NDSU Team to Compete in Red Bull Flugtag
Published: Monday, September 16, 2013
Updated: Monday, September 16, 2013 13:09
Red Bull is hosting their ever-famous annual national Flugtag competition. The Midwest destination for the competition is Chicago, and there happen to be a few representatives from North Dakota. In fact, these five gentlemen will also be representing NDSU.
A Flugtag is a homemade, man-powered flying machine. Each machine must fit within certain criteria, such as a maximum wingspan of 28 feet and combined pilot and craft weight of 400 pounds.
This year, though, there is a new element in the crowd. For the first time ever there are some current and past NDSU students in the crazy mix.
Andrew Galegher (Agricultural Economics, 2011) is the fearless pilot who has been working for some time alongside his trusted friends. Wayne Baumbach (Business Administration, 2010), Nyland Huck (Criminal Justice, 2011), Spencer Roth (Agricultural Systems Management, 2011), and Jeremy Ahlers (Anthropology Senior) all make up the deck crew for the team. These are the ones who will eventually have the honor of heaving the Flugtag off of the launch pad and, hopefully, into the air.
This five-man team is one of 31 to have made it through the application process out of over 155 in the region. They had originally planned on recreating the Flying Winnebago from the hit movie “Spaceballs”. Once they found out that they were the first applicants ever from North Dakota to make it through, they decided to change plans into something a little more sentimental.
The team agreed that it would be best to try and fit the theme of the craft around North Dakota and the natural pride and love that comes from NDSU. What better way to express their roots than through constructing a flying Bison craft?
Galegher said his team chose the name “Lucky Lindegaard” as a twist on the famous aviator Charles Lindbergh’s nickname. The name also pays tribute to two North Dakota soldiers from team member Huck’s company who gave their lives fighting for their country: Darren Linde (Sgt. 1st Class) and Tyler Orgaard (Spc.).
When asked how exactly the Bison would work into their design and how it would function, Galegher replied, “My main concern is our weight balance front and back. We are [front-heavy] so we added a long tail on the backside to counter that. We really centered our design around the Bison versus the glider. So we potentially sacrificed flyability right there”.
The Flugtags are scored based off of overall creativity in design, showmanship (each team has to perform a pre-launch skit/dance) and, of course, how far the craft can actually fly.
The competition officially kicks off September 21 when Galegher’s crew will be hitting the launch pad in Chicago.
Check out team Lucky Lindegaard by liking them on Facebook. Flugtags constructed by past contestants can be seen on YouTube or at redbullflugtagusa.com.