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The Official Magazine Abu Dhabi, february 13-14, 2015

Let’s Race! The Red Bull Air Race takes off for the 2015 season

Race stops Abu Dhabi (UAE) Feb 13-14

Chiba (JAPAN) May 16-17 Sochi (RusSIA) May 30-31 Budapest (HunGARY) Jul 4-5 Ascot (UK) Aug 15-16 Spielberg (AUSTRIA) Sep 5-6 Fort Worth (USA) Sep 26-27 Las Vegas (USA) Oct 17-18 www.redbullairrace.com #AIRRACE

Here time doesn’t pass. It flies.

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On the fastest rollercoaster on earth, the only thing quicker is your pulse. Here, imagination meets adrenaline. And exhilaration is pushed to its very limits. Every twist is electric. Every turn designed to thrill. Arrive with your head racing. And heart pounding. Leave with all your senses rediscovered. And you think you’ve done it all? Abu Dhabi. Travellers welcome.

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Race Calender in 2015, Seven countries and eight Cities will host the Red Bull Air Race. New on our Map: Chiba in Japan, Sochi in Russia and Budapest in Hungary

Ascot, UK 15–16 Aug 2015 Las Vegas, USA 17–18 Oct 2015

Spielberg, AUSTRIA 05–06 Sep 2015 Fort Worth, USA 26-27 Sep 2015

Budapest, HUNGARY 04–05 Jul 2015 Sochi, RUSSIA 30–31 May 2015

Chiba, JAPAN 16–17 May 2015

Abu Dhabi, UAE 13–14 Feb 2015

ContentS 04 Bird’s Eye Cover Photography: Joerg Mitter/Red Bull Content Pool

Stunning pictures of the world’s fastest motorsport series from the 2014 season


Portraits of our 14 Master Class pilots plus the Challenger Cup and its pilots

30 race information

Rules, regulations and race format explained

33 the planes

A pilot’s dream. Take a closer look at the four plane types ready to claim the skies in 2015

34 Insight

Ever been inside one of the Red Bull Air Race planes? No? Well, come with us and we’ll show you round…

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 Wien, redbullmediahouse.com PRINTED BY Zabeel Printing Press, Dubai, UAE

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last time round Before the new season TAKES OFF, HERE’S A REMINDER OF WHAT HAPPENED IN 2014 WITH THE most awe-inspiring photos of the year

After a four-year break, the Red Bull Air Race began its big comeback in Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates. Hungary’s Péter Besenyei, one of the series’ most seasoned pilots, was one of the first pilots to fly the track during training sessions 4   RED B ULL AIR RA C E MA G A Z INE


Photography: Joerg Mitter/Red Bull Content Pool

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Also in 2014, Red Bull Air Race introduced the Challenger Class and with that, paved the way for the next generation of pilots. One of them, Peter Podlunsek of Slovenia, was able to show off his skills during the second race, at the most difficult track of the year in Rovinj, Croatia 6  RED BULL AIR R ACE MAGA ZINE


Photography: Andreas Langreiter/Red Bull Content Pool

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The third location to host the Red Bull Air Race in 2014 was Putrajaya in Malaysia – part bustling city and part rainforest. Frenchman Nicolas Ivanoff explored the unique track during the early part of the qualifying stage 8  RED BULL AIR R ACE MAGA ZINE


Photography: Predrag Vuckovic/Red Bull Content Pool

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With the roaring sea providing a striking backdrop to the action, the Polish coastal city of Gdynia was a dramatic location for the fourth stop of the season. Former champion, America’s Kirby Chambliss, felt completely at home in the surroundings 10  RED BULL A IR R ACE M AGA ZINE

Photography: Joerg Mitter/Red Bull Content Pool

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Hold your horses? Yes indeed! The fifth location to host the 2014 Red Bull Air Race was one of the most spectacular – Ascot Racecourse in England. It was a special race for local hero Paul Bonhomme, who got the chance to fly in front of his ecstatic home crowd 12   R E D B U L L A I R R A C E M A G A Z I N E

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Photography: Daniel Grund/Red Bull Content Pool

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The first Red Bull Air Race on American soil was held at the Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. Americans Kirby Chambliss and Mike Goulian enjoyed being in home skies and thrilled the crowd with a formation performance with Austria’s Hannes Arch 14  RED BULL A IR R ACE M AGA ZINE

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Photography: Sebastian Marko/Red Bull Content Pool

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From Fort Worth, the Red Bull Air Race moved to its second American location – the city of Las Vegas in Nevada. It was here that the Canadian Pete McLeod stole the show and claimed his first win of the season 16  R ED BUL L A IR R A CE M A G A Z INE

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Photography: Predrag Vuckovic/Red Bull Content Pool

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The eighth and final race of the season proved to be an emotional one, when the Red Bull Air Race returned home to Austria. In Spielberg, 35,000 spectators witnessed the coronation of the new champion as British pilot Nigel Lamb ended a perfect season in style 18  RED BULL A IR R ACE M AGA ZINE

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Photography: Sebastian Marko/Red Bull Content Pool

105 376kph 27meters G-FORCE


Life. Camera. Action. Flying in a Red Bull Air Race means speeds over 322 kph and pulling up to 10Gs – so extreme that it seems impossible. VIRB Elite™ gives you footage to relive the experience, and data overlays to prove every unbelievable fact. VIRB Elite, the official action camera of the Red Bull Air Race series. For more information visit garmin.com/virb

VIRB HD Action Camera with GPS ™

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master class Get to know the 14 Red Bull Air Race Master Class pilots

Martin Šonka

The decorated former Czech Air Force pilot has a decade of aerobatic experience to call upon. In his debut season in 2010, Šonka was noted for a steady level of performance that improved with each outing. He took the patient approach: focusing on flying through the Air Gates rather than paying too much attention to getting good results fast. Šonka began flying gliders at the age of 17 at the Tabor Aeroclub near his home town of Dvu ˚ r Králové nad Labem. He joined the Czech Air Force in 1997 and studied at the military academy in Brno, completing his studies with a masters degree in 2005. It was during that time that he began flying aerobatics in a glider and later in a powered aircraft. Šonka was a fighter pilot in the 211th Tactical Squadron for 17 years, and was also a member of the Czech Air Force display team. He became a member of the Czech aerobatic team in 2005 and has flown in the Unlimited category since 2006. He holds four Unlimited championship titles and became World Freestyle Vice Champion in 2011. Šonka joined the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in 2010 at the age of 31 and was the second youngest pilot in the sport’s history behind Pete McLeod of Canada. In February 2014, he decided to give up his other commitments to focus on flying for the Red Bull Air Race World Championship full time.

MARTIN ŠONKA CZECH REPUBLIC AIRCRAFT: Zivko Edge 540 V3 BORN March 26, 1978, Dvu˚r Králové nad Labem, Czech Republic LIVES Sezimovo Ústi, Czech Republic WEBSITE martin-sonka.cz RED BULL AIR RACE RESULTS 2014: 8th, 2010: 14th

Photography: Red Bull Content Pool

Nigel lamb

is one of the most accomplished and respected pilots in the history of the Red Bull Air Race. His rise to glory proves the theory that pilots get better with age. An inspiration for pilots and fans alike, the current World Champion’s meticulous approach and steely determination has paid off with his current position at the top of the standings during his five years in the Red Bull Air Race. A friendly and approachable man, he has pushed the sport forward with his pioneering work with the high-performance MXS-R aircraft, finally reaping the rewards of those efforts with second place finishes in three of the six 2010 races: Dubai, Rio de Janeiro and New York. He has an indefatigable work ethic and is always looking for ways to fly the tracks faster and more efficiently. Born in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), Lamb was inspired to take up flying by his father, who was a Royal Air Force (RAF) fighter pilot in World War II. He first applied to join the Rhodesian Air Force aged 11 and was finally accepted at 18. He gained his wings in 1976 and went on to fly jets and helicopters. He has been a display pilot for over 30 years, racking up in excess of 1,770 displays in over 30 countries. Lamb is the only pilot to have won the British National Unlimited Aerobatic Championship eight times consecutively. His flying skills have also featured in several major movie and commercial productions, such as Dark Blue World, Hart’s

War and Fly Boys. When he’s not flying, he enjoys skiing, scuba diving and racquetball. Lamb is married to Hilary and they have three sons: Max, Dan and Ben.

NIGEL LAMB UK AIRCRAFT MXS-R BORN August 17, 1956, Zimbabwe, Africa HOME Oxfordshire, UK WEBSITE nigellamb.com RED BULL AIR RACE RESULTS 2014: 1st, 2010: 3rd, 2009: 6th, 2008: 7th 2007: 9th, 2006: 10th, 2005: 10th RE D B U LL A I R RACE M a g a z i n E  2 1

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Kirby Chambliss

KIRBY CHAMBLISS USA AIRCRAFT Zivko Edge 540 V3 BORN October 18, 1959, Corpus Christi, Texas, USA HOME Flying Crown Ranch, Arizona, USA WEBSITE teamchambliss.com RED BULL AIR RACE RESULTS 2014: 10th, 2010: 4th, 2009: 4th, 2008: 3rd, 2007: 4th, 2006: 1st, 2005: 3rd, 2004: 1st, 2003: 3rd

is one of the most successful pilots in the history of the Red Bull Air Race, with two world championships and eight race victories. The American veteran owns his own hangar and runway in the back yard of his house in Arizona. He has been a competitive force in the sport throughout his career and has earned a place on the podium at least once in each of the seven years he has been flying in the Red Bull Air Race. Chambliss is a renowned world champion in aerobatics and has helped develop the Red Bull Air Race with his innovations, his sharp tactical mind and his will to win. Chambliss was the dominant force in the sport in its early years, winning two world championships in 2004 and 2006. Since then he has stayed competitive and is always considered to be a challenger for the podium in any race. He’s known to go all-out for the wins and famously disparages second place as “first loser.” Chambliss spent much of his youth racing motocross but always knew he wanted to become a pilot. He began flying at the age of 13 and by 24 he became the youngest commercial pilot at Southwest Airlines. By the time he was promoted to captain at 28, he was already polishing his aerobatic skills, an interest developed during aerobatic training for an earlier job flying a business jet. Chambliss refuelled aircraft to earn extra money during his high school years and was soon working as a night freight pilot. His professional aerobatics career began in 1985 when he won five US national championships in the elite unlimited level and the pinnacle of his career came in 2000, when he became Freestyle World Champion. Chambliss jokes that he has been flying the Zivko Edge 540 for so long that the controls and wings are extensions of his arms. Chambliss is married to fellow pilot, Kellie, and they live in Arizona with their daughter, Karly.

François Le Vot France AIRCRAFT: Zivko Edge 540 V2 BORN May 2, 1970, Pézenas, France CAREER HIGHLIGHTS French National Aerobatics Champion in 2011, 2013 and 2014 Overall World Aerobatic Champion, 2013 Silver medal World Aerobatic Champ, 2012 Silver medal European Aerobatic Champ, 2012 22  RED BULL AIR R ACE MAGA ZINE

Photography: Red Bull Content Pool

François Le Vot

is a decorated French Air Force fighter pilot and former French national aerobatics champion with extensive experience in international competition. He had an outstanding 2014 season in the inaugural Red Bull Air Race Challengers Cup competition, notching up three victories. Le Vot worked hard to earn his debut season in the world’s fastest motorsport series in 2008, an achievement which led to him retiring as a top gun flight instructor from France’s Armée de l’Air after a 12-year career flying AlphaJets and the Mirage 2000. A confident pilot, Le Vot has a smooth, efficient and almost artistic style of flying that impressed crowds and rival Challenger Cup pilots. Known as “Zool” in the aviation world, Le Vot is a dapper dresser and an articulate aviator who is at ease describing the art of high-speed, low-altitude flying to an audience of experts or the uninitiated. Le Vot has extensive aerobatics experience and success in both the World and European Aerobatics Unlimited Championships dating back to 2004. Now he has set his sights on winning the Red Bull Air Race World Championship. He spent 12 years on the French military’s aerobatics team and has been on the French team since 2004. He won the European silver medal in 2012 and the World Aerobatic Championship title in 2013. He earned his Unrestricted Super License for the Red Bull Air Race in 2008 and has taken part in many Red Bull Air Race training camps. Le Vot has more than 4,000 flight hours to his name, including 1,500 hours in military jet aircraft and more than 1,200 hours in aerobatics. In the newly created Challenger Cup, Le Vot has been a dominant force, winning the first three races in Abu Dhabi, Croatia and Malaysia, even though his focus was on gaining experience to prepare for the Master Class.

Matthias Dolderer

has been one of the most promising talents in the Red Bull Air Race since his debut in 2009. During his career, he has flown more than 130 different types of airplanes and helicopters. The German surprised the veterans and found himself on the podium in his first season, taking third place in the season finale in Barcelona. Determined with an aggressive flying style, Dolderer has become well-known in German-speaking countries thanks to his unbridled enthusiasm for the sport, his network of media and business contacts and his ability to convey the special nature of the Red Bull Air Race to a wider audience. Highly focused, Dolderer is always looking for ways to improve and was one of the first pilots to invest in the newest version of the Zivko Edge 540. Dolderer, who once brilliantly compared the precision flying of the Red Bull Air Race to trying to park a car in a garage while travelling at nearly 400kph, took his first flight with his father at the age of three. His first solo flight was at 14 and his life has revolved around aviation ever since. He obtained his glider license on his 17th birthday and the same year made it to third place as the youngest competitor ever at the German Championships. He was a Team Member of the German National Team and competed in four German, two European and one World Championship. He was the German Champion at the age of 20 before becoming the youngest flight instructor in Germany at the age of 21. After that he took over the Tannheim Airfield with his sister. Dolderer had worked at the Red Bull Air Race for several years, flying the media around the track, before he entered the competition properly in 2009. He has brought a number of innovations to the aviation scene, including organising Europe’s biggest air show, Tannkosh.

Matthias dolderer Germany AIRCRAFT: Zivko Edge 540 V3 BORN September 15, 1970, Ochsenhausen, Germany LIVES Hörbranz, Austria WEBSITE matthiasdolderer.com RED BULL AIR RACE RESULTS 2014: 7th, 2010: 8th, 2009: 9th

hannes arch

is one of the most exciting, successful and driven Red Bull Air Race pilots and became the first European to win the World Championship in 2008. An accomplished all-round adventurer who has climbed many of the world’s most dizzying mountains and leaped off cliffs as a B.A.S.E jumper, Arch has pushed the development of the Red Bull Air Race forward with his adventurous spirit. The flying ace became one of the sport’s biggest names with his stunning world championship title in 2008, taking the title against a field of veteran favourites in only his second season. Arch began flying at 16 after obtaining a Special Pilots License in Austria. He first focused on hang gliding and at 19 became a state-approved mountain and ski guide. At one point Arch was also ranked as one of the world’s best mountaineers and climbers. He studied Sports Science and worked as a lecturer on sport climbing at Graz University, but left to focus on his flying. He became an accomplished paragliding test pilot and is credited as one of the world’s first “acrobatic paragliders”. He began experimenting with aerobatics in 1998, after making the crossover from free to motorised flying and joined the Swiss National Aerobatic Team. Arch, who made an indelible mark on the paragliding scene by organising a gruelling international competition that has become the popular Red Bull X-Alps event, has also executed some of the most spectacular B.A.S.E. jumps. His raw talent, determination and skill propelled him to become the European Aerobatic Champion in 2006 and he joined the Red Bull Air Race a year later in 2007, where he became rookie of the year.

HANNES ARCH AUSTRIA AIRCRAFT: Zivko Edge EDGE 540 V3 BORN September 22, 1978, Styria, Austria LIVES Salzburg, Austria WEBSITE hannesarch.com RED BULL AIR RACE RESULTS 2014: 2nd, 2010: 2nd, 2009: 2nd, 2008: 1st, 2007: 10th RED BULL AIR R ACE Maga zinE  23


Juan Velarde

Juan Velarde Spain AIRCRAFT Zivko edge 540 V2 BORN September 19, 1974, Madrid, Spain LIVES Madrid, Spain CAREER HIGHLIGHTS Red Bull Air Race Challenger Class, 2014 Silver medal with Spanish National Team at World Aerobatic Championships, 2007 Team silver and bronze at European Aerobatic Championships, 2006, 2008 and 2014

is one of the top Spanish aviators of his generation and he excelled in the inaugural Red Bull Air Race Challengers Cup in 2014. The Madrid native has been an enthusiastic follower of the Red Bull Air Race since its creation and worked hard on improving his aerobatic skills and credentials to secure himself a cockpit in the world’s fastest motorsport series. One of the tallest pilots in the expanded field, Velarde is as friendly and approachable as he is eloquent and articulate in explaining the finer aspects of flying through the low altitude tracks at high speeds. Velarde’s smooth and accurate style of flying impressed the Challenger Cup judges and his fans in Spain, which has one of the world’s biggest Red Bull Air Race fan base. Velarde is a commercial pilot for Iberia Airlines and for many years has been flying the Airbus A340 and A330 on trans-Atlantic flights from Madrid. He began flying gliders at 15 and made his first solo flight when he turned 16. His father was a B747 captain and a great flying enthusiast. After finishing school, Velarde went to Anchorage, Alaska, to complete a private pilot course before returning to Spain, where he worked towing gliders while studying to become a commercial pilot. He later became a flight instructor in Fort Worth, Texas. Velarde began flying aerobatics in 1999, and later joined the Spanish National Aerobatic Team. He took part in all the European and World Aerobatic Championships between 2004 and 2011. He helped Spain win the Team Silver Medal at the 2007 World Aerobatics Championships and in 2010 Velarde won the national overall aerobatics championship in Spain. He has two gold, four silver and one bronze medal in Spain’s national championship. Before joining the Challenger Cup in 2014, Velarde had been flying both solo and formation displays around the world since 2008.

nicolas ivanoff

NICOLAS IVANOFF FRANCE AIRCRAFT Zivko Edge 540 V2 BORN July 4, 1967, Ajaccio, Corsica LIVES Brussels, Belgium WEBSITE nicolasivanoff.com RED BULL AIR RACE RESULTS 2014: 4th, 2010: 6th, 2009: 5th, 2008: 9th, 2007: 7th, 2006: 8th, 2005: 7th, 2004: 9th 24  RED BULL AIR R ACE MAGA ZINE

is one of the most exciting and enigmatic pilots taking part in the Red Bull Air Race. The Frenchman has the ability to win races – as he showed in Perth in 2008 and San Diego in 2009 – and regularly challenges for spots on the podium. But at other times he has struggled and ended up in the back of the field. His best two seasons were the last two in 2009 (fifth) and 2010 (sixth). His stylish method of flying is particularly appealing to spectators, and the elegance and skill of his maneuverers on tracks with tight turns are much admired by his fellow pilots. Ivanoff has been known to fly brilliantly one day but below par the next. He started well in 2009 with a third place in Dubai and first place in San Diego, but finished ninth in Windsor, eighth in Budapest, 12th in Porto and seventh in Barcelona. Ivanoff takes an artistic approach to flying and has compared the sport to painting in the sky. He is invariably the best-dressed pilot, with his stylish scarves and smart outfits. Ivanoff became an aerobatic pilot in 1990 after spending many years working as a flight instructor. He joined the French Aerobatics Team seven years later and was a member of the French team that won the World Championships in Toulouse in 2000; he then achieved second place at the French Unlimited Aerobatics Championship in 2004. He has spent the last three years working as an instructor at Corsica’s ‘Corse Voltige’ and performing in air shows. Away from the world of aviation, Ivanoff has been working hard to improve his English.

Yoshihide Muroya

is one of the most focused and hardest working pilots in the Red Bull Air Race. He took his first podium in Croatia in 2014. The acrobatic ace, better known by his nickname “Yoshi”, is the first Asian pilot to take part in the world championship and has helped raise the popularity of the sport in East Asia, especially in his home country of Japan, where he is the best aerobatics pilot in the country. Muroya has brought numerous innovations to the sport, such as introducing a form of pre-race meditation called Zazen. He has remained one of the most stoically optimistic pilots in the field despite enduring several untimely mechanical problems that sidelined him for part of the 2010 season. But he has always trained hard in order to come back in good shape after his enforced absences, and recently he has focused on improving his fitness to better cope with the high Gs that are an intrinsic part of the race. Muroya started glider flight training in 1991 at the age of 18 at a university glider club, as an inexpensive way to start flying. Four years later, he took third place in the Japan glider championship before going to the US to earn his pilot’s license in Los Angeles at the age of 20. He started aerobatics flying in 1996 under the tutelage of aerobatics instructor Randy Gagne, and took part in the Advanced World Aerobatic Championships a year later in 1997. Muroya started flying at air shows in Japan in 1998 with an Extra 300L and North American T6 Texan. In 2002, he changed to a Sukhoi Su-26 in Unlimited Aerobatics and in 2003 took part in the Unlimited World Aerobatic Championship. Since 2006, he has been taking part at air shows worldwide, from the UAE to Australia, South Africa, New Zealand and Spain – more than 220 in total.

Yoshihide Muroya JAPAN AIRCRAFT Zivko Edge 540 V2 BORN January 27, 1973, Nara, Japan LIVES Fukushima, Japan WEBSITE yoshi-muroya.jp RED BULL AIR RACE RESULTS 2014: 9th; 2010: 12th, 2009: 13th

Photography: Red Bull Content Pool


is the most successful pilot in the history of the Red Bull Air Race and the only pilot to have taken part in all 58 races since 2003. The Brit has a record 15 victories and 39 podiums to his name. The double World Champion (2009 and 2010) took second place in 2007 and 2008 before finishing third in 2014 in an increasingly competitive field. Bonhomme’s elegantly smooth flying style has been widely imitated, and he is no longer the man to beat, but he still has the skill, experience and determination to win any race. Always popular among the sport’s fans, his fellow pilots and the media, Bonhomme can eloquently explain the finer points of racing. But this friendly nature masks a fiercely competitive spirit and a tireless drive to succeed, which has helped push the entire sport forward during his nine seasons of racing. When he’s not racing, Bonhomme is a commercial airline captain, flying Boeing 747s around the world. His love of flying has clearly come from his family: his father was a pilot, his mother was a flight attendant and his brother is a commercial pilot. Paul Bonhomme got his start as a 16-year-old, cleaning hangars, polishing aircraft and refuelling them at White Waltham Airfield in England before getting his private pilot’s license at 18. He was soon working as a flight instructor and later became an air taxi pilot before flying charter flights. His aerobatics career took off in 1986 and he has been taking part in air shows ever since. He flew the Yak 50, Extra 300 and Sukhoi 26, and from 1991 began displaying vintage fighters from Duxford. Bonhomme lives in Cambridge with his wife, stepson and three young daughters. After his Championship win in 2009, he was awarded the Segrave Trophy by the Royal Automobile Club and in 2010 the Guide Sword of Honour by the Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigation.

Paul Bonhomme UK AIRCRAFT Zivko Edge 540 v2 BORN September 22, 1964, Buckinghamshire, UK LIVES Cambridgeshire, UK WEBSITE teambonhomme.com RED BULL AIR RACE RESULTS 2014: 3rd, 2010: 1st, 2009: 1st, 2008: 2nd 2007: 2nd, 2006: 4th, 2005: 5th, 2004: 5th

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Pete McLeod

Pete Mcleod canada AIRCRAFT Zivko Edge 540 V3 BORN February 23, 1984, Kapuskasing, Ontario, Canada LIVES Red Lake, Ontario, Canada WEBSITE petemcleodracing.com RED BULL AIR RACE RESULTS 2014: 5th, 2010: 5th, 2009: 15th

emerged as one of the top pilots in his third season in the Red Bull Air Race in 2014 with a career-first victory in Las Vegas, three podiums, five Final Four appearances, displaying some beautifully smooth flying along the way. The fearless ace helped turn the World Championship into a wide-open battle with his hard-charging style and multiple Qualifying victories. McLeod made history in 2009 when he became the youngest pilot in the race at the age of 25 and in 2014 he became the youngest race winner in Las Vegas. The Canadian aviator is determined to become its youngest-ever world champion – which he unabashedly admits is his goal. McLeod’s aggressive style in the track resulted in unpredictable penalty trouble in 2014, but his rise towards the top in an increasingly competitive field has brought him lots of new fans in sports-crazed Canada. With an economics degree from the University of Western Ontario, McLeod is a quick-learning student of the sport. First airborne at six weeks old, McLeod was handed the controls atop his father’s knee at the age of three and has been flying ever since. An accomplished bush pilot flying float-planes in rugged and remote northern Canada, McLeod got his private pilot’s license at 16 and turned to aerobatics at age 18. He earned his aerobatic instructor rating at 18 and he began flying serious competitive aerobatics shortly after. Following early successes and several titles, including the North American Collegiate Championship at the age of 20, McLeod moved onto the professional world stage at the age of 23. He joined the air show circuit in 2006 full-time after university switched his competitive focus from aerobatics to racing after strong results in the European Aerobatic Championships in 2008 qualified him for the Red Bull Air Race.

PÉTER BESENYEI HUNGARY AIRCRAFT Corvus Racer 540 BORN June 8, 1956, Körmend, Hungary LIVES Herceghalom, Hungary WEBSITE besenyeipeter.com RED BULL AIR RACE RESULTS 2014: 11th, 2010: 10th, 2009: 8th, 2008: 5th, 2007: 3rd, 2006: 2nd, 2005: 2nd, 2004: 2nd, 2003: 1st 26  RED BULL AIR R ACE MAGA ZINE

Photography: Red Bull Content Pool

Péter Besenyei

has been a driving force behind the creation and development of the Red Bull Air Race and is sometimes referred to as the godfather of the event because of his pioneering work in perfecting the high-speed, low-level sport. The Hungarian was a top title contender for the first five years, taking first overall in the inaugural 2003 season and then second three straight times (2004, 05, 06) before ending up third (2007). A friendly but driven man, Besenyei has worked as a test pilot for the Hungarian Aviation office and as an aerobatics flying instructor. He has had a hand in many of the advances of the sport, especially concerning aircraft. Besenyei, one of the most popular sportsman in his native Hungary thanks to his unrivaled flying success, became famous worldwide for flying upside down under the Chain Bridge that spans the Danube river in Budapest, a maneuverer that has become a standard at Red Bull Air Races. He grew up near Budapest airport and developed an intense interest in aviation at a young age. He flew a glider for the first time at the age of 15 and soon became an aerobatics pilot, winning assorted national and international championships. He is a highly decorated hero in Hungary for his flying accomplishments. He has flown all the aircraft used in the Red Bull Air Race, from the Zivko Edge 540 and the Extra and he was closely involved in the development of the Corvus Racer that had its debut in the middle of the 2010 season. Besenyei has also been a catalyst for inventing a number of maneuverers, such as the “knife-edge spin”. Besenyei’s unparalleled experience and expertise was put to good use when he was called in to help develop the Red Bull Air Race in 2001 and two years later he took first place in the inaugural race in Zeltweg, Austria.

matt Hall

has been one of the most consistent and innovative pilots in the Red Bull Air Race, pushing himself forward with a tireless drive to succeed. The ambitious Australian, a former top gun pilot in the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), has an insatiable curiosity and is constantly challenging himself with new strategies and techniques to get the most out of his MXS-R plane. His military precision approach comes from his work life – he is a decorated RAAF Wing Commander. Hall was a record-breaking third place overall in his first season in 2009, also becoming the first rookie to win a podium. He followed that with two podiums in 2010 and another two podiums in 2014. Admired for his communication skills, his ability to focus under pressure and his leadership abilities, Hall is popular among pilots for his open and friendly style. Hall, who won Australia’s prestigious Fighter Pilot of the Year award in 1997, is a third generation aviator whose grandfather flew during World War II. Hall’s first solo flight was at age 15 in a glider and he obtained his pilot’s license at 18. He logged more than 1,500 hours flying the F/A – 18 Hornet in the RAAF and later became a Fighter Combat Instructor. He spent three years in the US on a United States Air Force (USAF) exchange programme, flying more than 500 hours in the F-15E Strike Eagle, including combat missions during the second Gulf War, for which he won decorations from both the United States and Australia. He won the 2006 Australia Aerobatic Championship at the Advanced level, his first nationals and advanced competition. In 2007 he moved to the Unlimited Category and took second place overall but first in freestyle. He left the RAAF in 2009 to join the Red Bull Air Race. Hall lives in Australia with his wife Pedita and son Mitchell. Hall also has a stepson Cameron and stepdaughter Amelia.

matt hall australia Aircraft MXS-R BORN September 16, 1971, Scone, New South Wales, Australia LIVES Merewether, New South Wales, Australia WEBSITE matthallracing.com RED BULL AIR RACE RESULTS 2014: 6th, 2010: 7th, 2009 3rd

Michael Goulian

is one of the most exciting pilots the Red Bull Air Race has ever produced and his thrilling victory in the 2009 race in Budapest in 2009 is a testament to his outstanding talent. The American ace has a crisp, aggressive and athletic style of flying that made him a fans’ favourite around the world during his first four years on the Red Bull Air Race world tour. A friendly and loquacious man on the ground who can eloquently explain the sport and aviation to newcomers, Goulian is a fierce competitor in the sky who makes every roll, pull and tumble of his flight a deliberate execution of precision. His performance in the air – either in the Red Bull Air Race or at the scores of air shows he does each year – is often a perfect marriage between man and machine and his relentless pursuit for perfection has won the admiration of many of his fellow pilots as well as the sport’s followers. Goulian was born into an aviation business family, one of the biggest flying schools in the Northeastern United States. His father was an FAA examiner and Goulian grew up washing planes and sweeping out hangars. He learned to fly before he could drive a car and took his first solo flight on his 16th birthday. Goulian turned to aerobatics a year later and soon established an aerobatic school. He worked as a corporate airline pilot while making a name as one of the world’s top aerobatic pilots, becoming the US national champion in the Advanced Category at 22. He was the US national champion in the Unlimited Category in 1995. Goulian, the co-author of a series of books, Basic and Advanced Aerobatics, which became the industry standard for aerobatic flight training manuals, was awarded the prestigious Art Scholl Memorial Award for airshow showmanship in 2006.

MICHAEL GOULIAN USA AIRCRAFT Zivko Edge 540 V2 BORN September 4, 1968, Winthrop, Massachusetts, USA LIVES Plymouth, MA, USA WEBSITE mikegoulian.com RED BULL AIR RACE RESULTS 2014: 12th, 2010: 9th, 2009: 10th, 2008: 10th,  2007: 8th, 2006: 5th, 2004: 7th RED BULL AIR R ACE Maga zinE  27

R i s i n g S ta r s

the next generation They’re determined, they love racing, and they’ve got the skill to break new ground. introducing the Challenger Cup pilots – the men

Daniel Ryfa

Florian Berger

Cristian Bolton


BORN: December 17, 1979, Stockholm, Sweden LIVES: Sundsvall, Sweden WEBSITE: danielryfa.com CAREER HIGHLIGHT: Winner of the 2009 European Aerobatic Championships (Advanced)

BORN: March 31, 1989, Ingolstadt, Germany CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: 2nd place in the advanced category of the German Aerobatic Championships, 2013; 3rd in the Styrian Freestyle Air Challenge, 2013; 3rd place in the unlimited category of the German Aerobatic Championships, 2014; 20th in the classic competition and 7th in the final freestyle competition of the European Aerobatic Championships, 2014; 2nd in the Freestyle competition in Niederöblarn

BORN: October 10, 1973, Puerto Montt, Chile LIVES: Santiago, Chile Career Highlights: Major in the Chile Air Force, squadron commander and leader of Chile’s Escuadrilla de Alta Acrobacia Halcones (Hawks High Aerobatics Squad); Air Force Academy flight instructor in 2012; 2006 to 2011 – F-5 T-III operational pilot; F-5 operational pilot from 2000 to 2002; instructor at Chile’s Tactical Fighter academy in 1999; C-101 tactical fighter pilot in 1995

BORN: March 18, 1978, Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic LIVES: Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic WEBSITE: kopfstein.com 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


Francis Barros


BORN: May 25, 1970; BORN: December 31, 1977; Trbovlje, Slovenia Porto Alegre, Brazil WEBSITE: peterpodlunsek.aero WEBSITE: francisbarros.com CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: Eight-time Career Highlights: 1st Place, Slovenian National Aerobatic (Intermediate Category), Ribeirão Champion; Winner of the Grand Aero Preto; 1st Place (Unlimited Free Challenge 2010, 2nd in the Grand Aero Program) Sebring Contest, USA Challenge 2009; 39th in the 2009 (4th Overall); Highest Scoring Non World Aerobatic Championships; 21st US Citizen by order of Category, US in the 2002 World Aerobatic National Aerobatic Championships; Championships; 18th in the 1998 Brazilian National Champion, 2013 European Aerobatic Championships 2 8   RE D B U L L AIR RA C E M AGA Z INE

BORN: July 31, 1987; Villeneuve sur Lot, France LIVES: Villeneuve sur Lot, France WEBSITE: mikaelbrageot.com 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)

Photography: Red Bull Cotent Pool

who are breathing down the necks of the elite Master Class pilots

R a c e I n f o r m ati o n

the Rules Pilots must follow strict competition rules if they want to avoid incurring penalty seconds or disqualification. They also have to deal with a fierce race format that promises very close results +2 seconds

+2 seconds Incorrect Flying level

Flying with the wings at an angle when in the Level Gate.

Flying Too High

Flying above the top of an Air Gate while still following the approved racetrack.

+ 2 Sec/DNF

correct Pylon Hit

key rule

Incurred when any part of the plane touches a pylon. 1st pylon hit = +2 seconds 2nd pylon hit = +2 seconds 3rd pylon hit = DNF.

Pilots must maintain their altitude and fly in the upper 40 per cent of the Air Gate – sinking is not permitted in any Air Gate. The correct fly zone is designated by coloured markings that run parallel on each pylon. This also applies for the Chicane pylons that count as one Gate.

DQ Weight Penalty

After the race, the pilot and plane are weighed. If they don’t reach a minimum weight of 698kg (with a tolerance of -5kg post flight), the flying session results in Disqualification (DQ).

+ 1 Sec/DNF Exceeding Start Speed limit


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 levied even if there is a technical problem.

Incurred when the pilot exceeds the speed of 370kph/200kts through the Start Gate. In each run 201.00 -201.99kts leads to +1 second, while exceeding 202.00kts results in DNF. Exceeding Maximum Load factor

Incurred when telemetry or post-flight analysis reveals that the pilot exceed the permitted load factor of 10G.

Flying Manoeuvres

The following 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 10m between the Air Gates; flying into clouds; ignoring the commands of the Race Director.

Deviation from the Course

The flying session is stopped when a pilot’s flight path deviates from the racetrack. 3 0   R E D B ULL A I R R A C E M A G A Z I N E


DQ = Disqualified DNF = Did Not Finish

The Format Day 1 / Qualifying Day Training 1 challenger class

Training MASTER class

Training 2 challenger class


Pilot 01

Pilot 01

Pilot 01

Pilot 01

Pilot 02

Pilot 02

Pilot 02

Pilot 02

Pilot 03

Pilot 03

Pilot 03

Pilot 03

Pilot 04

Pilot 04

Pilot 04

Pilot 04

Pilot 05

Pilot 05

Pilot 05

Pilot 05

Pilot 06

Pilot 06

Pilot 06

Pilot 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

Pilot 13

Pilot 13

Pilot 14

Pilot 14


sees all 14 Master Class pilots race to determine the starting order on Race Day. The fastest of two runs counts.

Day 2 / Race day CHALLENGER CUP Pilot 01 Pilot 02 Pilot 03 Pilot 04 Pilot 05 Pilot 06

round of 14 Pilot 10 Pilot 05 Pilot 11 Pilot 04 Pilot 09 Pilot 06 Pilot 12 Pilot 03 Pilot 08 Pilot 07 Pilot 13 Pilot 02

round of 8

Final 4

1st 12

Winner heat 01 winner heat 08 Winner heat 02

Winner heat 03 winner heat 09 Winner heat 04

Winner heat 05 winner heat 10 Winner heat 06

fastest loser Pilot 14 Pilot 01

winner heat 11 Winner heat 07


Race Day Challenger Cup












Winner of each heat advances to the Round of 8, plus the fastest loser.*

















Six pilots compete for victory based on time.


Winner of each heat advances to the Final 4. Final 4

Four pilots compete for victory based on time. * The starting order is based on the results in Qualifying. RE D B U L L A I R RA C E M a g a z i n E  3 1

Race r i A l l u B Red




The Pl anes

The race planes Four types of planes are used in the Red Bull Air Race World Championship: the Edge 540 V2 and V3, the Corvus Racer 540 and the MXS-R. All challengers share a ride: the Extra 330 lx Edge 540 V2


The Edge 540 V2 is as precise and controllable as it is aggressive. This Shoulder Wing plane possesses 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, Le Vot, Muroya, Velarde

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

Edge 540 V3

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

Photography: Peter Clausen Film & TV, Red Bull Content Pool

Corvus Racer 540

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, tail assembly and fuselage covers are high-strength composite parts primarily composed of pultruded and pre-impregnated carbon fibre. MANUFACTURER: Corvus Aerospace Suzhou Ltd 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

One for all: EXTRA 330 LX

All pilots of the Challenger Cup fly the same type of aircraft – the 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 RE D B U LL A I R RACE M a g a z i n E  3 3


Pilot’s Office steering a plane of more than 300hp through tough racetracks demands knowledge… lots of knowledge. Learn the control panel basics here



4 2







9 8


12 14

1 Airspeed Indicator This shows the plane’s speed in knots relative to the air. 2 Altimeter Indicates the aircraft’s altitude (in feet) above a reference level by measuring the static air pressure. 3 EFIS (Electronic Flight Information System) All race planes are equipped with RBAR EFIS. This is the central management unit that computes the values coming from the various sensors of the planes and distributes​ the data to the telemetry link. It also 3 4   R E D B U LL A I R R A CE M A G A Z I N E

displays standard flight information as well as race-related parameters, including ground speed, G-force, results and race director commands. 4 Engine MONITOR A device that records engine data. After a flight, info is downloaded for analysis. The switch on the top is a voice alarm that warns the pilot in case of any system failure. 5 Fuel selector Used to switch between the three fuel tanks: right or left wing and main tank. Planes carry a minimum of 50 litres of Avgas during a race and burn around 1.7 litres of fuel per minute.

6 G-Meter Shows how many Gs are being pulled. Pilots must not exceed 10G. 7 Pedals The pedals direct the plane to the left or the right on the ground. In flight, they are used to activate the rudder. 8 Propeller Control Adjusts the height of the propeller blades. 9 Radio For talking to the Race Tower and the Race Airport. 10 Smoke On/Off Toggled at the start of a run to emit

smoke from engine exhaust. 11 Start button And you’re off… 12 Stick Left or right causes the plane to roll, forward pitches the nose down, and backwards pitches it up. 13 Throttle control Manages power adjustment. 14 Transponder Relays information to the radar concerning the plane’s position, altitude and speed. 15 Vertical Card Compass A “dry” compass – so no more chance of leaks.

Photography: Markus Kucera



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 chronometercertified by the COSC – the highest official benchmark in terms of reliability and precision. Welcome to the sphere of extremes. Welcome to the Breitling world.


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