Birdman 2008!

Pictures from the 2008 Birdman Rally on the Yarra on the 9th March.

Snoopy’s “cardboard Sopwith Camel” effort hardly qualified as a flight but looked good.

For every Snoopy, there has to be a Red Baron. Unfortunately, as he leapt, the tail clipped the edge of the platform and he plunged headfirst into the murky Yarra.

The flying wing below was a serious entry, but was too flexible (look at the warped leading edge) and the pilot had no idea how to launch or fly it. The same problem crops up on most of these machines – they have difficulty getting the angle of attack for the run correct. Half the problem is that the wing gives no cues as to what angle is right. A hint, guys. Get some trial runs in first, and make a small widget that hangs from the nose that must be kept on the horizon and horizontal for the takeoff run.

Fancy dress is worth a few points, and this “sea monster” guy jumped well.

And the Englishman in a “phantom of the opera” mask, coolie hat and diaphanous wings fell elegantly.

Which is more than you can say about the “flying saucer man” whose costume turned out to have some hidden dangers, and it’s a good thing he was not trapped in it. In the water it became a big “water bag” that was almost impossible to haul out of the river by the the retrieval crew once it filled.

Another serious entry with launch problems. He came of the ramp far too slowly.

Picture below: The guys on the platform lifted the whole wing and threw it and a girl lying on top of it off the edge. It looked and was dangerous, as she landed on top of the wing – it was a very sudden stop.

This primitive bamboo and plastic rogallo actually glided a little – like a high performance brick.

Take one stuffed pink unicorn and a loony and what do you get? A splash.

But there has to be a winner, and this guy has won it 3 years in a row. Not a great takeoff, as he had the nose too high on the takeoff run, but it flew 18 metres from the 4m launch.



3 Responses to “Birdman 2008!”

  1. 1 Doug March 15, 2008 at 2:38 am

    The giant diaphragm is cool-looking, but I’m unclear on the concept. If he wanted to be a big frisbee, wouldn’t someone need to throw him?

  2. 2 microsoar March 15, 2008 at 11:45 am

    Well, he did do a couple of twirls before he leapt.

  1. 1 Balls and Walnuts - more than you ever wanted to know » Thirteen Pets, Part 1 Trackback on March 15, 2008 at 2:35 am

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