Flying tractors and basketball-shaped planes: it’s Red Bull Flugtag 2022!

Red Bull’s iconic Flugtag event recently made its long-awaited return to the United States at Milwaukee’s Lake Michigan. More than 50,000 spectators gathered at the water’s edge to watch 36 human-powered planes attempt to fly over the lake (or at least get some airtime) at the first Flugtag event to take place in Badger State.

In true Milwaukee style, many teams took inspiration from Wisconsin specialties such as hot dogs, bears, and tractors when building their planes. Each aircraft was judged on three criteria: the creativity and design of their craft, the staging of their skit, and the distance traveled after taking off from the 27-foot platform.

Is it a bird? A plane? Check out these aerial photography tips! (opens in a new tab)

Red Bull Flugtag 2022 Winners – Flight For Your Right to Party (Image credit: Red Bull Flugtag 2022)

Red Bull veterans Flutag Flight For Your Right to Party were crowned champions thanks to their Viking-inspired craft, which managed to soar an impressive 66 feet and score a perfect 50 before crashing into the water. The team is made up of a bunch of suburban dads with an affinity for wacky racing. Last month they took part in the Redbull Soapbox Race, where teams build a car without an engine to race around a track.

“We feel elated right now,” said Flight For Your Right to Party member Scott Rademaker. “It will go down as one of the best times of our lives and it’s even better that we got to do it together, as best friends. Valhalla!”

In second place, Farmers Unincorporated managed to go a not-too-shabby 54 feet in their green pickup-style tractor contraption, and third place went to Bear Naked Chonkers whose sea urchin-themed contraption has slipped 42 feet.

Many teams have taken inspiration from things that make the area unique, including the area’s local recovery team, Kwik Trip, who modeled their craft on a flying version of their beloved banana truck. And the Milwaukee basketball team inspired the Bucks Rim Rockers who took off in a basketball-shaped plane named Airball, and while they didn’t get very far, it was an entertaining attempt.

Now in its 30th year, the Red Bull Flugtag began in 1992 on the beautiful Danube River in Vienna, Austria, and since then 174 events have taken place in 50 countries and 96 cities. The world record for the longest Flutag flight was set in 2013 by The Chicken Whisperers, who managed to reach an astonishing 257.5 feet – a record that proves very difficult to beat.

Comments are closed.