Friday, September 27, 2013

Texas Tomcats win DFW Flugtag

"Flugtag" in German is "flying day," and the Red Bull beverage company has made Flugtag a major event in the U.S. Last weekend, in five cities coast to coast, hundreds of teams competed with homemade flying machines to the cheers of thousands of spectators and in front of all national news organizations.

Are you surprised that a team made up entirely of LETU students won the Dallas Flugtag?  I'm not. 

The competition rules required each team of five members to design and build their own human-powered, homemade aircraft that they pushed off a 30-foot "flight deck" into a lake while one of their team members flew the aircraft for as far a distance as they could go. 

Team members included team captain Nathan O'Quinn, pilot Rachael Moffatt, Sheldon Bacher, Tim Powell, Gregg Williams and Quintin Socha.

Calling themselves the "Texas Tomcats," these students spent several months as they designing and building their aircraft to fit into the competition's design specifications: wingspan of less than 28 feet, height of less than 10 feet and weight less than 400 pounds, counting the pilot.

Originality, personality, showmanship and creative expression were all listed as part of their application process, but on the day of the competition, flight distance ruled.

The Texas Tomcats flew their mock F-14 a whopping 72 feet at the Dallas competition at Lake Carolyn in Las Colinas in front of over 90,000 spectators. And yes, the pilot was another one of our outstanding female aviation majors. (You can watch the video of their flight at competition here.)

That's right:  over 90,000 spectators attended the Dallas event.  In addition, CNN, ABC, ESPN and all national news organizations aired coverage of the fun.

Congratulations to these LETU students for achieving such great results from all their hard work. We know that an LETU education is all about excellence and ingenuity and this fun event was a powerful way for our students to show the world something of who they are.

You can see more information about the team and the video of their flight on the RedBull Flugtag website.  The nationwide competition made national news on CNN  and was featured on Good Morning America.