Flugtag at Milwaukee's Veterans Park; local team nets perfect score

Thousands of people packed Milwaukee's Veterans Park for the Red Bull Flugtag on Saturday, July 16.

In the unique event, teams of up to five pilots competed on homemade flying machines by jumping into Lake Michigan from a 27-foot-high platform – an attempt at flight that inevitably ends with a splash.

"We are going to go high and far," said Mike Hansen. "It's been three months of hard labor."

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Hansen and his Viking teammates from Waukesha took their friendship to new heights as they flew over the lake. 

"There’s hundreds of hours spent on building this," Joe Reiter said of their flying machine.

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Crowds watch the Red Bull Flugtag at Milwaukee's Veterans Park

None of those machines went unnoticed – from the details in the design to the themes themselves. 

"It’s so awesome to see the creativity and just seeing people getting involved," said Andrew Gravning.

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The Waukesha team was one of 34 competing to reach the groundbreaking goal of 258 feet of flight. They didn't get the record, but a perfect score of 50 from the judges made it worth it.

"We are on top of the world right now," Hansen said.

The teams were judged on the creativity of their craft design, their performance and the distance of their flight. 

Named after the German word for "flying day," Red Bull Flugtag has pushed people’s creativity to the limit for over 30 years. The event has been held almost every year in over 50 countries and hosted nine million spectators worldwide.