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Homemade contraptions more likely to nosedive than take off in flight

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Brent Cross (from left), Jeremy Choy and Kevin Guenther with their Flying Beanie machine. They will compete in the Red Bull Flugtag in Ottawa July 27.

PHOTOS BY JOHN WOODS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Enlarge Image

Brent Cross (from left), Jeremy Choy and Kevin Guenther with their Flying Beanie machine. They will compete in the Red Bull Flugtag in Ottawa July 27. Photo Store

They're entering a competition for human-powered flying machines but Chris Reimer says it will be a miracle if their contraption can get off the ground.

"Fan's Choice Award, that's what we're shooting for. Ours isn't going to get any flight at all," said Reimer, 22, with a laugh. "We're going for more of a splash factor, I think."

Reimer is the team captain of El Beaverdor, a craft designed as a giant Mexican wrestler beaver.

El Beaverdor is one of two teams from Winnipeg among 30 finalists for the 2013 Red Bull Flugtag final in Ottawa on July 27. The other team is Flying Beanie.

In the competition, each team will push its human-powered flying machine off the eight-metre-high flight deck over the Ottawa River.

The goal is to put on a show and, if you can, grab some air.

Some crash spectacularly into the water below, which is what happened to Flying Beanie captain Jeremy Choy, who entered a team in 2008.

"This time around we want to try to make it fly as far as we can. The last time we did it in 2008, we sort of just fell more than flew," said Choy, an interactive designer at Pattern Interactive who will pilot the Flying Beanie.

"We wanted the lightest person (as pilot) and biggest wingspan possible this time so we have a fighting chance to get some distance. We want some redemption from 2008."

Prior to attempting flight in the finals, each team does a 30-second presentation. It is here El Beaverdor believes it will shine.

The pilot for El Beaverdor will be Chris Cabildo, a 30-year-old University of Manitoba graphic designer who will be the eventual star of the show. But the audience will have to watch to find out.

"We're all going to come out dressed as (luchador) wrestlers and have a big Mexican-style wrestling fight up on the platform," Reimer said, referring to the lucha libre-style of wrestling known for high-flying attacks. "At the end, Chris Cabildo is the smallest guy so he's going to take us all out. He's going to win the fight and then as revenge, we're going to put him in the machine and push him off the edge."

In addition to Chris Reimer, who works at Bounce Design, El Beaverdor includes his younger brother, Charles Reimer, a 20-year-old engineering student at Red River College and Bounce Design co-worker Neil Smalley, 21, who is a wrestling fan and came up with the luchador concept.

There will be a signature move -- the Flying Beaver Elbow Drop -- performed by the machine as it crashes into the water.

Flying Beanie also includes Choy's girlfriend, Kelly Rybachuk, 30, as well as Pattern co-workers Brent Cross, 36, the pilot in the team's 2008 entry, and Kevin Guenther, 34.

"It's a really fun event," Choy said. "The biggest thing is the experience and the journey for us. To get to go, to build with a group of friends and build something you wouldn't normally try to build in your life. How often do you get to try to build a flying machine?"

The teams each spent $400 to $800 on their machines.

 

ashley.prest@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 19, 2013 B1

History

Updated on Friday, July 19, 2013 at 7:14 AM CDT: replaces photo

10:08 AM: Corrects team info.

10:54 AM: Corrects URL.

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