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The Greatest American Hero Takes Off

“The Greatest American Hero Takes Off At The Red Bull Flugtag”

Ponsonby’s Greatest American Hero team took home first place at today’s Red Bull Flugtag, held from noon at Auckland’s Viaduct Basin.

The objective of the contest was to build a creative and original man-powered flying machine to be launched off a 6m high ramp, striving for the furthest distance and finishing with the biggest splash. The Greatest American Hero team did this and more, flying a total of 21m off the specially constructed ramp and also receiving the title of Farthest Distance traveled.

The essence of Flugtag (German for “Flying Day”) is fun. Each competitor was judged by three criteria, evenly weighted and consisting of distance, flight performance and originality. The judges were stunned by the time and effort that had obviously been put into several entries. Takanini’s Kiwi Bill Baron and Te Atatu’s Bull Puckey took 2nd and 3rd places respectively, whilst the truly original Flugstones craft was awarded the Most Creative award.

Despite a weather forecast that saw four seasons in one day, the sun held out over the Viaduct Basin throughout the competition, however a strong wind pull spelt “navigational difficulties” and logistical disasters for a few teams. It didn’t deter spectators though, who numbered around 40,000 and worked hard at rallying the teams to their optimum performance – be it flight performance or dramatic!

The Greatest American Hero team took home $10,000 towards a pilot’s license, whilst all the competitors took home a sense of exactly what it feels like to truly “have wings”.


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