Sunday 11 March,
Will they flop or will they soar? Aided by a nifty flying machine or simply super-hero bravado, courageous competitors don inventive homemade flying devices as they hurtle themselves over the Yarra all in the name of charity and – of course – a whole lot of fun!
A fundraising battle unlike any other, participants compete as either Hawks or Penguins and are busily raising money in the lead up to their leap.
The amount they raise contributes extra ‘length’ to their total distance – so even if a Penguin flops they can still take out the Charity Jackpot.
Held on Sunday 11 March, the hilariously spectacular Birdman Rally is a long-held Moomba tradition that is guaranteed to have you in stitches.
Find out why our Birdmen are taking the honourable leap for charity and donate to their cause!
Hawks have sharp bills and acute eyesight. They’re serious flyers – usually competing for distance not creativity. Hawks have the technical advantage – but can they fundraise like a Penguin?
The team behind the Elenberg Flyser, piloted by Joshua, sure know their stuff. Made up of design and aeronautical engineers, they’re confident their trusty flying apparatus will make it all the way to the other side of the river bank. Joshua is an honourable Dad. He’s ready to raise as much funds as possible to help find a cure for his son Frederick who has a rare blood disorder. Charity: Captain Courageous Foundation
Fun fact – pilot Andrew has been competing in Birdman for quite some time. He’s a persistent flyer, even though he’s the least successful in the comp’s history. Taking inspiration from a snow skiing kite (we’re intrigued!) Team Gman are confident all the technical stuff is sorted making GOSSamer wing one to watch. Charity: Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.
Leonardo da Vinci’s Ornithopter
Pilot Scott is a Birdman veteran – he’s been braving the Yarra since 2004. A stuntman by day, Scott took inspiration from one of the greatest engineering minds of human history to build this year’s craft. Scott’s previous flights have seen him fall a little short, but with da Vinci on his side this time around we’re thinking he might just be a contender for the Charity Jackpot. Charity: Make-A-Wish Australia.
Mad Bride from Hell
Pilot Aaron is as close to a real life bird as you can get. He’s got 500 skydives under his belt and this is the 13th time he’s entered Birdman. Considering his experience, we’re thinking Aaron is going to do pretty well. Watch out for his support squad family, they’ll be cheering him on from the sidelines. Charity: The Royal Children’s Hospital.
Parkes Flyer 2
The team behind the Parkes Flyer 2 contraption may be young, but don’t underestimate their mighty flying machine. This group of crafty kids from Parkes Christian School in rural NSW are keen to show off their skills and have looked to the hand glider to push them to new heights. Watch as pilot Phil shows us what the next generation of flyers is made of. Charity: Currajong Disability Service.
As a kid, pilot Michael longed for the day he could compete in Birdman. A staunch competitor since 2005, he’s been trying out different designs ever since. This year, the experienced toolmaker reckons he’s nailed it. After working tirelessly in his workshop over forty hours, Michael is set to give competitors a run for their money. Charity: MS Limited.
The Coffee Plunger
Pilot Ann (informally known as Lady Latte) knows that a coffee themed flying machine is pretty fitting for this espresso loving city. Her contraption, which has a sustainability theme, is made from recycled coffee cups and took just 15 minutes to design. Ann’s no stranger to Birdman but still gets the jitters when leaping into the Yarra. Charity: TEAR Australia.
Penguins love a good laugh and doing something a little crazy for charity. Not a great flyer, Penguins might be the underdog but they sure know how to fundraise!
Cycle to Heaven
This super-hero angel is on a mission to clean up the Yarra one swoop at a time. Pilot Todd used to be a pole vaulter so jumping, leaping and soaring high in the sky is his forte. With over 30 years of design and manufacturing experience, team Diadem sure know their stuff when it comes to building the ultimate flying device. Charity: Property Industry Foundation.
Get to Da Choppa
Pilot Campbell loves to feel the wind in his hair and the bugs in his teeth. He’s a bit of a speed demon and when he’s not riding dirt bikes around the world, he’s conjuring up a plan to be the top-bird in the Penguin category. Campbell has a background in aeronautical engineering and is quite handy with a glue gun so we’re keen to see how far he’ll go in this year’s rally. Charity: Beyond Blue.
Owl Force One
Our King is taking on the ultimate Moomba challenge! His flying contraption was designed with his trusty sidekick Hoot in mind, and we think it will take our royal highness to new heights. As a youngster, Jimmy would watch the epic fails of Birdman from the sidelines and now he’s ready to give it a go. His charity is pretty special to Jimmy thanks to the support it’s given his nephew. Charity: Very Special Kids.
As a builder by trade you’d think that Daniel would have a little more faith in his flight. Instead, he thinks he’ll be lucky to even make it off the platform. But we’re not sure if we buy it, and suspect that he’s holding his cards close to his chest. Daniel’s a little anxious about the dive into the Yarra but is willing to make the leap for the very worthy cause. Charity: Bravehearts
Ressurect El Murf
Dominic is no ordinary Penguin. The Geologist by day often finds himself working in the African jungle, hence the inspiration for his Toucan ‘flying device’ (that and this Irishman also has a fond spot for the Irish Guinness Toucan). Dominic was inspired to compete in the Birdman Rally to raise funds for heart research. What a lad. Charity: The Heart Foundation.
First-time flyer Lisa appears quite the prankster – her craft is made entirely of whoopee cushions – but we think there’s something to be said for having a flying device filled with air, and that it might just give her enough wind beneath her wings to soar to victory. Lisa will have a big squad cheering her on, so whether she flops or flies she’ll be a hero in their eyes. Charity: Beyond Blue.