the official Magazine Rovinj, ApRil 12-13, 2014
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
pursuit of perfection
The worldâ€™s fastest motorsport series
The top three in Abu Dhabi: (l-r) Hannes Arch second, Paul Bonhomme first and Pete McLeod third
STANDINGS 1. PAUL BONHOMME (GBR) 2. HANNES ARCH (AUT)
3. PETE MCLEOD (CAN)
4. MATT HALL (AUS)
5. NIGEL LAMB (GBR)
6. MATTHIAS DOLDERER (GER)
7. MARTIN ŠONKA (CZE)
8. NICOLAS IVANOFF (FRA) 9. YOSHIHIDE MUROYA (JPN)
Cover Photography: Naim Chidiac/Red Bull Content Pool; Photography: Markus Kucera
He is one of the Master Class pilots, our man within. His identity remains secret, but not his thoughts As race pilots, we are interested in the first race of the season essentially for one ego-fuelled reason: to see how we measure up against the rest of the grid. This year’s opener in Abu Dhabi proved to be one of the most eagerly anticipated and yet uncertain in its prediction of the season ahead. In the Super 8 round, the pilots were covered by a gap of just 2.5 seconds from first to eighth; the podium time spread was just over 0.5 seconds. In short, if we learned anything in the first round, it is that the ‘new’ Red Bull Air Race World Championship, complete with standardised engines and stiff penalties, is anyone’s game this year. Uncertainty and excitement right up to the last second is music to a broadcaster’s ears, but for a race pilot, this is not a scenario that provides much comfort. It should come as no surprise that a racer loves to be in control. We take our planes to the limit and back with fearless precision, spend countless hours with our technicians tuning our machines, and woo sponsors to feed our obsession for speed. All this in the name of control – of the media, of the best sponsors, of the podium, and, of course, control of the championship rankings – a true competitor wants it all. Most teams would not admit it publicly, but I can promise you there were a lot of uneasy race pilots taking flights home from Abu Dhabi after the race, including yours truly. That uneasiness is the hair-raising feeling of lack of control. Out of the four pilots racing who have won world championships, two are sitting at the back of the bus – trust me, they don’t feel in control. Think the reigning champ feels in control sitting atop the standings? Think again. Not only is Paul Bonhomme’s nemesis, Hannes Arch, right behind him, the two champs are wondering how long they will have to contend with Matt Hall and Pete McLeod, who both moved the track record marker while in Abu Dhabi and found their way into the top four. Sprinkle in a few seasoned vets with set-up issues and relatively fresh faces with hot new rides, and you have a recipe for chaos in the rankings. In this sport, control is everything – and if the season opener is any indication, we will all be buckled in tight for a bumpy ride through the rankings this season.
1 POINT 0 POINTS
10. PÉTER BESENYEI (HUN)
11. KIRBY CHAMBLISS (USA)
12. MICHAEL GOULIAN (USA)
CONTENT 04 BIRD’S EYE VIEW Stunning pictures of the world’s fastest motorsport series 24 AIRBORNE The 12 Master Class pilots and their planes up close, plus the brand-new Challenger Cup and its pilots 28 INSIGHT Details on G-force, its effects and a plane’s dashboard 30 TRACK TIME A look at the Rovinj racetrack and its challenges 32 LOGBOOK As precise as a Swiss watch: there’s no margin for error in the timekeeping 34 COMPETITION The sport’s rules, regulations and race format 37 UP CLOSE The new engine and propeller 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 Facts of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in numbers
PUBLICATION Red Bull Air Race Magazine #2 / 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, redbullmediahouse.com PRINTED BY OFFSET 5020, Bayernstraße 27, A-5072 Siezenheim RED BULL AIR RACE MAGAZINE
bird’s eye VieW
Photography: Jörg Mitter/Red Bull Content Pool
Let your eyes feast on these powerful race performances from the season’s first stop in Abu Dhabi and find out more about the best pilots in the world
Photography: Predrag Vuckovic/Red Bull Content Pool
Paul Bonhomme, currently leading the World chamPionshiP standings Charismatic and 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. It was the most fantastic airshow and cemented my fascination with flying,” remembers Bonhomme. From then on, he 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. Having been crowned Red Bull Air Race World Champion twice, in 2009 and 2010, the master of consistency is no doubt trying to continue his winning streak.
Photography: Jörg Mitter/Red Bull Content Pool
hannes arch, currently 2nd 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.” Arch is very keen to add a second World Championship title to his tally.
Matt Hall, currently 4tH
Photography: Predrag Vuckovic/Red Bull Content Pool
Pete mcleod, currently 3rd 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 Unrestricted Superlicence and a place in the World Championship, signalling an exciting new chapter for the sport. “I’m passionate in 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. There’s no doubt that now McLeod is able to mix it with the likes of Arch and Bonhomme.
Photography: Balazs Gardi/Red Bull Content Pool
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 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 claimed third place overall. Now even stronger, he’s aiming for podium finishes.
nigel lamB, currently 5th
Nigel Lambâ€™s fascination for flying was awakened at the tender age of 11.
Photography: Predrag Vuckovic/Red Bull Content Pool
It wouldnâ€™t leave him, 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 he is more than ready to stake his claim to the title.
MattHias DolDerer, currently 6tH
Photography: Sebastian Marko/Red Bull Content Pool
“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.
nicolas ivanoff, currently 8th 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. His best race year so far was 2009. 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.”
Photography: Balazs Gardi/Red Bull Content Pool
At the age of 36, 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 former 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 chose to use his debut season to focus on flying cleanly. Now he is putting all that he has learned in his first year into practice.
Photography: Predrag Vuckovic/Red Bull Content Pool
Martin Šonka, currently 7tH
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.
Photography: Jörg Mitter/Red Bull Content Pool
yosHi Muroya, currently 9tH
PÉter Besenyei, currently 10th When in race mode, Péter 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.
Photography: Predrag Vuckovic/Red Bull Content Pool
kirBy cHaMBliss, currently 11tH
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 six years’ flying 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. His mind and body are ready for more: “Once I close that canopy, I’m all about winning!”
Photography: Sebastian Marko/Red Bull Content Pool
michael goulian, currently 12th 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. 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 is undoubtedly an important forthcoming chapter in his pursuit of perfection.
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.”
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: martin-sonka.cz RED BULL AIR RACE RESULTS: 2010 14th
NICOLAS IVANOFF FRANCE ZIVKO EDGE 540 V2
DATE OF BIRTH: July 4, 1967 BIRTHPLACE: Ajaccio, Corsica HOME: Brussels, Belgium TEAM: Martin Barth (technician), Jean-Paul Kieffer (team co-ordinator) WEBSITE: nicolasivanoff.com RED BULL AIR RACE RESULTS: 2010 6th 2009 5th 2008 9th 2007 7th 2006 8th 2005 7th 2004 9th
PETE MCLEOD CANADA ZIVKO EDGE 540 V3
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: petemcleodracing.com RED BULL AIR RACE RESULTS: 2010 5th 2009 15th
NIGEL LAMB GREAT BRITAIN MXS-R
DATE OF BIRTH: August 17, 1956 BIRTHPLACE: Zimbabwe, Africa HOME: Oxfordshire, Great Britain TEAM: Nigel Huxtable (technician), Victoria Griffiths (team co-ordinator) WEBSITE: nigellamb.com RED BULL AIR RACE RESULTS: 2010 3rd 2009 6th 2008 7th 2007 9th 2006 10th 2005 10th
HANNES ARCH AUSTRIA ZIVKO EDGE 540 V3
DATE OF BIRTH: September 22, 1967 BIRTHPLACE: Leoben, Styria, Austria HOME: Salzburg, Austria TEAM: Nigel Dickinson (technician), Charlotte Sandgaard (team co-ordinator) WEBSITE: hannesarch.com RED BULL AIR RACE RESULTS: 2010 2nd 2009 2nd 2008 World Champion 2007 10th
PÉTER BESENYEI HUNGARY CORVUS RACER 540
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: besenyeipeter.com RED BULL AIR RACE RESULTS: 2010 10th 2009 8th 2008 5th 2007 3rd 2006 2nd 2005 2nd 2004 2nd 2003 World Champion
RED BULL AIR RACE MAGAZINE
KIRBY CHAMBLISS USA ZIVKO EDGE 540 V3
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: teamchambliss.com RED BULL AIR RACE RESULTS: 2010 4th 2009 4th 2008 3rd 2007 4th 2006 World Champion 2005 3rd 2004 World Champion 2003 3rd
YOSHIHIDE MUROYA JAPAN ZIVKO EDGE 540 V2
DATE OF BIRTH: January 27, 1973 BIRTHPLACE: Nara, Japan HOME: Fukushima, Japan TEAM: Takashi Nishimura (technician), Robert Fry (team co-ordinator) WEBSITE: yoshi-muroya.jp RED BULL AIR RACE RESULTS: 2010 12th 2009 13th
MATT HALL AUSTRALIA MXS-R
DATE OF BIRTH: September 16, 1971 BIRTHPLACE: Scone, NSW, Australia HOME: Merewether, NSW, Australia TEAM: Eric Cieslar (technician), David Lyall (team co-ordinator) WEBSITE: matthallracing.com RED BULL AIR RACE RESULTS: 2010 7th 2009 3rd
MATTHIAS DOLDERER GERMANY ZIVKO EDGE 540 V3
DATE OF BIRTH: September 15, 1970 BIRTHPLACE: Ochsenhausen, Germany HOME: Hörbranz, Austria TEAM: Tobias Odewald (technician), Claudia Maur (team co-ordinator) WEBSITE: matthiasdolderer.com RED BULL AIR RACE RESULTS: 2010 8th 2009 9th
CORVUS RACER 540 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
PAUL BONHOMME GREAT BRITAIN ZIVKO EDGE 540 V2
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: teambonhomme.com RED BULL AIR RACE RESULTS: 2010 World Champion 2009 World Champion 2008 2nd 2007 2nd 2006 4th 2005 5th 2004 5th
PILOTS: Arch, Chambliss, Dolderer, McLeod, Šonka
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 preimpregnated carbon-fibre.
MICHAEL GOULIAN USA ZIVKO EDGE 540 V2
DATE OF BIRTH: September 4, 1968 BIRTHPLACE: Winthrop, MA, USA HOME: Plymouth, MA, USA TEAM: Dennis Sawyer (technician), Scott Hopkins (team co-ordinator) WEBSITE: mikegoulian.com RED BULL AIR RACE RESULTS: 2010 9th 2009 10th 2008 10th 2007 8th 2006 5th 2004 7th
The differences in the Edge 540 V3 compared to its predecessor, the V2, include a higher thrust to weight ratio and lower drag design.
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
Photography: Red Bull Content Pool, Peter Clausen Film & TV
EDGE 540 V3
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
THE NEXT GENERATION
STANDINGS 1. FRANCOIS LE VOT (FRA)
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 are breathing down the necks of the elite Master Class pilots
PETR KOPFSTEIN CZECH REPUBLIC
JUAN VELARDE SPAIN
PETER PODLUNŠEK SLOVENIA
THOMAS BENNETT GREAT BRITAIN
DATE OF BIRTH: March 18, 1978 BIRTHPLACE: Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic HOME: 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)
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: bennettaerobatics.com CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: 5th in the 2012 World Aerobatic Championships (Advanced)
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)
RED BULL AIR RACE MAGAZINE
MIKAEL BRAGEOT FRANCE
DATE OF BIRTH: July 31, 1987 BIRTHPLACE: Villeneuve sur Lot, France HOME: 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)
FRANCOIS LE VOT FRANCE
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
3. JUAN VELARDE (ESP)
4. PETR KOPFSTEIN (CZE)
5. TOM BENNET (GBR)
6. MIKAEL BRAGEOT (FRA)
ONE PLANE FOR EVERYONE ALL PILOTS OF THE CHALLENGER CUP FLY THE SAME TYPE OF AIRCRAFT, AN 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
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
DANIEL RYFA SWEDEN
DATE OF BIRTH: December 17, 1979 BIRTHPLACE: Stockholm, Sweden HOME: Sundsvall, Sweden WEBSITE: danielryfa.com CAREER HIGHLIGHT: Winner of the 2009 European Aerobatic Championships (Advanced)
2. DANIEL RYFA (SWE)
CHALLENGER CUP 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. The pilots will be racing for Challenger Cup points and valuable Red Bull Air Race experience on the Qualifying Days of the World Championship. The two 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. Photography: Red Bull Content Pool, Markus Kucera
CLAUDIUS SPIEGEL GERMANY
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 team-mate 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 must fly a minimum of three races, but can take part in all of them. The best six pilots of the season will be invited to the final Challenger Cup race, where they will compete for a cockpit in the Master Class. RED BULL AIR RACE MAGAZINE
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
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
FABRIC Twaron/Nomex®, a non-stretch fabric
Cutaway view of suit with engorged tubes
Increased blood flow G-FORCE
PILOT’S OFFICE Hustling a plane of more than 300hp through tough racetracks demands knowledge, lots of knowledge. Learn the basics of the controls FLUID MUSCLES Two at the front and two at the back. The tubes are each filled with 1 litre of water
1 AIRSPEED INDICATOR This shows the plane’s speed in knots relative to the air.
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 entry speed, G, bank, pitch and heading indications. The touchscreen facility can switch between display modes. It also sends speed or G info to the Race Tower.
4 ENGINE MONITOR 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.
FUEL SELECTOR Used to switch between the three fuel tanks: right, 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. 5
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 the 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 and the Race Airport. 10 SMOKE ON/OFF Toggled at the start of a run to emit mute smoke from engine exhaust.
11 START BUTTON Fires it up! 12 STICK Left or right causes the plane to roll, forwards pitches the nose down and backwards pitches it up. 13 THROTTLE CONTROL The power control. 14 TRANSPONDER Relays information to the radar concerning the plane’s position, altitude and speed. 15 VERTICAL CARD COMPASS Indicates the plane’s heading.
RED BULL AIR RACE MAGAZINE
Photography: Markus Kucera
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 strong 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.”
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.”
Highest G - Max 10G
turning Manoeuvre Highest G - Max 10G
Chicane start/Finish Air Gate ■ Lap 1 ■ Lap 2
Fly tHe Course
Steve Jones, former race pilot and now Race Director and Head of Training for the Master Class and Challenger Cup competition, guides us through the Rovinj racetrack. Buckle up and take off! head straight at Gate 3, though, because it is only halfway round the huge turn to Gate 4. Fly a smooth turn, just snapping the wings level for the passage through the Gate, then immediately bank left again towards Gate 4. Watch out for the trees on your right as you prepare for the big ‘S-turn’ through Gates 4, 5 and 6. This section requires planning ahead. Get your line wrong through 4 or turn too late, and you could struggle to be wings-level through Gate 5 and worse still, risk getting
totally out of step by Gate 6. However you choose to fly this section, you must be wingslevel as your plane enters any of the doublepylon Gates and your head must be below the top of the pylons. Fail to achieve either of these things and two seconds will be added to your time as a penalty. While lining up for Gate 7, start tensing your stomach muscles and breathing deeply in preparation for the approaching Vertical Turn. This is going to be a very high-G pull-up! Many things to think
about here. You have to turn slightly right before the Gate to open up enough of a gap to fit your wings through, but also to avoid flying over the crowd line. Back on the stick and fight the 10G slam down into your seat. As the G eases, strain your head back to spot the exit of Gate 8 as early as possible. Gently roll right as you dive towards this double-pylon Gate. Your line is complex here. It is essential to be wings-level and not descending as your plane arrives back at this exit Gate. BUT, just as
important is that your chosen line allows you to make the hard-left turn to Gate 9. Not easy to judge while viewing it all inverted. Now you are going to fly the track in the reverse direction. Concentrate on smooth, economical flying and stay level at race height in the big ‘S-turn’ through Gates 8, 9 and 10. Get this right and you are well set all the way to the finish. Relax too soon and a penalty could occur. Look ahead to the approaching gates and stay focused. RED BULL AIR RACE MAgAzInE
TIMING IS KEY TO THE FIRST CORNER AT ROVINJ. When do you start your turn? Too early and you will have to make a correction mid-corner. Too late and the turn will have to be really high G which will drag your speed down, and cost you time. Either way, you must stay level at race height. The experts will hold a constant left bank all the way into the Chicane, followed by a rapid flick on the control stick, right-left to select their line towards Gate 3. That is the way to do it. Don’t
Photography: Sebastian Marko/Red Bull Content Pool, Jörg Mitter/Red Bull Content Pool
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 time gaps between 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 32 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 proves 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 get the better of 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 defeat by as little as 1/100th of a second or even less. It’s man versus clock, more than ever. RED BULL AIR RACE MAgAzInE 33
Do’S & DoN’TS 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
The 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 a lap is approximately 3km.
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, and 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 10m between
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.
DiD not finish (Dnf) Pylon Hit Whenever a plane touches a pylon the run is stopped.
Exceeding Maximum Load Factor A DNF is the given if telemetry or post-flight analysis show that the pilot exceeded the maximum permitted load factor of 10G.
Penalties foR incoRRect flying
Flying Too High (2 second penalty) Flying above the top of an Air Gate – but still following the approved racetrack.
Deviation from the Course When a flight path deviates from the racetrack the flying session is stopped. 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 stopped. 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.
Incorrect Level Flying (2 second penalty) Flying with the wings at an angle when in the Level Gate.
sMoKe Violation (1 second penalty)
The FormaT Day 1 / Qualifying Day tRaining MasteR
The new rules and regulations lead to a closer battle for Red Bull Air Race honours. With the introduction of standardised engines, propellers and exhausts, the playing field has been levelled. The move is welcomed by Brisith pilot Nigel Lamb. “It makes sense on many levels,” he says. “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.” A number of features have been introduced to make the world’s fastest motorsport series even safer. The lightweight nylon material pylons are made of now rips apart even easier if touched by a plane. But, most importantly, the height of the track markers has been raised from 20 to 25 meters, and with it the
RED BULL AIR RACE MAgAzInE
flight window. Another change is how the high-G 270-degree “Quadro” turn through a set of four pylons is set up: previously it took the form of a tight square, but now it has been eliminated. 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.
QUALIFYING DAY sees all 12 Master Class pilots race to determine the starting order on Race Day. The fastest of two runs counts. On that same day, it’s all in for the Challenger Cup pilots with each pilot racing one after each other. The fastest of two runs 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.
Day 2 / Race Day
In order to distribute the standardised engines in a fair way, they were allocated to the race teams via an official draw, held in the presence of legal representative Dr Markus Mayrhofer at Hangar-7 in Salzburg, Austria. The engine raffle was broadcast live on the Austrian TV channel ServusTV on the November 18, 2013. Sergio Pla, Head of Aviation, Eckhard Möhle, Technical Director, and Péter Besenyei, Pilots’ Representative, supervised the draw. Though the engines are all 300hp, there could be small technical variations of up to two per cent, as it’s technically impossible to make one engine identical to the next. The race teams are not allowed to make any modifications to engines.
Race 01 & 02 challengeR
TWeaKeD To ImProVe SaFeTY
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.
Pilot 06 Pilot 08 Pilot 05 Pilot 09 Pilot 04 Pilot 10 Pilot 03 Pilot 11 Pilot 02 Pilot 12 Pilot 01
WinneR heat 01
WinneR heat 02
WinneR heat 03
WinneR heat 04
WinneR heat 05
WinneR heat 06
Winner of each heat advances to Super 8, plus two fastest losers.*
The four fastest advance to Final 4.*
Four pilots compete for victory.* *The starting order is based on the results in Qualifying.
fastest loseR 01 fastest loseR 02 RED BULL AIR RACE MAgAzInE
LESS IS MORE Standardised engines and propellers are the new safety measures for the race planes and guarantee a level playing field. Here’s the lowdown on the behaviour of the race-tuned machine and prop
THE PROPELLER Name: The Claw Brand: Hartzell Number of blades: three structural composite blades Spinners: carbon-fibre Governors: lightweight
Photography: Markus Kucera
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: 2,700
The race tuned and sealed Lycoming Thunderbolt AEIO 540 EXP is a huge, generally welcomed, new feature in Red Bull Air Race. An engine that needs no further tuning, it’s built in Lycoming’s Advanced Technology Center in Pennsylvania, USA, where testing and analysis of each engine for Red Bull Air Race ensures for optimum performance, focusing on things like of airflow, fuel flows, operating temperatures and horsepower. REVOLVING CLAW Along with the standardised race 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. RED BULL AIR RACE MAGAZINE
All NighT loNg Stop daydreaming about memorable nights out and start experiencing them. Extend your day at the Red Bull Air Race with the finest restaurants and most exclusive bars in Rovinj
RESTAURANTS Wine Vault
ride away from Rovinj. Its spacious yet intimate terrace offers a wonderful view on the Golden Cape Park Forest and the Rovinj archipelago. Lanterna is famous for its locally caught fish and shellfish as well as its freshly prepared meat. Their rich wine list is equally impressive Address: Otok Sv. Andrije bb Phone: +385 (0)52 802580 Web: www.maistra.hr
Phone: +385(0)52 816 075 Web: maistra.hr/Aktivnosti/Restorani/ Konoba_Kantinon
BARS Valentino CoCKtail anD CHampagne BaR
l RestauRant (Design Hotel lone)
This off-the-beaten-track restaurant offers a great selection of Adriatic seafood along with a unique speciality cuisine fusing local ingredients with Japanese and oriental cuisine, as well as a superb selection of local and international wines. The restaurant is located just north of Rovinj, in a forest next to the coast, providing an idyllic setting for lunch or dinner. Address: Val de Lesso 9 Phone: +385 (0)52 811 265 Web: www.blu.hr Kantinon taVeRn
Located in an attractive space that opens to the Golden Cape Park Forest, the L Restaurant offers the traditions of Croatian cuisine adjusted to the needs of modern gastronomy fanatics that expect flexibility and diversity in the selection of dishes. Address: Luje Adamovi´ca 31 Phone: +385(0)52 632 000 Web: email@example.com lanteRna RestauRant A romantic restaurant in a 19th-century castle on the small island of St Andrew, a short boat
38 RED BULL AIR RACE MAgAzInE
The Kantinon Tavern offers a wide selection of authentic culinary delights dominated by specialities associated with Rovinj’s rich fishing tradition. Learn about the local history as you peruse the newspaper-style menu in the rustic surroundings of the area’s former shipyard. Address: Obala A. Rismondo b.b.
Located right next to the sea and offering extraordinary sunset views, Valentino bar is the perfect choice for those in search of a glamorous end to their day at Red Bull Air Race. Whether you lounge on the sofas on the raised terrace or grab one of the plush wicker chairs down on the rocks near the water, you’ll always be in for a top evening by the water at this jazz music-loving night spot. Address: Santa Croce 28 – Stari grad Phone: +385(0)52830683 Web: www.valentino-rovinj.com Cinema Caffe BaR Alfred Hitchcock famously said the sunsets in this part of Croatia are among the best in the world, so it’s no surprise to find a life-sized version of the great British director at the movie-themed Cinema Caffe Bar. The spacious, dramatic black-and-white interior is dedicated to great films, with stills from old classics. There’s also a terrace outside. Address: Trg Brodogradnje 16 HaVana Situated near the seashore in the old town, Havana is another one of the many bars in Rovinj that come with a wonderful sea view as standard. You’ll also find an authentic locals vibe and some choice tunes. Address: A. Negri b.b
Photography: Maistra Hotels and Resorts (3), Petr Blaha (1), Schiozzi Donald (1)
Taste the French/Mediterranean cuisine as interpreted by top-notch chef Tomislav Greti´c at the Wine Vault fine dining restaurant. The restaurant’s selection of dishes has been designed to suit the most sophisticated palates and the largest selection of wines in Croatia redefines the fine dining experience of Rovinj. Address: A. Smareglie bb, 52210 Rovinj Phone: +385(0)52 636 017 Web: www.winevault.com.hr
ExplorE thE world
poland, July 26-27
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
Golden Cape Park Forest, several protected 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. With plenty to explore in Rovinj, a perfect place to stay can be found with Maistra Hotels & Resorts (www.maistra. com). An ideal choice for leisure, active holidays, Wellness & Spa or business.
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 sports events either, with the biggest sailing ships in the world regularly competing in races here.
malaysia, may 17-18
united arab emirates February 28-march 1
second, and Canadian Pete McLeod came third. Away from the race, Abu Dhabi offered race teams and fans plenty of things to see and do, from the man-made entertainment centre at Yas Island, home to the awardwinning waterpark, Yas Waterworld, to adventure experiences in the desert, top golf courses and unrivalled shopping malls. Visitors also enjoyed an 8km beachfront and a wealth of world-class hotels and resorts offering cuisines from around the world.
Abu Dhabi kicked off the 2014 season and Paul Bonhomme took the win. “I’m really pleased,” he said afterwards. “For many years I’ve had 13 wins, and now I’ve got that 14th victory under my belt, I feel like it’s a monkey off my back.” Austrian Hannes Arch finished 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
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 will play hosts a Red Bull Air Race course for the first time this year. 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: picturedesk.com, shutterstock.com
great britain, august 16-17
There are few sports 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 attending the Red Bull Air Race.
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 in the north-east of the state, 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 playing host to the Red Bull Air Race.
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 Nevada state border into Arizona.
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. The location of the China leg the Red Bull Air Race will be revealed this summer. RED BULL AIR RACE MAgAzInE 41
STRENGTH IN NUMBERS Sometimes you just have to let the stats speak for themselves. Feed your brain with key facts and figures about the Red Bull Air Race World Championship
Four types of aircraft, one entry speed into the racetrack. Red Bull Air Race planes must not exeed 370kph when flying through the Start Gate, although they can fly top speeds of 400kph. As a comparison, a Formula One car reaches its limit at ‘only’ 350kph.
Saving weight can have a significantly positive effect on performance – the average weight difference between the heaviest and lightest pilots is around 20kg. At 10G this is 200kg more weight for the engines and wings to pull through the corners.
Three out of the 12 pilots in the 2014 Red Bull Air Race line-up competed in the very first Red Bull Air Race in 2003 – Péter Besenyei, Kirby Chambliss and Paul Bonhomme. All three have continued to compete in each Red Bull Air Race season since.
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.
In 2003, it took 20 minutes to replace a pylon after a hit. The record time for replacing a pylon is now just 90 seconds (including boat travel times), set during the 2010 season.
Forty kilos of extra plane weight adds up to around 400kg at 10G – the equivalent of pulling two race planes through a corner. RED BULL AIR RACE MAGAZINE
Shipping an entire Red Bull Air Race from one place to another requires three important things: meticulous planning, huge containers and spacious planes. All in all, a Boeing 747 and a Boeing 737 carrying 27 containers are needed to transport everything the crews require.
Due to the increased height of the pylons (up from 20m to 25m), the flight window now is between 15 and 25m, in the past it was between 10 and 20m. An improvement for safety in the racetrack.
Before 2009, most G-Race Suits were pneumatic. Red Bull Air Race worked with the German specialist firm Autoflug to develop the fluid technology in the G-Race Suits used today.
WELCOME TO OUR WORLD
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SUPER AVENGER II