By Dave Crawley

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The 40th annual Pittsburgh Three Rivers Regatta is just two weeks away. It begins on August 4.

New this year is the Flugtag event. You might call it the “Anything That Flies” competition, though the “aircrafts” do end up floating soon enough. Redbull Flugtag has taken place all over the world. Teams are judged on distance from a 22-foot pier, creativity of their craft, and showmanship.

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Forty formidable flugtags will flaunt their fancy fashion in the Regatta. But when it comes to flying farthest, the one being constructed at Butler County Airport has “the right stuff.”

It’s being constructed by five team members from the Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics. Team captain Dustin Collela describes the design.

“It’s based on the Wright brothers original glider,” he said. “It’s a little bit different. We have a shorter wing on the bottom, longer wing on the top. Really simple design. It worked over a hundred years ago.”

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The aviation tech school was started by Orville Wright in 1927. Dean of Academic Affairs Jason Pfarr says team members are using what they have learned

“Building a wing structure, understanding a wing structure, fabric covering,” he said. “This is an application of what they have learned in class.”

Even though the Wright brothers’ model had an engine, team member Isabella Klink says, “We kind of modernized in our own way. But same structure as a biplane. So hopefully we can make it further than they did.”

That would be more than enough to smash the Flugtag record.

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