Nashville team to compete in national flying machine event - WKRN News 2

Nashville team to compete in national flying machine event

Posted: Updated: Sep 18, 2013 10:34 AM
Robbie Goldsmith and four of his co-workers at the Entrepreneur Center in Nashville were selected as one of 30 teams scheduled to compete in Miami on Saturday. Robbie Goldsmith and four of his co-workers at the Entrepreneur Center in Nashville were selected as one of 30 teams scheduled to compete in Miami on Saturday.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -

Five local businessmen hope to take flight in the 2013 Red Bull Flugtag competition this weekend.

Red Bull Flugtag features handcrafted, human-powered flying machines that launch off a 30-foot ramp into water.

Each team is made up of a pilot and four crew members, and each craft is judged on distance, creativity and showmanship.

This year, regional competitions will be held in five cities simultaneously.

Robbie Goldsmith and four of his co-workers at the Entrepreneur Center in Nashville were selected as one of 30 teams scheduled to compete in Miami on Saturday.

"So the name of our craft is MVP, which stands for Minimum Viable Product, which is really what we preach here at the EC," Goldsmith said.

The team has devised a welded, roped, and shrink-wrapped aircraft, measuring 19 feet, 11 inches long and 28 feet wide.

"It's a Canard design first of all, so it's built with a little bit of the bigger wing on the back," Goldsmith said.

Goldsmith is a crew member, along with Ryan Carter, Sam Lingo, and John Murdock. The team's pilot is Jared Marquett.

The five-member team is known as the Entrepreninjas, a play on their day jobs at the EC.

"The EC is 501c3, non-profit organization, and we have a simple mission to connect people with great ideas to great resources so they can go out and start great companies," said Lingo, Chief Operating Officer of the EC.

He told Nashville's News 2, "We decided that we needed to come up with a name that incorporates what we do and who we help, but also how we do it. So we decided that ninjas are also stealthy and they just get stuff done."

Despite a lack of actual aeronautics experience, the Entrepreninjas also got stuff done for their homemade flying machine.

"The planning phase actually started in March, but the actual build-out started Thursday," said Goldsmith.

"We took everything into account, from crosswinds in Miami down to actual aerodynamics, as you can see it's very aerodynamic," Lingo added.

The final product meets Red Bull size and weight restrictions. The team even added a handheld break, in the hopes of gliding past the competition.

"It's going to beat the record in Miami, which is 138 feet," Goldsmith said. "It's going to beat that record and then the EC and the Entrepreninjas are going to have the Miami record."

In addition to distance, teams are also judged on popularity. Voting for the People's Choice award begins Thursday at 9 a.m.  Text MIA24 to 72855 to vote for the Entrepreninjas. Votes are accepted until the team launches their aircraft on Saturday at 1 p.m.

Winners from each of the regional competitions get a trip to New York.

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