Wacky flights of fancy to take off

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 26 June, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 26 June, 2010, 12:00am

The silly season will officially arrive in Hong Kong on October 10, when some 40 weird and wacky flying contraptions take off from a ramp in West Kowloon in Asia's first Red Bull Flugtag.

The decision to bring the popular event to Hong Kong comes almost two decades after the first Red Bull Flugtag took place in Vienna, Austria, in 1991. Since then, many cities around the world, from San Francisco to Istanbul, have hosted the event. Flugtag is German for 'flying day'.

Over the years, aspiring aviators in Hong Kong have attempted to spread their wings in the local Birdman competition, which sees contestants in costumes strap on man-made wings and launch themselves off a pier into the water. The city's Flugtag event will see between 35 and 40 contestants take off in their man-made and man-powered flying machines from a six-metre high, 30-metre long ramp at the West Kowloon heliport.

Applications opened this month and will close on July 31. More than 100 entries had been received, a Red Bull spokesman said. Applications are accepted based mainly on sketches of the proposed flying machines, which can be built over a two-month period and stored in a rented hangar before moving to the West Kowloon heliport on October 10.

The event will start at noon and is expected to attract more than 30,000 spectators.