Those magnificent men in their flying machine

One of the entries in last years Flugtag. Photo by Christian Pondella/Red Bull Photofiles.

If youve noticed a number of crazed blokes sporting Batman cowls, goggles and the odd silk scarf at your local hardware store, dont fret. Its just Ballinas Alexander Cooke and his team of wannabe pilots getting ready for lift-off in the Red Bull Flugtag competition in Sydney this April.

Alexander Gray, Matthew White, Chris Kacir and Brett Carwardine will be backwards and forwards to the hardware store over the next few weeks as they turn Cookes competition-winning design into a reality for the world-renowned event.

When I saw that Red Bull Flugtag was coming to Sydney, I sat down and started designing my ultimate flying machine the super-fast, crime fighting Batplane, said a crazed Cooke.

Thirty-six teams from around the country will launch their man-made masterpieces off a six-metre ramp into Sydney Harbour come April to be judged on three criteria distance, creativity and showmanship.

We want to win them all, said Cooke. Winning the longest flight might be a bit of a long shot as we have never built a plane before, but winning most creative design is more likely. Weve created some great costumes.

The first Red Bull Flugtag event took place in Vienna, Austria, in 1991. Since then, more than 35 Flugtag events have been held around the world, from Ireland to San Francisco, attracting up to 300,000 spectators. The record for the furthest flight to date currently stands at 60 metres, set in 2000 in Austria.


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