- broke a world record, sailing some 258 feet over the harbor.


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Want to see that sweet 'n silly action? There's video proof. Cheers, Chicken Whisperers, and the other inventive, flight-mad types who frequent the traveling flugtaggian circuit.

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