BrewTag 2018-Beer, Wind and Flight on the Outer Banks

The winning team. The BOOBS took home tip prize with a flight of 39'.
The winning team. The BOOBS took home tip prize with a flight of 39′.
A Possible Nor’Easter Can’t Keep Beer from Flying

Somehow, flying into the teeth of a brisk northeast wind, the BrewTag competitors proved conclusively that beer can almost fly.

The weather was iffy on Saturday, but that didn’t keep the aeronautical engineers who created the Flying Chicken and other wonders of the imagination of flight from climbing the tower and launching their creations.

In the end it was the Boys Of the Obx Brewing Station (the Boobs) who took home the top prize with a flight of 39’—a remarkable achievement given the 10-15 mph winds and gusts to 20+.

Organized by Kitty Hawk Kites, BrewTag may be one of the most fun events of the year. Taking place at the Event Site in Nags Head, teams compete with homemade gliders with a (small) keg (empty) attached. In the past gliders patterned after the Rogallo Wing that is used for hang gliders seemed to do best. This year, though, the BOOBS mono-wing glider took top distance, although it’s landing was not the most graceful.

What makes BrewTag so much fun is that it refuses to take itself too seriously…that and the 20 microbrews on hand. There was also some great food from local vendors.

Like all events that has the Kitty Hawk Kites stamp on it, though, it is very family friendly with well-thought out and well planned activities for kids.

The Outer Banks Brewtag is a benefit The Rogallo Foundation. The Rogallo Foundation was created to honor Francis and Gertrude Rogallo, inventors of the flexible wing. Proceeds will be used to build a museum featuring Rogallo’s work, designs, history and advancements since its development.

Look for the 2019 BrewTag on Saturday, October 26.

There is still lots to do on the Outer Banks. Make your reservations today at Joe Lamb, Jr. & Associates.

Rogallo Kite Festival Comes to Jockey’s Ridge State Park

Kites paint the sky at the Rogallo Kite Festival.
Kites paint the sky at the Rogallo Kite Festival.




36th Annual Rogallo Kite Festival Has Something for Everyone

There is probably no better way to celebrate Francis Rogallo than with the Kitty Hawk Kites Rogallo Kite Festival. Held this coming weekend, June 15-17, at Jockey’s Ridge State Park, the 36th annual edition of the festival is a must stop and see part of the Outer Banks experience.

Francis Rogallo was a NASA scientist who, in his spare time, invented a steerable flexible wing—the basis for hang gliders. paragliders, modern parachutes…and stunt kites.

Mr. Rogallo was a longtime resident of Southern Shores and an ardent supporter of all things that fly. He passed away in 2009, but his legacy lives on in the many designs of stunt kites and the sport of hang gliding on the Outer Banks.

The Rogallo Kite Festival has something for everyone. When Kitty Hawk Kites puts on a festival, they pull out their biggest, most spectacular kites and seeing 40’ and 50’ dragons, dogs and other animals floating in the wind above Jockey’s Ridge is an amazing sight.

The festival is all about kites and kite flying. There are stunt kite demos all day with instruction from Kitty Hawk Kites employees and representatives of some of the kite companies.

One of the most spectacular things to do—or maybe it falls under the heading of fun—is to fly a power kite.  The power kites that make their appearance at a show like the Rogallo Festival are usually frameless, using the wind to fill baffles and give the kite lift.

With no frame, they can’t be broken. And that’s good, because the first experience with the wind catching an 8’ power kite is…interesting.

For a challenge, there will probably be some quad line kites to try as well. More difficult to steer than a standard dual line stunt kite, when mastered the range of maneuvers a quad line kite can accomplish is astonishing.

The weather is looking good for the weekend, so check it out.

The Rogallo Kite Festival is just one of many activities scheduled for the summer on the Outer Banks. Need a place to stay while checking out all there is to do on the Outer Banks? Check out our listings at Joe Lamb Jr., & Associates.


Rogallo Kite Festival at Jockey’s Ridge Saturday & Sunday

Kites flying at Jockey's Ridge State Park during a Rogallo Festival.
Kites flying at Jockey’s Ridge State Park during a Rogallo Festival.

Looking for something fun to do this weekend? Something for the whole family?

If that’s the case, check out the Rogallo Kite Festival at Jockey’s Ridge State Park in Nags Head Saturday and Sunday.

Sponsored by Kitty Hawk Kites, the event is a wonderful celebration of a true American hero.

Francis Rogallo and His Invention

Francis Rogallo doesn’t show up in a lot of history book, but it was his invention of a “parawing” a frameless steerable went that made hang gliding possible. And more than hang gliding. Almost all modern stunt kites are patterned after his designs. Modern parachutes that can be directed to a landing zone; paraglider and more.

All of it because he and his wife Gertrude created a frames wing that would fly to the left when told to, or to the right, or up and down.

Rogallo spent almost his entire professional career at NASA, beginning with the agency before WWII when its acronym was NACA— National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics.

The Rogallo wing—as it is known—was just one of some 24 or 25 patents that he held, all of them related to flight.

Rogallo Festival

The Rogallo Festival is all about kites and flying. There are stunt kite demos all day. This is a great time to learn how to fly a two or four line kite.

We’re not sure just what kites Kitty Hawk Kites will have on the dune, but in the past there have been power kites as well as regular stunt kites. Flying a power kite is a thrilling, and depending on how strong the wind is, a bit exhausting, experiences.

There are also kites in the sky all day long. Huge kites, often in the form of various sea creatures, but also large deltas and box kites, their strings adorned with spinners and even some small kites.

The weather is looking close to perfect for Saturday and Sunday, so there’s really no excuse for not being there. Bring some water, sunscreen and keep the sandals on—the sand is getting hot.

BrewTag-Fun with Flight in Nags Head

Smarty Pints in flight. Almost the winner.
Smarty Pints in flight. Almost the winner.
BrewTag-Proving That Beer Can Fly

The 2nd Annual BrewTag was held at the Event Site in Nags Head yesterday—Saturday—and it proved conclusively that “Yes! Beer can fly!”

The premise to BrewTag is simple: strap a 1/6 keg of beer to a glider, toss it off a 25’ tower and see if it can fly.

Usually no…in fact, one of the flights was recorded at -9”, a difficult feat to achieve and a world record all its own. However, there were at least two flights that proved conclusively that when science, skill, inspiration and perhaps a little luck come together, all things are possible.

With 15 teams competing, the feeling was that something had to fly. The first teams climbed the latter to the top of the tower, facing a stiff 17mph breeze. The wind proved the undoing of the first five or six entries.

Then with the wind letting up just a bit, Smarty Pints—a group of engineers from Hampton Roads pushed their entry into the wind. But instead of the nose lifting in a flare and the aircraft stalling and crashing in spectacular fashion at the base of the tower, their glider began a graceful and gradual descent to the ground. A new world record…54’6”!

Three entries later, the local lads representing Buds and Suds, all retired hang glider instructors, climbed the to the top of the tower… their entry a faithful reproduction of a Rogallo Wing, the airfoil that created hang gliding. The keg was carefully placed at the best location to counter the wind.

To the amazement of all, it flew—gracefully, beautifully, coming go a soft landing 65’7” from the tower and a newer, new world record.

It was a great day and since BrewTag is a fundraiser for the Rogallo Foundation, having a Rogallo Wing wind the day seemed fitting.