UK Homemade Aircraft Show

One of the world's most colorful flying festivals has returned to the UK for the first time since 2008.

The Red Bull Flugtag attracted around 15,000 spectators to Leeds' Roundhay Park on Sunday (July 17, 2011), to watch the 34 teams of amateur aviators attempt to make their flying machines go the distance.

The home-made aircraft are launched from a platform over the water - the aim to stay airborne for as long and as far as possible.

But the competition was about more than just aerodynamic superiority. Contestants were scored on their performance in three categories: distance, with one point per meter flown, creativity, and performance which includes a 30 second dance routine on the platform ahead of their flight to wow the crowd

For the first time in the event's nine year history competitors were all required to where fancy dress in keeping with the themes of their machines.

Some teams ended up putting as much effort into their costumes as their aircraft

"We put hours and hours of effort in and just the way the crowd and everybody came up to us today and just absolutely loved the way we looked. We went for a walk around the park when all the guys were coming in. We couldn't move, we had to stop every two seconds for photos with kids, it was brilliant," said one of the "Toy Story" themed team - and eventual winners "To Infinity and the Pond".

The "To Infinity and the Pond" flyers faced some tough competition - both in the costume and the flying department - from the likes of teams like "Mr Whippy and His Team of Topping", "The Leeds Griffin", and "James and the Giant Yorkshire Pudding".

But at the end of the day the "Toy Story" characters took the top prize of 5,000 British pounds - much to their surprise.

"Ecstatic, absolutely ecstatic. I didn't think we'd win at all. This morning we turned up just to have a good day but we can't believe we've won it, honestly," said one team member dressed as "Buzz Lightyear".

The team were competing to raise money for the Samantha Dickson Brain Tumor Trust.

15,000 people defy the rain to watch fancy dressed fliers try to defy gravity at the Red Bull Flugtag in Leeds.


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