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The Official Magazine Abu Dhabi, Feb 28-Mar 01, 2014

Race stops

Abu Dhabi (UAE) Feb 28-Mar 01 Rovinj (CRO) Apr 12-13 Putrajaya (MAS) May 17-18 Gdynia (POL) July 26-27 Ascot (GBR) Aug 16-17 Dallas-Fort Worth (USA) Sep 06-07 Las Vegas (USA) Oct 11-12 China (CHN) Nov 01-02

quest for The Best

The world’s fastest motorsport series #AIRRACE


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Cover Photography: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images for Red Bull Air Race; Photography: Julian Finney/Getty Images for Red Bull Air Race

The top of the 2010 Abu Dhabi race: Nigel Lamb in second, Paul Bonhomme in first and Peter Besenyei in third.


ike a dream coming true is how the return of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship feels like for race teams, pilots and fans alike. “I’ve missed the flying so much. The competitive racing is just fantastic for us pilots,” says reigning champion Paul Bonhomme. “We’re all going to start afresh now. I’m already thinking about how to advance, how to win or even just do well to start with.” Hannes Arch, 2010 runner-up, adds: “I was convinced that it would be the best thing that could happen to us if the Red Bull Air Race returned. On the other hand, I know how much hard work lies ahead for all of us. We’re all competitors and we all want to win!” Nigel Lamb of Great Britain, who secured third place overall before the break, is delighted to be airborne again and looking forward to the battle for glory in the world’s fastest motorsport series: “It’s what we’ve all been waiting for. There are a lot of lessons that we’ve learned and a lot of knowledge to carry forward. We’re all hoping to make the championship better and more exciting than ever.” A tweaked Red Bull Air Race promotes man in competition against the clock, and his pursuit of excellence and perfection. Standardised race engines and propellers, understandable racetracks, bigger and better Air Gates, clear rules and regulations – to mention a few of the improvements – relieve the race teams of past ballast. The 2014 Red Bull Air Race World Championship returns stronger, smarter and safer than ever. Get ready for an unforgettable season of high-speed, low-altitude racing. Smoke On!

04 Bird’s Eye View  Stunning pictures of the world’s fastest motorsport series 22 AIRBORNE  The 12 Master Class pilots and their machines up-close 24 INSIGHT  Details on G-force and its effects, a plane’s dashboard and the new engine and propeller 28 COMPETITION  The sport’s rules, regulations and race format 30 WAYPOINT  Meet the next generation of pilots in the brand-new Challenger Cup 32 TRACK TIME  A look at the Abu Dhabi racetrack and its challenges 34 LOGBOOK  As precise as a Swiss watch: there’s no margin for error in the timekeeping 36 APPROACH  How to get around on-site, plus the race weekend schedule 38 PARTY  Where to meet, eat, drink and dance from dusk until dawn 40 TOuCH DOWN  Explore this season’s unique, exciting race venues 42 AXIS  Our man within – the secret pilot reveals his thoughts, plus facts of the series

PUBLICATION  Red Bull Air Race Magazine #1 / 2014  PUBLISHER  Red Bull Air Race GmbH, Am Brunnen 1, A-5330 Fuschl am See   PRODUCED BY  Red Bull Media House Corporate Publishing, Heinrich-Collin-Str 1, A-1140 Vienna,  PRINTED BY  OFFSET 5020, Bayernstraße 27, A-5072 Siezenheim RED BULL AIR RACE MagazinE  3

bird’s eyE VIEW

Moments location Abu Dhabi, UAE year 2008 Paul Bonhomme, defending World Champion Charismatic and effortlessly charming on the ground, fierce and formidable in the air. Born into a family of aviators – his father a pilot, his mother a flight attendant – Paul Bonhomme was always interested in planes, however it wasn’t until his first trip to England’s White Waltham airfield for the Queen’s Silver Jubilee airshow that a lifelong passion was ignited. “I was 13,” remembers Bonhomme. “My dad took my brother and me there and it was the most fantastic airshow. It cemented my fascination with flying.” From then on, Bonhomme would work at the airfield every weekend: “I would clean the planes and wait to be taken up in one in return.” The plan worked out and by the time he was 18, he had a full private pilot’s licence. Since then, Paul Bonhomme has flown, competitions aside, in more than 650 public displays, in a variety of different planes; from Spitfires to Mustangs, from Bearcats to Skyraiders. Having been crowned Red Bull Air Race World Champion in 2009 and 2010, the master of consistency will no doubt be eager to continue his winning streak this season.

Photography: Daniel Grund/Red Bull Content Pool

Travel back to the future and into Red Bull Air Race history. Let your eyes feast on startling race performances and find out more about the best pilots in the world

location Abu Dhabi, UAE year 2009 Nigel Lamb Nigel Lamb’s fascination for flying was awakened at the tender age of 11. It wouldn’t let him go, so he took action and applied to join the Air Force in his native Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). He was finally accepted at age 18 and spent the next six years flying in the Rhodesian Air Force. After making his Red Bull Air Race debut in 2005, Lamb has steadily climbed through the ranks to finish in third place overall in 2010. His personal commitment to the development of the revolutionary MXS-R race plane paid off as he made significant modifications throughout the 2009/10 seasons. A born competitor, Lamb takes defeat to heart and insists upon excellence at every stage. His skill is testament to his flying abilities and it will be thrilling to watch as he prepares to stake his claim to the title in 2014 after a career-best in 2010.

Photography: Balรกzs Gรกrdi/Red Bull Content Pool

Photography: Garth Milan/Red Bull Content Pool

location New York, USA year 2010 Hannes Arch An all-round action man who is as comfortable in the cockpit as he was BASE-jumping from mountain peaks, Hannes Arch made an indelible impression when he joined the ranks of the Red Bull Air Race pilots in 2007. It took just one season for the Austrian to claim the world title in 2008. Creating a slick race team, attracting large sponsors and pushing the technical boundaries of the sport, this ambitious pilot is the poster-boy of the Red Bull Air Race. “I’m not perfect,” admits Arch. “I can make mistakes and choose the wrong tactics. In 2009, for example, I cared too much; I was in a position where I opened up too much and others could stress me. Instead of just doing my job I was worrying too much about what the others were doing.” Taking a philosophical approach into the new season, Arch will be keen to return in great shape and with his strategy firmly in place.

location Windsor, CAN year 2010 Kirby Chambliss

Photography: Hamish Blair/Getty Images for Red Bull Air Race

Having grown up surrounded by planes in the sunny region of Corpus Christi, Texas, Chambliss can’t remember a time when he didn’t want to be a pilot. As a youngster he would head down to the local airstrip after school and fuel planes just to be around them. After earning his private pilot’s licence at the age of 20, he was keen to set his sights on a new target. So, in 1985, his sixyear flight experience coupled with his job as a business-jet pilot enabled him to take aerobatic flight lessons. He came, saw and conquered competitions. And then, in 2002, he joined the first-ever Red Bull Air Race test race in Reno. During the competition’s opening year in 2003, he claimed third place overall, but went on to become World Champion in both 2004 and 2006. Today, mind and body are ready for more: “Once I close that canopy, I’m all about winning!”

Photography: Markus Kucera

location Abu Dhabi, UAE year 2009 Pete McLeod When Pete McLeod made his debut in the 2009 Red Bull Air Race it was clear that this ambitious pilot wanted to make his mark. At just 25 years old, he made history by becoming the youngest pilot to earn the coveted Superlicence and a place in the Championship, signalling an exciting new chapter for the sport. “I’m passionate about my belief that young people have great potential and should not wait to achieve big things,” says McLeod. The Canadian quickly demonstrated that big things were indeed possible as he jumped from an overall 15th place in 2009 to an astonishing fifth place in 2010. His success appears to be a combination of complete focus and discipline, combined with a sharp strategic mind. No doubt McLeod will be pulling out all the stops to win the Championship title.

Photography: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images for Red Bull Air Race

location EuroSpeedway, Lausitz, GER year 2010 Nicolas Ivanoff Born in Corsica, and with Greek and Russian heritage, French pilot Nicolas Ivanoff is as easy-going, fun-loving and cool as they come – compelling traits that are matched only by his technical tenacity and artistic flair in the air. Ivanoff delved into the world of aerobatics in 1990. Throughout the following decade, he joined the French Aerobatics Team and won the World Championships in Toulouse. In 2004 he took second place at the French Unlimited Aerobatics Championship and joined the Red Bull Air Race. It was 2009 that has proved to be his best race year so far. He started the season with two podium finishes and eventually finished in fifth place overall. Ivanoff is known to have a keen interest in motor racing and technology; two attributes that perfectly complement his love for racing in the world’s fastest motorsport series. “When I don’t fly, I miss it. I need it.”

location Porto, POR year 2009 Matt Hall

Photography: Markus Kucera

Having spent a large part of his aviation career in the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), Matt Hall certainly knows a thing or two about flying. During his military tenure, he logged a total of more than 1,500 hours in the F/A-18 Hornet and received numerous awards, including the 1997 Fighter Pilot of the Year title. When Hall spent time in the USA on a military exchange, he began to dedicate himself to competition and display aerobatics. In 2009, he joined the Red Bull Air Race and came through with flying colours to claim third place overall. Now he’s back, stronger and more keen on winning than ever before.

Photography: Jamie McDonald/Getty Images for Red Bull Air Race

location Rio de Janeiro, BRA year 2010 Matthias Dolderer

“I’ve spent my whole life in hangars, on airfields and in cockpits,” says German pilot Matthias Dolderer. Having first sat in the cockpit at the age of three, there’s never been a time when his life hasn’t revolved around flying. However, it wasn’t until 2008 that Dolderer made his breakthrough. After intense training, he won the German Aerobatic Championships and achieved top standings at the World Aerobatic Championships. In 2009, his dream came true. “The Red Bull Air Race has everything I love about flying and motorsport: speed, precision and the fight against the clock,” he says. Dolderer impressed the title contenders when he claimed a third place finish during his first year and ended up taking ninth place overall. In 2014 he hopes to be a regular on the podium.

location Budapest, HUN year 2009 Michael Goulian Michael Goulian entered the world as the newest addition to an aviation business family, and home was one of north-eastern America’s biggest flying schools. At 16 he took his first solo flight, and just over 10 years later, he grabbed the United States Unlimited Aerobatic Championship title. Goulian’s world-class credentials didn’t stop there. He went on to represent the United States three times at the World Aerobatic Championships, and returned to fierce competition when he joined the contenders at the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in its second season in 2004. His persistent search for perfection and precision in the skies, together with his clean but aggressive flying style, has made him a firm favourite for 2014. For Goulian, the competition is not so much about racing other pilots, it’s more about testing his own abilities, pushing his own limits, and competing against himself. This year will no doubt prove to be an important forthcoming chapter in his pursuit for perfection.

Photography: Russell Cheyne/Red Bull Air Race via AP Images

Photography: Tom Lovelock/Red Bull Air Race via AP Images

location Budapest, HUN year 2009 PÉter Besenyei When in race mode, PÊter Besenyei is a man of few words and is revered for his steely determination. One of the original Red Bull Air Race pilots, he was already a legend around the world having completed numerous awe-inspiring feats in high-performance planes. Since the first Red Bull Air Race ever in 2003, Besenyei has been a regular contender and an exciting pilot to follow. Having been instrumental in developing the concept for the world’s fastest motorsport, Besenyei has experienced all of the race planes and even championed the Hungarian-built Corvus Racer, which was starting to deliver results by the end of 2010. Besenyei brings finesse and elegance in his flying style, and always keeps his eye on the prize.

location Abu Dhabi, UAE year 2009 Yoshi Muroya

Photography: Markus Kucera

As the first and only Asian pilot to compete in the Red Bull Air Race, Yoshihide ‘Yoshi’ Muroya is out to make a name for himself. When Muroya began competing in 2009, he was one of the new kids on the block – along with Pete McLeod, Matt Hall and Matthias Dolderer. Now in his third World Championship year, Muroya will be going all out. “The aim is to win,” he says. “It may take a little time, but the aim is to become World Champion.” Muroya practises Zazen, a form of meditation that acts to calm the body and the mind, before each race. This enables him to focus his energy into the task at hand – flying his plane to its full potential.

location EuroSpeedway, Lausitz, GER year 2010 Martin Šonka

Photography: Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images for Red Bull Air Race

At the age of 35, Šonka is the second youngest of the pilots; only Pete McLeod of Canada is younger (30). But what he lacks in years, he makes up for in experience. Not only is Šonka a decorated Czech Air Force fighter pilot, he has also been a member of the prestigious Czech Air Force display team and the Czech aerobatic team. Šonka began flying gliders at age 17, joined the Czech Air Force in 1997 and studied at the military academy in Brno. In 2003, he began flying aerobatics and has flown in the Unlimited Category since 2006. New to the Red Bull Air Race in 2010, Šonka wisely chose to use his debut season to focus on flying cleanly through the tracks. He is no doubt eager to put all that he has learned in his first year into practice now.


master Class

Experience, precision and skill are only a few attributes required by every race pilot and embodied by these men. Get to know the 12 Red Bull Air Race Master Class pilots MARTIN ŠONKA CZECH REPUBLIC ZIVKO EDGE 540 V3

DATE OF BIRTH: March 26, 1978 BIRTHPLACE: Dv˚ur Králové nad Labem, Czech Republic HOME: Sezimovo Ústi, Czech Republic TEAM: Lance Winter (technician), Josef Šonka (team co-ordinator) WEBSITE: RED BULL AIR RACE RESULTS: 2010 14th




DATE OF BIRTH: July 4, 1967 BIRTHPLACE: Ajaccio, Corsica HOME: London, Great Britain TEAM: Martin Barth (technician), Jean-Paul Kieffer (team co-ordinator) WEBSITE: RED BULL AIR RACE RESULTS: 2010 6th 2009 5th 2008 9th 2007 7th 2006 8th 2005 7th 2004 9th


DATE OF BIRTH: February 23, 1984 BIRTHPLACE: Kapuskasing, ON, Canada HOME: Red Lake, ON, Canada TEAM: Patrick Phillips (technician), Dan Gysbers (team co-ordinator) WEBSITE: RED BULL AIR RACE RESULTS: 2010 5th 2009 15th


DATE OF BIRTH: August 17, 1956 BIRTHPLACE: Zimbabwe, Africa HOME: Oxfordshire, Great Britain TEAM: Nigel Huxtable (technician), Victoria Griffiths (team co-ordinator) WEBSITE: RED BULL AIR RACE RESULTS: 2010 3rd 2009 6th 2008 7th 2007 9th 2006 10th 2005 10th


DATE OF BIRTH: September 22, 1967 BIRTHPLACE: Leoben, Styria, Austria HOME: Salzburg, Austria TEAM: Nigel Dickinson (technician), Charlotte Sandgaard (team co-ordinator) WEBSITE: RED BULL AIR RACE RESULTS: 2010 2nd 2009 2nd 2008 World Champion 2007 10th





DATE OF BIRTH: June 8, 1956 BIRTHPLACE: Körmend, Hungary HOME: Herceghalom, Hungary TEAM: Vilibald Tomasic (technician), Sándor Kordás, Anna Hajnalka Buttás (team co-ordinators) WEBSITE: RED BULL AIR RACE RESULTS: 2010 10th 2009 8th 2008 5th 2007 3rd 2006 2nd 2005 2nd 2004 2nd 2003 World Champion

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DATE OF BIRTH: October 18, 1959 BIRTHPLACE: Corpus Christi, TX, USA HOME: Flying Crown Ranch, AZ, USA TEAM: Jason Resop, Danny Onofryton (technicians), Deborah Standefer, Kellie Chambliss (team co-ordinators) WEBSITE: RED BULL AIR RACE RESULTS: 2010 4th 2009 4th 2008 3rd 2007 4th 2006 World Champion 2005 3rd 2004 World Champion 2003 3rd



DATE OF BIRTH: January 27, 1973 BIRTHPLACE: Nara, Japan HOME: Fukushima, Japan TEAM: Takashi Nishimura (technician), Robert Fry (team co-ordinator) WEBSITE: RED BULL AIR RACE RESULTS: 2010 12th 2009 13th



DATE OF BIRTH: September 16, 1971 BIRTHPLACE: Scone, NSW, Australia HOME: Merewether, NSW, Australia TEAM: Eric Cieslar (technician), David Lyall (team co-ordinator) WEBSITE: RED BULL AIR RACE RESULTS: 2010 7th 2009 3rd



DATE OF BIRTH: September 15, 1970 BIRTHPLACE: Ochsenhausen, Germany HOME: Hörbranz, Austria TEAM: Tobias Odewald (technician), Claudia Maur (team co-ordinator) WEBSITE: RED BULL AIR RACE RESULTS: 2010 8th 2009 9th



DATE OF BIRTH: September 22, 1964 BIRTHPLACE: Buckinghamshire, Great Britain HOME: Cambridgeshire, Great Britain TEAM: Wade Hammond (technician), Ed Cyster, Nigel Warren (team co-ordinators) WEBSITE: RED BULL AIR RACE RESULTS: 2010 World Champion 2009 World Champion 2008 2nd 2007 2nd 2006 4th 2005 5th 2004 5th



DATE OF BIRTH: September 4, 1968 BIRTHPLACE: Winthrop, MA, USA HOME: Plymouth, MA, USA TEAM: Dennis Sawyer (technician), Scott Hopkins (team co-ordinator) WEBSITE: RED BULL AIR RACE RESULTS: 2010 9th 2009 10th 2008 10th  2007 8th 2006 5th 2004 7th

Photography: Joerg Mitter/Red Bull Content Pool (5), Predrag Vuckovic/Red Bull Content Pool (7), Peter Clausen Film & TV (3)


Edge 540 V2 The Edge 540 V2 is as precise and controllable as it is aggressive. It is a Shoulder Wing plane with extremely stiff wings. The use of a steel-tube frame with composite fairings results in a light, durable and stable fuselage. And, says company boss Eric Zivko: “If it’s damaged, you can see it and it’s fixable.” MANUFACTURER: Zivko Aeronautics, USA LENGTH: 6.3m WINGSPAN: 7.44m ROLL RATE: 420°/sec CLIMB RATE: 3,700ft/min TOP SPEED: 425.97kph (230kts) MAX G: +/-10G WING DESIGN: Symmetric, carbon-fibre PILOTS: Bonhomme, Goulian, Ivanoff, Muroya

Edge 540 V3 The differences in the Edge 540 V3 compared to its predecessor, the V2, are, eg, a higher thrust to weight ratio and lower drag design. PILOTS: Arch, Chambliss, Dolderer, McLeod, Šonka

Corvus Racer 540 MANUFACTURER: Corvus Aircraft Kft, Hungary LENGTH: 6.57m WINGSPAN: 7.4m ROLL RATE: 440°/sec CLIMB RATE: 4,300ft/min TOP SPEED: 444kph (240kts) MAX G: +12G/-10G WING DESIGN: Symmetric, carbon-fibre PILOT: Besenyei

Developed by the Hungarian University of Aviation and Corvus, with input from Péter Besenyei, the Corvus Racer made its first appearance at the 2010 Canada (Windsor, Ontario) race stop. The airframe is built using chrome-molybdenum tubes in a TIG-welded construction. The wing, empennage and fuselage covers are high-strength composite parts primary composed of pultruded and preimpregnated carbon-fibre.

MXS-R Unlike its steel-frame fuselage rivals, the MXS-R, developed specifically for racing in the Red Bull Air Race by MX Aircraft from its MXS plane, features a carbon-fibre monocoque fuselage. It’s extremely light and strong, but cannot be substantially modified. The lightness does contribute speed however, which is the plane’s great strength. It was designed using advanced computer solid modelling with emphasis on aerodynamic efficiency. The MXS-R is constructed entirely of ‘Aerospace’-grade carbon-fibre which provides superior strength and durability never seen before in an aircraft of this type.

MANUFACTURER: MX Aircraft, USA LENGTH: 6.51m WINGSPAN: 7.32m ROLL RATE: 420°/sec CLIMB RATE: 3,500ft/min TOP SPEED: 425.97kph (230kts) MAX G: +/-12G WING DESIGN: Symmetric, carbon-fibre PILOTS: Hall, Lamb RED BULL AIR RACE MagazinE  23


Mighty force


Imagine bench pressing a small car half a dozen times per minute and you’ll get an idea of what kind of physical punishment Red Bull Air Race pilots endure during a race lap weighing in Red Bull Air Race pilots are subject to extreme forces in flight. For 2014, pilots will be limited to 10G, meaning that during the tightest turns the pilot’s body weight is 10 times its normal figure. For an 80kg pilot it’s like having a small car dumped onto his chest. “It’s like being hit with a sledgehammer,” says defending champion Paul Bonhomme. “The moment of G onset is the hardest. In less than half a second you go to 10-12 times your body weight. You’ve got to concentrate at not losing consciousness. If you keep pulling G you’ll grey out.” In the grey area Greyout occurs due to blood being forced to the body’s lower extremities when under high G-forces. The subsequent lowering of blood pressure in the brain causes vision to dim, a precursor to blacking out. “You can combat it by squeezing your stomach muscles,” says pilot Nigel Lamb. “And if you contract your stomach and your thigh muscles just for a second you’ll restrict the blood going downwards and your head will clear.” pressure drop The mandatory G-Race Suit works when G-forces cause water-filled tubes that run the length of the suit to squeeze the pilot, thus preventing the downward flow of blood when under high G. Normal blood flow

Suiting Up While the series’ pilots are used to muscle contractions in order to beat the effects of high-G turns, the mandatory G-Race Suit helps them to perform the task more effectively. Manufactured by German company Autoflug, the suit reduces the need for high muscle contraction on the part of the pilot by using water-filled ‘fluid muscles’ and non-stretch fabrics. The suit gets activated by an impulse contraction from the pilot. It builds up a counter pressure that combats the effect of high-G loads, reducing the movement of blood to the lower extremities. “The G-Race Suit compresses your legs and abdomen,” says Bonhomme. “Instead of tensing yourself, the suit does it for you and that gives you about a 1.5G benefit. It might not seem much, but where it really works is in reducing fatigue.”

low G

high G


24  RED BULL AIR RACE Magazine

13 7

12 8

Pilot’s Office

Cutaway view of suit with engorged tubes

Increased blood flow



hustling a plane of more than 300hp through tough racetracks demands knowledge, lots of knowledge. LEarn the basics of the controls

4 2 3

6 7 15 9 11 14


Altimeter Indicates the aircraft’s altitude (in feet) above a reference level by measuring the static air pressure. 2

3 EFIS (Electronic Flight Information System) Gives the pilot lap information. The touchscreen facility can switch between display modes. It also sends speed or G info to the Race Tower.

4 Engine Analyser A device that records engine data. After a flight, info is downloaded for analysis. The switch on top is a voice alarm that warns the pilot in case of any system failure. 5 Fuel Pump Switch Used to switch between the three fuel tanks: right wing, left wing and main tank. Planes burn around 0.5 gallons of fuel per minute.

G-Meter Shows how many G is being pulled. Pilots must not exceed 10G. 6

7 Pedals The pedals direct the plane to the left or right on the ground. In flight, they are used to activate the rudder. 8 Propeller Control Adjusts the pitch of the propeller blades. 9 Radio For talking to the Race Tower, the race headquarters. 10 Smoke On/Off Toggled at the start of a run to emit coloured smoke and attract attention.

11 Start button Fires it up! 12 Stick Left or right causes the plane to roll, forwards pitches the nose down, backwards pitches it up. 13 Throttle control The power control. 14 Transponder Relays information to the Race Tower concerning the plane’s position and altitude. 15 Vertical Card Compass Indicates the plane’s heading.


Photography: Markus Kucera

1 Airspeed Indicator This shows the plane’s speed in knots relative to the air.


less is more

Lycoming AEIO 540 Thunderbolt – The Details AE means Aerobatic I means Fuel Injected O means Opposite Cylinders 540 means 540 cubic inches = 8,849cc, almost three times a 2013 Formula One car engine and almost six times a 2014 Formula One car engine Thunderbolt means modified for better performance: cold air induction, different pistons and therefore a higher compression ratio Additional key facts Number of cylinders: six in boxer formation, just like Porsche cars Number of sparks: two per cylinder, twin-spark engine, just like in Alfa Romeo cars Revolutions per minute: 2,700rpm

The race tuned and sealed Lycoming Thunderbolt AEIO 540 EXP is a huge, generally welcomed, new feature in the Red Bull Air Race. An engine that allows no further tuning, it’s built in Lycoming’s Advanced Technology Center, where testing and analysis of each engine for the Red Bull Air Race verified the performance of the airflow, fuel flows, operating temperatures, horsepower and other operating parameters. All testing was performed to factory specifications, which ensures that the engines are operating reliably at peak and consistent performance. For the pilots, the new engine specifications and testing data means that from a power plant perspective, all competitors will start the season on par. 26  RED BULL AIR RACE Magazine

The Propeller Name: The Claw Brand: Hartzell Number of blades: three structural composite blades Spinners: carbon-fibre Governors: lightweight

Revolving claw Along with the standardised racing engines, comes a similar amendment to the propellers. Each race plane is now fitted with the Hartzell three-bladed 7690 structural composite propeller. “The airfoil and propeller system is designed to maximise aircraft performance and will enable pilots to achieve greater performance than any other available propeller,” promises Sam Gascho, a Hartzell representative. Consistency, Safety and skill The decision to use the standardised propeller was taken in order to improve the safety of the aircraft, in case of engine failure. The new propellers will be fitted with counterweights, which will determine what the

blades do if oil pressure is lost during flight. In the event of a loss in oil pressure and without the counter-weights, the propeller blades twist and become flat against the airflow, creating drag and causing the plane to slow down and descend at a rapid pace. But with counter-weights in place, the blades are prevented from twisting, enabling them to remain in line with the airflow – therefore the plane is able to glide for longer. With the supply of standardised race engines and propellers the technical focus in the Red Bull Air Race World Championship has shifted. Pilots and their teams are now dedicating their efforts to perfecting airframe aerodynamics, as well as pilot skill and ability. The new playing field is fair, yet extremely competitive.

Photography: Balazs Gardi for Red Bull Content Pool

Standardised engines and propellers are the new safety measures for the race planes and guarantee a level playing field. The lowdown on the behaviour of the race-tuned machine and prop

Pushing the limits of



Hartzell, it’s in our

Proud technical partner and propeller provider of Red Bull Air Race.



how to race

the Format QUALIFYING DAY sees all 12 Master Class pilots racing for their starting position on Race Day. The fastest of two laps counts. On that same day, it’s all in for the Challenger Cup pilots. In their race, one flies after the other, for two laps in the racetrack. The best time counts towards the final result. On RACE DAY the Master Class pilots fly against each other in heats. The six winners of the heats and the two fastest losers proceed to the Super 8 round. In the SUPER 8 round, the pilots fly one after the other for the fastest time. The four fastest proceed to the Final 4. In the FINAL 4 the pilots race to set the fastest time. The three fastest make it to the podium with the quickest in this round winning overall.

Pilots must follow strict competition rules if they don’t want to be kicked out. They now also have to deal with a fierce race format that promises very close results

Tweaked to improve safety The 2014 rules and regulations could lead to a much closer battle for Red Bull Air Race honours. With the introduction of standardised engines, propellers and exhausts the playing field has been levelled. It’s a move welcomed by pilot Nigel Lamb: “It makes sense on many levels. Not being able to tweak engines makes it relevant from a safety perspective, and from a cost point of view. Most importantly, it creates a better, level playing field.” The 2014 rules and regulations have also been welcomed and approved by the FAI (Fédération Aéronautique Internationale). The World Sports Air Federation will support the world’s fastest motorsport series in supervising safety at all races, and provide specially designed medals for the podium winners.


Day 1 / Qualifying Day Training Master

Training Challenger

Qualifying Master

Race 1 & 2 Challenger

Determines the starting position on Race Day. The fastest of two consecutive laps counts.

The fastest of two consecutive laps counts.

Pilot 01

Challenger 01

Pilot 01

Challenger 01

Pilot 02

Challenger 02

Pilot 02

Challenger 02

Pilot 03

Challenger 03

Pilot 03

Challenger 03

Pilot 04

Challenger 04

Pilot 04

Challenger 04

Pilot 05

Challenger 05

Pilot 05

Challenger 05

Pilot 06

Challenger 06

Pilot 06

Challenger 06

Pilot 07

Pilot 07



Pilot 08

Pilot 08



Pilot 09

Pilot 09



Pilot 10

Pilot 10



Pilot 11

Pilot 11



Pilot 12

Pilot 12



Rules The Red Bull Air Race World Championship is an international series of races with the objective being to navigate an aerial racetrack featuring air-filled pylons, known as Air Gates, in the fastest possible time and incurring as few penalties as possible. The total length of the racetrack is approximately 5km.


Pylon Hit Whenever a plane touches a pylon the lap is discontinued.

Correct flying In all Gates – the Start/Finish, Chicane, Level Gate and the Single Pylon Gate – pilots must not sink in the Gate. Pilots must fly in the upper 40 per cent of the Air Gate, the area is defined by the bottom and the top of the coloured markings of a pylon. This also applies for the Chicane pylons that are considered to be one Gate.

DISQualification The following flying moves result in disqualification: uncontrolled steering movements and flights; close to the ground pull-up from descent; crossing the safety line; using a negative ‘G’ turn around a pylon; flying below a height of 15m between

Exceeding Maximum Load Factor If telemetry or post-flight analysis show that the pilot exceeded the maximum permitted load factor of 10G, a DNF is the consequence.

the Air Gates; flying into clouds; entering the track at an angle steeper than 45° or from above the holding altitude for the location dictated during briefing; ignoring the commands of the Race Director.

Deviation from the Course When a flight path deviates from the racetrack the flying session is discontinued. Exceeding Start Speed Limit If the plane exceeds the speed limit of 200 knots (370kph) through the Start Gate (GPS ground speed as indicated on the EFIS device in the cockpit), its flight is discontinued. Weight Penalty After the race, the pilot and plane are weighed. If they do not reach a minimum weight of 698kg (with a tolerance of -5kg post flight), then the flying session results in DNF.

Super 8

Final 4

Winner of each heat advances to Super 8, plus two fastest losers.*

The four fastest advance to Final 4.*

Four pilots compete for victory.*

Pilot 07


Pilot 06 Pilot 08

winner Heat 2

Pilot 05 Pilot 09

Winner Heat 3 Pilot 04

Pilot 04 Pilot 10

winner Heat 4

Pilot 02

Pilot 03 Pilot 11

winner Heat 5

Pilot 02 Pilot 12

Pilot 03

winner Heat 6

Pilot 01 Fastest loser 1 Fastest Loser 2

Pilot 01

Flying Too High (2 second penalty) Flying above the top of an Air Gate – but still following the approved racetrack.

Incorrect Level Flying (2 second penalty) Flying with the wings at an angle when in the Level Gate.

SMOKE VIOLATION (1 second penalty) A one-second penalty is incurred if the race plane is not emitting smoke during the race (from “Smoke On” call until passing the Finish Gate). This penalty is given whether there is a technical problem or not.


Day 2 / Race Day Top 12



























*The starting order is based on the results in Qualifying.

A flying session can only be evaluated if every pilot has had the chance to fly a valid session; a session is valid as long as timekeeping was available for every pilot. The results of the sessions are based on the time it took the pilots to fly the racetrack, including any penalties. Disqualification, Did Not Finish, Safety Climb Out and Did Not Start are also ranked. The ranking (from highest to lowest): 1. Safety Climb Out, 2. Did Not Finish, 3. Did Not Start, 4. Disqualification If there’s a tie during any flying session the respective pilots are ranked according to their current standings, previous flying or as determined by the race committee. In case of bad weather or other unforeseen circumstances, the race committee may cancel the flying session. If the Top 12 race is not a valid flying session ranks 5 to 8 and 1 to 4 respectively will be based on the results of Qualifying. If the Super 8 can’t be flown, ranks 5 to 8 will be based on timing results of the Top 12. If the Final 4 is cancelled, ranks 1 to 4 will be based on the results of the Super 8. If the Super 8 is not valid, ranks 1 to 4 will be based on the Top 12 results. RED REDBULL BULLAIR AIRRACE MagazinE  RACE Magazin  29





THOMAS BENNETT Great britain

DATE OF BIRTH: March 18, 1978 BIRTHPLACE: Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic HOME: Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic WEBSITE: CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: 2nd in the 2013 Czech National Aerobatic Championships; 14th in the 2013 World Aerobatic Championships;  Three-time Czech National Aerobatic Champion (Sportsman 2005, Intermediate 2006, Advanced 2009); Member of the Czech National Aerobatic Team  (since 2007)

DATE OF BIRTH: September 19, 1974 BIRTHPLACE: Madrid, Spain HOME: Madrid, Spain CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: Team 2nd and 3rd at the European Aerobatic Championships (2006, 2008); Team 2nd with the Spanish National Team at the 2007 World Aerobatic Championships

DATE OF BIRTH: May 25, 1970 BIRTHPLACE: Trbovlje, Slovenia HOME: Murska Sobota, Slovenia CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: Eight-time Slovenian National Aerobatic Champion; Winner of the Grand Aero Challenge 2010, 2nd in the Grand Aero Challenge 2009; 39th in the 2009 World Aerobatic Championships; 21st in the 2002 World Aerobatic Championships; 18th  in the 1998 European Aerobatic Championships

DATE OF BIRTH: July 6, 1985 BIRTHPLACE: Shrewsbury, Shropshire, Great Britain HOME: Lincoln, Lincolnshire, Great Britain WEBSITE: CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: 5th in the 2012 World Aerobatic Championships (Advanced)




Daniel Ryfa Sweden

DATE OF BIRTH: February 14, 1989 BIRTHPLACE: Eichstätt, Germany HOME: Zurich, Switzerland CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: Winner of the 2013 German Aerobatic Championships (Freestyle),  Winner of the 2012 German Aerobatic Championships (Advanced)

DATE OF BIRTH: July 31, 1987 BIRTHPLACE: Villeneuve sur Lot, France HOME: Villeneuve sur Lot, France WEBSITE: CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: 24th in the 2013 World Aerobatic Championships, 14th in 2011; 14th in the 2012 European Aerobatic Championships, 9th in 2010; 2nd at the 2010 European Team Aerobatic Championships; Member of the French Aerobatic Team (since 2009)

DATE OF BIRTH: May 2, 1970 BIRTHPLACE: Tunis, Tunisia HOME: Aureille, France CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: Winner of the 2013 World Aerobatic Championships; Winner of the French Aerobatic Championships; 2nd at the 2012 European Aerobatic Championships;  Winner of the 2011 French Aerobatic Championships; 3rd at the 2009 World Aerobatic Championships and Team Winner; Team 2nd at the 2008 European Aerobatic Championships; Individual 9th and Team 2nd at the 2005 World Aerobatic Championships

DATE OF BIRTH: December 17, 1979 BIRTHPLACE: Stockholm, Sweden HOME: Sundsvall, Sweden WEBSITE: CAREER HIGHLIGHT: Winner of the 2009 European Aerobatic Championships (Advanced)

30  RED BULL AIR RACE Magazine

Photography: private (4), Red Bull Content Pool (4)

They’re determined, they love racing, and they’ve got the skill to break new ground – introducing the 2014 Challenger Cup pilots, the men who will be breathing down the necks of the elite Master Class pilots

Challenger Cup plane

EXTRA 330 LX MANUFACTURER: Extra Aircraft GmbH LENGTH: 7.2m WINGSPAN: 8m ENGINE: Lycoming AEIO 580 B1A, 315hp, six-cylinder engine PROPELLER: Mühlbauer, three-blade TOP SPEED: 420kph (220kts) MAX G: +/-10G WING DESIGN: Symmetric, carbon-fibre

Game of Thrones

A new generation of pilots is set to oust the seasoned crew. Eight men have one aim: grab the Unrestricted Superlicence and get a cockpit in the Master Class

The Challenger Cup is a new element of the Red Bull Air Race giving a new generation of pilots the chance to experience the thrills of the sport. Eight new pilots from seven nations will be racing for Challenger Cup points and valuable Red Bull Air Race experience on the Qualifying Days of the World Championship. The twin aims of the Challenger Cup are to give promising pilots the chance to develop their low-altitude flying skills under racing conditions and further enhance the safety of the world’s fastest motorsport series. Tom Bennett of Great Britain, Mikael Brageot of France, Petr Kopfstein of the Czech Republic, Francois Le Vot of France, Peter Podlunšek of Slovenia, Daniel Ryfa of Sweden, Claudius Spiegel of Germany and Juan Velarde of Spain are the 2014 Challenger Cup pilots. They are all holders of the Restricted Superlicence, obtained in Qualification Camps held in 2013. In the Challenger Cup they will be working towards acquiring the Unrestricted Superlicence required to fly in the Master Class of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship. “I’m very excited to be part of the next generation of Red Bull Air Race,” said Brageot, who has been getting tips from his Breitling teammate Nigel Lamb. “I’ve been following the guys and the racing for years, and to now be a part of it is a dream for me. My goal is to gain as much experience as possible during the Challenger Cup races to hopefully step up and compete in the Master Class before too long.”

Lamb said he was pleased to have the chance to tutor Brageot and admitted it was a learning experience for him as well. “For a newcomer, to enter the World Championship now is a huge step, so it is important to have a lot of support. Newcomers do need a lot of support, not just with the flying, but also with what happens around the flying, such as the pressures from the media. You need to manage your time very well to be mentally prepared at the right moments.” The pilots will be racing in a single-plane-class cup with Red Bull Air Race providing the aircraft – an Extra 330 LX. As for the racetracks, they will generally be the same for the Challenger Cup as in the race itself, but it is possible that on especially difficult tracks the course could be made less challenging by deflating a few of the pylons, according to Sergio Pla, head of aviation at Red Bull Air Race. Each pilot is obliged to fly a minimum of three races, but can take part in all of them. The best six pilots of the season are invited to the final Challenger Cup race, where they are battling for a cockpit in the Master Class.



In the track

Steve Jones, former Red Bull Air Race pilot and now race expert and co-commentator, acts as guide to the Abu Dhabi racetrack. Get seated in the cockpit, buckle up and take off



Turning Manouevre Highest G - Max 10G

32  RED BULL AIR RACE Magazine

■ Round 1 ■ Round 2

Entry Speed Limit: 230 mph (370 km/h)

Single Gate

Highest G - Max 10G

Start/Finish Air Gate

Air Gate

As a race Pilot over the Corniche you should aim for a straight run at the Start Gate. Your challenge is to be close to the 200 knots start speed limit when your race plane enters the Gate. Be careful though, any faster and your flight will be discontinued! If your approach is right, you will be lined-up for the crucial first turn into the Chicane. It’s easy to drift high here, but you must stay level as you switch your bank from leftto-right-to-left in this high-speed slalom. It’s vital to be level and tight against the pylons to exit with the maximum amount of speed.

Just a short line now to Gate 5, but start bracing all those muscles for the imminent high-G pull-up! Entering this Gate at an angle is OK as long as your wings are level, but the greater the angle the smaller the gap between the pylons, so be careful. A nanosecond after you pass the Gate, pull hard back on the control-stick and slam straight to almost 10G. A small skew either left or right is fine as you pull into the Vertical Turning Manoeuvre, but don’t overdo it. This twist is what should allow you to exit with the perfect line for Gates 6 and 7. To avoid penalty seconds, make certain you are back down at race height just before you get to Gate 6. This “back side” of the track is where your race-line is absolutely vital. Blue gates mean your

wings must be level as you pass through them, or two penalty seconds will be added to your race time, but you won’t be wingslevel for long. It is a compromise. Fly the shortest possible distance between Gates and fly smoothly to preserve aircraft energy. It gets more difficult after Gate 8. Here you have to allow the race plane to fly from the Level Gate, past the Single Pylon 9 through the Start Gate and to the Chicane entry, with the minimum of control inputs. Every correction causes aerodynamic drag and you will lose speed. Stay at race height and don’t fly too wide. The second lap is similar to the first, but you’ll have less speed, so fly slightly tighter lines and concentrate on smooth handling. And don’t relax until you pull up after the Finish Gate. RED BULL AIR RACE MagazinE  33


Time lords

Photography: Markus Kucera

Breitling rises to timekeeping challenges of Red Bull Air Race

Breitling, The famous manufacturer of precision-made chronometers from Switzerland, is the official global timekeeping partner for the Red Bull Air Race again in 2014, continuing a tradition that started in 2007. Renowned for its precision aviation watches, Breitling’s challenge is to separate the best from the rest in the world’s fastest motorsport series, where the time gaps between the competitors are sometimes as little as 1/100th of a second. “Time will be measured in thousandths of a second,” explains Sergio Pla, head of aviation at Red Bull Air Race. “We also have a photo-finish system, which has a resolution of 1/10,000th of a second. That system will be used if two pilots have the exact same time at 1/1,000th of a second.” As there are other three-dimensional challenges to timing in the Red Bull Air Race World Championship, the timing system also measures the centrifugal force, the speed of the plane and the pulse of the pilots. The clock starts and stops when the nose of the plane triggers the system as it flies through the start and 34  RED BULL AIR RACE Magazine

then the finish Gate. In addition, there is a backup system – a line scan camera and transponder, and a total of five people who are assigned to track the timings. With margins so tight, timekeeping for the Red Bull Air Race is one of the most essential parts of the sport. Breitling, with its valuable experience in just this field and in timing the Red Bull Air Races, is a fitting global partner for the World Championship. Taking a quick look back at one of the 2010 races shows just how close the competition was: in the final round of the race in New York, Nigel Lamb from Great Britain beat American Kirby Chambliss in a thrilling battle. The crowd gasped in excitement when they realised the margin separating the two pilots – just 3/100ths of a second. Lamb managed to oust Chambliss and secured second place. Breathtaking speeds in the toughest motorsport race against the clock are the reality in 2014. Many pilots will most likely have to give in and accept their defeat by as little as 1/100th of a second or even less. It’s man versus clock, more than ever.




H 8T



The 2014 debut race is set over the turquoise blue waters of the Persian Gulf and best viewed at Corniche Breakwater. Our race village map helps you to find what you might be searching for on-site






P4 P5






Race Weekend Schedule

QUALIFYING DAY Friday, February 28 12:00–13:45 Training Master Class 13:45–15:00 Training Challenger Class 15:00–16:30 Qualification Master Class 16:30–17:30 Challenger Cup Race



RACE DAY Saturday, March 1 15:30–16:30 Top 12 16:45–17:10 Super 8 17:15–17:30 Final 4 17:30–18:30 Post Race & Podium


18 TH ST



TRAINING DAY Thursday, February 27 10:00–14:00 Training Master Class 14:30–15:30 Training Challenger Class 16:00–17:00 Training Challenger Class

For more information visit #AIRRACE

36  RED BULL AIR RACE Magazine















































EVENT OPERATIONS MEDIA CENTRE - Media Accreditation - Viewing area - Press conference MEDIA CENTRE PARKING
















All night long

Stop daydreaming about memorable nights out and start experiencing them. Extend your day at the Red Bull Air Race with Abu Dhabi’s fine restaurants, exclusive bars and hip clubs


Chamas Churrascaria Brazil comes to the United Arab Emirates – Chamas Churrascaria, to be exact. Here is where you can taste an extract of the country’s barbecue and live music tradition. Address: InterContinental Abu Dhabi, Bainouna Street, Abu Dhabi Phone: +971 2 666 6888 Website:

Sho Chos If you’re a lover of Japanese cuisine that goes beyond plain Sushi, Sho Chos is the place to be. With its fusion of traditional Asian ingredients and Western style influences, this restaurant is the perfect place to take your taste buds to the next level. Address: Souk Qaryat al Beri, between the bridges, near Shangri La Hotel Abu Dhabi Phone: +971 2 558 1117 Website: Cedar Lounge In just four years, Cedar Lounge has become a true Abu Dhabi landmark, not just for its modern take on Lebanese food and decor, but also for its way of transporting the Lebanese lifestyle. Make sure you stay for a while after dinner and enjoy the cosy terrace, with shishas, belly dancers and an authentic Middle Eastern atmosphere. Address: Fairmont Bab Al Bahr, Bain Al Jessrain, Abu Dhabi Phone: +971 2 654 3223 Website:

38  RED BULL AIR RACE Magazine

Club So-Hi The perfect combination of restaurant and nightclub, Club So-Hi takes care of everything you could wish for a perfect night out. Eat your way through the large menus of sushi and exotic bites while enjoying cool sounds and a great backdrop of dazzling night views. Address: Aloft Hotel, Khaleej Alarabi Street, Abu Dhabi Phone: +971 2 654 5138 Website:

Etoiles Voted Best Nightclub four years in a row, Etoiles in the famous Emirates Palace is a place for everyone, combining the best of entertainment, fine dining and music. Make sure you take time to soak in the almost surreal beauty and design of this club, that deserves every award it has ever won. Address: Emirates Palace, Corniche Rd W, Abu Dhabi Phone: +971 2 690 8960 Website:

O1NE Yas Island Yas Island is more than just an aesthetically pleasing masterpiece; it is also poised to be a top party place in the UAE and the whole region. It has state-of-the-art technologies for an experience clubgoers have never seen or imagined. Address: Yas Island Abu Dhabi Phone: +971 5 5828 1111 Website:

BARS Porters Pub If you’re looking for a relaxing atmosphere, the pubs of Abu Dhabi should be your first port of call. Porters is known for its authentic pub grub, consisting of the freshest ingredients spiced up with daily live entertainment that assures you have a good night out. Address: Grand Millennium, Hazza Bin Zayed St, Abu Dhabi Phone: +971 2 495 3936 Website: Belgian Café A true piece of Brussels right in the heart of Abu Dhabi, Belgian Café offers everything you know and love about Belgium. Enjoy fresh mussels, chunky fries and the famous Belgian waffles in a European-style setting. Address: InterContinental Abu Dhabi, Bainouna Street, Abu Dhabi Phone: +971 2 666 6888 Website: Hemingway’s Named after the American novelist Ernest Hemingway, Hemingway’s offers a taste of South American specialities in a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere at the Hilton Abu Dhabi. A perfect place to treat your family and friends after an exciting day at the Red Bull Air Race. Address: Hilton Abu Dhabi, Corniche Rd, Abu Dhabi Phone: +971 2 681 1900 Website:

Photography: Markus Kucera, Sho Chos, So-High


Touch down

Explore the world Eight locations host the 2014 Red Bull Air Race World Championship during a calendar that spans the globe and touches down on three continents. Join the globetrotting race teams and experience one-of-a-kind getaways

islands and a beautiful coastline – Rovinj draws visitors from all over the world, making it one of the top tourist destinations in Croatia. The town flourished in the medieval period under the Republic of Venice and some of the medieval city’s churches, walls and fortifications still stand today in the Old Town. The racetrack will be set up along the north beach, close to the old town, featuring plenty of long stretches and tight turns. Pilots are sure to find the going tough here: the Adriatic coast is subject to the unpredictable, gusty and tempestuous Bora wind that could challenge race teams and track builders alike.


Abu Dhabi

united arab emirates February 28-March 1 Returning for the season-opening round in 2014, Abu Dhabi has found a new home for the race village at a purpose-built arena on the Corniche Breakwater. Away from the race, there are plenty of things to see and do, from the man-made entertainment centre at Yas Island, home to the award-winning waterpark, Yas Waterworld, to adventure experiences in the desert, top golf courses and unrivalled shopping malls. There’s also 8km of pristine beachfront. Accommodation options abound with a wealth of world-class hotels and resorts across the city, each offering diverse cuisines from around the world. 40  RED BULL AIR RACE Magazine


Croatia, April 12-13

Rovinj is a small town located on the western coast of Istria in Croatia, the largest peninsula on the Adriatic coastline. With a stunning natural heritage and beautiful landmarks in abundance – including the Golden Cape Park Forest, several protected

With more than a third of the city space reserved for freshwater wetlands, lakes, public parks and rainforest, as well as the country’s largest botanical gardens, it’s not surprising that the Malaysian city of Putrajaya was planned and built on two fundamental concepts – the garden and the intelligent city. At the heart of the city lies the 600-hectare Putrajaya Lake, a beautifully landscaped man-made waterway designed to act as a natural cooling system for the city and create a place for fishing and watersports. Putrajaya Lake has held world-class regattas including the Formula One Powerboat Championships, and it hosts the course for this year’s Red Bull Air Race. Putrajaya is a unique place to live, work and play; it represents the coming-of-age of Malaysia as a dynamic and progressive member of the global community committed to the concept of sustainable development.

Photography: Getty Images (2), Red Bull Content Pool (3), Rlicul, (2)

Malaysia, may 17-18


POLAND, July 26-27

Despite being relatively young – established in 1926 – Gdynia is now one of the biggest cities in northern Poland, with a population of almost 250,000. Gdynia has a strong maritime heritage and is home to a bustling marina as well as a variety of old Naval warships that now serve as museums. The vibrant city also has a rich cultural heritage – there’s always something going on. Gdynia is renowned for its contemporary music, theatre and film festivals, and is well suited to hosting the dynamic Red Bull Air Race, with the sea providing a striking backdrop to the action. The city beach is one of the most beautiful on the Polish coast, with the Seaside Boulevard a popular place for taking it easy and watching the world go by. The 1.5km stretch is full of young artists keen to express their creative flair, capturing the imagination of those who spend time there. Gdynia port is no stranger to hosting sporting events either, with the biggest sailing ships in the world regularly competing in races here.


great britain, August 16-17

There are few sporting venues in the world that can match the history of Ascot Racecourse. Dating back to the 18th century (the first race, Her Majesty’s Plate, was held on August 11, 1711, with a purse of 100 guineas), each year, in June, thousands of people flock to the racecourse for Europe’s premier flat race meeting. This year, Red Bull Air Race pilots will test their mettle above where many great jockeys have gone before. The unique course features large sweeping turns, creating an exciting challenge for pilots

that’s different from other racetracks on the calendar. This leg of the Red Bull Air Race may be set among idyllic woodland near a quaint village close to Windsor Castle, but the bright lights and numerous tourist attractions of London are less than 60km away. In just over 50 minutes by train, you’ll be in central London, with its vibrant nightlife, and a just a stone’s throw from Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament, the London Eye and Tower Bridge. The city also boasts more than 300 museums and galleries and eight Royal Parks, so you won’t be stuck for things to do after the Red Bull Air Race.

Dallas-Fort Worth

united states of america september 6-7

Everything about Texas is big, bold and impressive. The Lone Star state is the second largest in the USA, behind Alaska. The enormous area includes Dallas-Fort Worth, two separate cities that have transformed themselves from sleepy cattle-rearing territory, to the largest land-locked metropolitan area in the United States and the economic and cultural hub of North Texas. The Metroplex area, as it is now known, is one of just 12 American metropolitan areas that have teams in each of the four major professional sports leagues: American football, baseball, basketball and ice-hockey, while there’s also a team in the emerging Major League Soccer. It is also home to many corporations, with a variety of nightlife, a burgeoning arts community, two award-winning zoos, a world-class aquarium and several historically significant museums. Dallas-Fort Worth is also an important fixture on the American motorsport scene. The Texas Motor Speedway is one of the largest sports stadiums in America. Opened in 1997, it is known as The Great American Speedway, with its 1.5-mile quad-oval superspeedway and a capacity in excess of 190,000. The Texas Motor Speedway draws in sports fans hungry for high-octane action, hosting the likes of the IndyCar Series and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, and this year it is host to the Red Bull Air Race.

Las Vegas

united states of america October 11-12

If New York is the city that never sleeps, then Las Vegas never stops entertaining. The City of Lights is globally regarded for its casinos, award-winning shows, super-size hotels, world-renowned cabaret, and nightlife. The seventh stop on the tour will see the Red Bull Air Race taking the stage at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Constructed in 1996, it offers its guests many unique and exciting racing experiences. At the centre of the 1,600-acre multi-track facility is the 1.5-mile tri-oval superspeedway which hosts the annual NASCAR weekend in spring. For those looking to extend their experience beyond the city of lights, there’s the chance to see the Grand Canyon, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Its tours regularly depart from Las Vegas, with a short trip over the state border into Arizona.


November 1-2

China is sure to contribute a thrilling climax to the competition. The country is fast becoming a global powerhouse, with a population of more than 1.3 billion people. Known for its contrasting cultural identity, the country is an intriguing blend of Eastern mystery and Western dynamism. The capital, Beijing, is in the north, home to China’s political community and known for opulent architecture, art and culture. China’s most populated city is Shanghai, with 23 million people. It is an influential economic hub, a key financial, trade and technology centre and the busiest container port in the world. Where in China the Red Bull Air Race is taking off will be revealed this summer. RED BULL AIR RACE MagazinE  41


go figure

strength in numbers

Sometimes you just have to let the stats speak for themselves. Nurture your brain cells with key facts and figures about the Red Bull Air Race


Due to the increased height of the pylons (up from 20m to 25m), the flight window has been raised from 10m to 15m. An improvement for safety in the racetrack.


Four types of aircraft, one top speed. Red Bull Air Race planes can reach a top speed of 444kph (the Corvus Racer 540). As a comparison, a Formula One car reaches its limit at ‘only’ 350kph.


Shipping an entire Red Bull Air Race from one place to another requires two very important things: meticulous planning and huge containers. All in all, 44 containers are needed to transport everything the crews need – from the smallest rivet to the biggest aircraft parts.



The year when the idea of merging flying with the most exciting elements of motor racing was born and developed in the Red Bull sports think-tank. After two years in planning, the first official Red Bull Air Race was ready to take off in Zeltweg, Austria, in 2003. Six pilots competed in front of an overwhelmed crowd. A new era of motorsport began.

The top diameter (in metres) of a pylon, the racetrack marker, is now just below 1m. This one-sided, asymmetrical cone is made of extremely lightweight and flexible spinnaker material, a fabric used to make boat sails. A pylon must do two fundamental things: rip apart instantly and easily if a plane touches it, while remaining stationary in all weather conditions. Since its last public outing in 2010, the pylon has become safer and more stable, despite the spinnaker fabric used in the top parts of it being even lighter than before, weighing 40 per cent less than standard printer paper.

Th e


He is one of the Master Class pilots, our man within. His identity remains secret, but not his thoughts August 8, 2010, in many ways, was like every other Race Day I’ve been part of – there were highs and lows, fast times, slow times, surprise rankings, distractions, disputed penalties and missed penalties – all of it a typical Race Day. There was one major difference, though: this would be the last race of the Red Bull Air Race for an undefined period of time. Taxiing into the pit lane for the last time that day, the icy focus on racing began to melt away and my perspective widened. The sights and sounds of the race I normally would block out sunk in and took hold, and I was suddenly fully aware of the great spectacle that surrounded me. The racetrack, crowd, media, cameras, and pure thrill of the sport formed a perfect playground for the top pilots in the world. And then I realised I was about to lose it all. When I turned off my engine following my final run over the EuroSpeedway in Lausitz, Germany, a part of me shut down with it. The Red Bull Air Race World Championship hiatus wasn’t an easy thing for me. It wasn’t easy at the start and it didn’t get any easier as time went on. Years of training, competing, and honing of skills, 42  RED BULL AIR RACE Magazine

driven by a thirst for competition, pushing the limit, and a love of flight were my life and my focus. Racing planes and all that came with it had become a part of who I was rather than what I did. When it all went away, that part of me was lost. I’ve had a lot of time to sit and think about what it really was that I’ve missed so much about the Red Bull Air Race. Was it the toplevel competition or the fast-paced lifestyle? Or maybe it was the fans, or even those annoying-at-times TV cameras? It would take three years for me to sort out what it is about the Red Bull Air Race that drives me. When it hit me, there were no crowds, fancy locations, cameras, sponsors or bonuses; there wasn’t even any competition. It was just me, my race plane, and a racetrack – like a kid kicking around a football on the neighborhood pitch alone after dinner – nothing else mattered in that moment. The racetrack is a place where I’m happy and truly feel like a fish in water. In fact, it’s one of the most comfortable places I know, and I can assure you I’ll be smiling in Abu Dhabi when I hear the words “Smoke On”!


At the heart of the most extreme missions are the exceptional pilots who experience daring feats on a daily basis and are prepared to entrust their security only to the most high-performing instruments. At the heart of the most extreme missions is the Breitling Avenger. A concentrated blend of power, precision and functionality, Avenger models boast an ultra-sturdy construction and water resistance ranging from 1,000 to 10,000 feet. These authentic instruments for professionals are equipped with selfwinding movements chronometer-certified by the COSC – the highest official benchmark in terms of reliability and precision. Welcome to the sphere of extremes. Welcome to the Breitling world.



Red Bull Air Race Magazine – Abu Dhabi  

The Red Bull Air Race Magazine is a special-interest magazine that provides the reader with basic as well as in-depth information about the...

Red Bull Air Race Magazine – Abu Dhabi  

The Red Bull Air Race Magazine is a special-interest magazine that provides the reader with basic as well as in-depth information about the...