Friday, 29 June 2007

German concept successful at Nashville Flugtag

The Bluegrass Blog reports on the annual Red Bull Flugtag ('flying day') at Nashville, TN, on 23 June: the competition for human-powered flight was won by the Rocky Top Rocket, which set a new North American record of 155 feet*. A link to a video recording of the flight is on the Bluegrass Blog.

For aviation buffs: the Rocket uses the Luftwaffe's Mistel (mistletoe) concept, in which a large unpiloted machine was controlled and released by a smaller aircraft mounted on its back. In the Rocket's case, the lower component took the form of an immense banjo, which did not travel as far as the launch vehicle. More research is clearly needed. Could the Rocket be booked for a flypast at the next Banjoree?

*The record at the Bognor Birdman competition in England is 89.2 metres (289.9 feet), set by a local man after a long series of German wins.