Flugtag is a German word which translates to “day of flight.”
Videos of the annual Red Bull Flugtag on the popular energy drink’s YouTube channel may lead one to debate whether flight is actually being achieved.
However, one thing’s for certain: McPherson will be represented in Saturday’s National Red Bull Flugtag competition by Chris Walline, Jacob Zumbrum, Dalton Anderson, Jason Tulle and Duane Young, collectively known as The A-Team.
Team member Zumbrum said the inspiration for taking part in this year’s competition came from previous Red Bull events in which he and team member Walline had competed.
“My buddy Chris and I did their Rebel Soapbox competition in the past, and we had a blast,” Zumbrum said, “so we decided we’d get into this.”
The Red Bull Flugtag competition began in 1992 with the first event taking place in Vienna, Austria. Ten years later, it made its debut on American shores, attracting 25,000 spectators to the Embarcadero Pier in San Francisco.
2013 marks the flugtag’s first national event, with teams in five cities competing simultaneously on Saturday.
Teams are chosen based on application information, including their theme and their involvement in previous Red Bull events.
Crafts are required by competition rules to be self-constructed gliders with a maximum wingspan of 28 feet and maximum weight of 400 pounds including the pilot. The other four team members propel it by hand to its moment of glory.
Local celebrity judges rate the competing teams on the distance their craft flies, the creativity of the craft and the team’s overall showmanship. Teams also are required to perform a skit based on their theme.
Taking part in the Dallas/Fort Worth competition, The A-Team will take off from an elevated surface on top of a barge situated on Lake Caroline in Irving, Texas.
According to their team page on Red Bull’s website, Zumbrum and crew are planning to re-enact the scene from the recent A-Team film in which a tank manned by the cast hurtles through the air suspended from a parachute.
“We pity the fools who try to compete with the A-Team in Dallas,” Zumbrum said.
Those who would like to follow the team’s progress can do so via their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Ateammcpherson and Chris Walline’s Twitter page at https://twitter.com/quik406.