Team Flite-Riot Wins First Prize and People’s Choice Award
Members of the world famous radio-control (R/C) aircraft YouTube channels Flite Test and Rotor Riot won first prize and the People’s Choice Award at the Red Bull Flugtag held in Boston. As Team Flite-Riot, they flew their aircraft 69 feet from the flight deck into the Charles River and past the competition, becoming the first team in Flugtag’s 25-year history to win both the grand prize and the People’s Choice Award.
“Everything about this experience was truly a group effort,” said Josh Bixler, President and Host of Flite Test. “Our team worked relentlessly to design and build the aircraft, plus we had a great pilot in Chad Nowak and the support of the Flite Test and Rotor Riot communities. We couldn’t have done it without them.”
Together, Flite Test and Rotor Riot boast a worldwide online community of over 500,000 members. The Flite Test and Rotor Riot FaceBook, Instagram and Twitter communities flooded the Flugtag with hashtag votes for Team Flite-Riot, propelling them to win the People’s Choice Award.
“The support from both communities was incredible,” said Austin Furey, Flite Test’s Business Development Manager. “None of this would’ve been possible without them, and it really inspired us to pour everything into our design and theme—and have fun doing it.”
The fun factor was evident in their Pokémon-inspired theme, which featured Team Flite-Riot pushing their aircraft off the flight deck dressed as Pikachu. Using their model aircraft design expertise and the flying knowledge of experienced glider pilot Chad Nowak (host of Rotor Riot), Flite-Riot earned high scores from the five Flugtag judges. The win is especially notable considering the high level of competition, which included Draper Laboratory and aerospace engineers from MIT.
“Our aircraft was a conventional fixed wing design with functional rudder and elevator control surfaces and a wingspan of just under 24 feet,” continued Bixler. “We built it in under 10 days with a budget of $530, and everyone at Flite Test helped in some capacity. This is a great group win for Flite Test, Rotor Riot and our communities as a whole.”
After winning at Flugtag, Flite Test issued a challenge to their community to recreate the project: build the plane in less than 10 days with a budget of $500. Flite Test has also released a Flugtag Vlog and Recap Episode on their YouTube channel.