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Air racing – another extreme sport

May 7, 2008

Like we’ve been saying there seems to be no end to the kind of sports that folk will get up to for their adrenaline rush and today I want to bring you some news and a video clip of air racing which is proving very popular.

Pilots take turns flying flat out and at very low altitude around a course of inflatable pylons, known as “air gates,” reaching speeds of 250 mph. As they traverse the path, the pilots must make quick turns, sometimes sideways, to pass through the gates. While in flight, a pilot burns about 1,000 calories per hour and feels a force of up to 10 G-forces, which is more than three times the force felt by astronauts at liftoff. One mistake could cost them their lives. Red Bull representatives said there have been no serious crashes or fatalities since the series’ inception.

San Diego, Caliornia was the host this weekend for the Red Bull World Series which started in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates in April and concludes in Perth, Australia in November. The races take place on four continents and nine countries. Official estimates show that more than 120,000 people attended the two-day race in San Diego. Unofficial estimates put the number at 200,000.The race was won by Brit Paul Bonhomme who extended his winning streak to two races. Bonhomme did not have a run through the course above 79 seconds and flew all weekend without being assessed a penalty.

Although the video below was shot in Istanbul, Turkey last year and shows Mike Mangold from the USA, who was second in San Diego at the weekend, I felt it was a better reflection of the twists and turns the pilots have to make in their planes and better demonstrates the G force to which they are subjected.

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One comment

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