Uncategorized

Red Bull flugtag gave students wings

Students from the College of Engineering, covered in colored body paint, wings and beaks, pushed an Angry Birds-themed aircraft off a 30-foot pier at Bayfront Park during the third annual Red Bull Flugtag event.

The crowd in Downtown Miami roared as team pilot Thien Tran, who sat on the creatively designed flight machine, flew the craft 36 feet before it took a dive into the water.

Flugtag – German for “flying day” – is an event in which contestants build their own aircrafts or gliders, perform a skit based on their themes and then push their structures off a pier to see if they fly.

November’s competition was the third time that UM’s American Society of Mechanical Engineers team has participated in Red Bull Flugtag. Though the winning team successfully flew more than 100 feet farther than UM’s team, the engine Angry Birds machine won the People’s Choice Award at the event.

The UM students competed under the name “Hurricane Engineers’ Angry Birds” and based their contraption on the popular mobile video game.

“We wanted something that people would recognize, that they liked and is fun as well,” said Tran, who is majoring in mechanical engineering.

The team built a two-story aircraft with a wooden frame, and included a “bad piggie” face on the front along with other designs from the ubiquitous game. Every flight machine in the competition also had to have a seat for the pilot.

Before taking flight, the group simulated the video game, using a slingshot to fling birds toward the “bad piggie” – the aircraft.

Teams were judged based on flight distance, creativity and showmanship by a panel of local and national celebrities. The judges included Adam Kuperstein of NBC 6, Audrina Patridge of “The Hills” and professional surfer Evan Geiselman.

This year’s competitors displayed a wide range of themes. There was a “Wizard of Oz” spinoff with a bearded male Dorothy, and a presidential dance-off complete with characters representing both 2012 candidates and an aircraft modeled after Air Force One.

Although UM’s team predicted the Angry Birds aircraft would fly 60 to 90 feet, it traveled 36.

“There may have been a snag on one of the lines when it actually tipped over, so it pulled the tail down just a little bit and that threw it off balance,” said Tom Knight, team captain and mechanical engineering major.

The craft was running well on the pier but took a nosedive once it actually pushed off. None of that mattered, though, when approximately 6,500 spectators voted for the team via text.

“It was Twitter, Facebook, the backing of the school and, most importantly, the backing of the College of Engineering,” Knight said.

Mitch Phillips, crew member and aerospace engineering major, felt his team did a great job and was satisfied with the People’s Choice Award.

“This is the best award anyway,” he said.

July 11, 2013

Reporters

Sam Abbassi


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

The Miami Hurricanes are running low on tight ends. But their receivers — notably sophomore speedste ...

A six-pack of Hurricanes notes on a Tuesday: ▪ The pretty even split of carries between Travis Homer ...

The University of Miami has lost another player to surgery, and the depth was already lacking at thi ...

A six-pack of UM notes on a Monday: ▪ There has been no more popular or successful quarterback at UM ...

The Miami Hurricanes’ defense leads the nation in tackles for loss and stopping opponents on third d ...

New technology could help schools identify shooters and other intruders before they enter the door. ...

A University of Miami professor has created software to detect fraud in standardized tests. ...

UM President Julio Frenk outlined the strategies of the Roadmap to Our New Century, part of his Stat ...

Students attending Monday night's State of the U address by UM President Julio Frenk offer thei ...

At UM’s inaugural State of the U address, President Julio Frenk detailed the strategies of the Roadm ...

Jeff Thomas may be quiet off the field, but the sophomore has been consistently making lots of noise ...

The Atlantic Coast Conference announced Tuesday the league slate for the upcoming 2018-19 season. ...

Miami remained ranked in both major polls Sunday, checking in at No. 21 in the Associated Press Top ...

The Miami Hurricanes came to Toledo, Ohio for the biggest home game in the history of Toledo footbal ...

A quartet of University of Miami men's tennis student-athletes concluded the final day of compe ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.