Red Bull Flugtag: an awesome sponsorship opportunity for the world’s airframers

Red Bull Flugtag is coming to Singapore, with the eventtaking place on 28 October at Sentosa’s Siloso Beach. Given that Flightglobalcovers all the world’s major air shows and aviation milestones, writing aboutpeople who build bizarre flying contraptions and run them into the sea isclearly a good fit.

Among the fixed wing aircraft we cover regularly, theLockheed Martin F-35B would be the ideal candidate to win the event given itsability to take off vertically. Key challenges could include the fact that itsRolls Royce lift fan and swivelling thrust nozzle would blow the launch pad toshreds -  this would be fun to watch, though.The pad would also be incapable of supporting the aircraft’s weight, but I’msure something could be worked out with Red Bull.

Another challenge could be getting an actual aircraft. I wasbriefly inclined to write the F-35 programme office a letter asking, in total seriousness,for them to consider a loaner. It would be great public relations in Singapore,which is rumored to be interested in the F-35B. The invetibly dry wording oftheir rejection would have been amusing, no doubt.

Then I had an inspiration: Flugtag could represent anopportunity for the world’s airframers to impose some measure of humility on usaviation journalists. 

How often have highly-skilled, richly-educated aircraftdesigners and engineers grimaced at the criticism trade journalists and bloggerscasually heap upon development programmes? It is far easier to type phrases suchas “troubled programme”, “white elepnant,” and “obsolescent design” than it isto actually struggle with the engineering and technical challenges involved in creatingan aircraft.

I propose that the world’s big airframers team up to sponsora team of aviation journalists and bloggers to see how well we do producing aFlugtag winner. The skies of Singapore await. 

Follow me on Twitter: @AsiaJetWatch

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