Posts Tagged ‘Air racing’

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Indiana ladies triumph in collegiate division of air race

July 1, 2009

Indiana State University pilots Jessica Campbell and Victoria Dunbar returned to campus victorious after capturing top collegiate honors in the annual Air Race Classic, a transcontinental air race for women.

The pair of pilots competed against 34 teams, winning first place in the collegiate category and finishing second overall. The race across the mid-section of the U.S. covered 2,715 miles, starting June 23 at Centennial Airport near Denver and ending June 26 in Atlantic, Iowa. The ISU aviators flew in a Diamond DA40 plane, owned by Dixie Chopper Air based at Putnam County Airport.

“Our goal going into this was to take home the collegiate trophy, so to win second place is just icing on the cake,” Campbell said.

Strategy was a major factor throughout the race. Each plane was assigned a handicap speed, with the goal to have the actual ground speed as far over the handicap speed as possible. That meant judging weather patterns, wind speeds and other elements in order to make the most of each day’s flight.

Two students in Purdue University’s Department of Aviation Technology also competed in the 33rd annual all-female Air Race Classic. Juliana Lindner, a senior from Hanover Park, Ill., was captain of the team, and Lauren Steele, a junior from Lapel, Ind., was co-pilot.  Purdue University presented this video of their hopes and aspirations.

It was without doubt a great race presenting many different challenges to all the competitors.

“The biggest challenge was figuring out when to fly and when not to fly,” Dunbar said, “The altitude starting out in Denver was different from anything I was used to,” she said. “That’s something they teach you in class, but something I have a lot more respect for now that I’ve experienced it.”

Women’s air racing starting in 1929 with the first Women’s Air Derby. Since then the race has served as a way to for women in the aviation industry to connect with one another and expand their skill sets.

There is no doubt that all the participants learnt a great deal from their experience.

Below: Jessica Campbell (left) and Victoria Dunbar stand next to the Diamond DA40 airplane with their trophy after winning top honors in the collegiate division of the Air Race Classic

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2009 Red Bull Air Racing World Championship program

February 5, 2009

We are pleased to bring you news of the schedule for the 2009 Red Bull Air Racing World Championship with a great video of the action, thrills and spills from the 2008 season.

  But first the World Championship Air Racing 2008 final rankings

1  H. Arch  AUT  61 points
2 P. Bonhomme  GBR 54 points
3 K. Chambliss  USA  46 points
4 M. Mangold  USA  44 points
5 P. Besenyei  HUN  34 points
6 S. Jones    GBR   33 points
7 N. Lamb  GBR   30 points
8 A. Maclean  ESP  21 points
9 N. Ivanoff   FRA  19 points
10 M. Goulian   USA  16 points
11 S. Rakhmanin  RUS  2 points
12 G. Dell   RSA  0 points
Here is all the action from the 2008 season, this compilation video is provided by Redbullairrace on YouTube – thanks – now watch these crazy men in their flying machines demonstrate why this sport is so extreme.

With more pilots, a more compact program and a new race format the 2009 season will go to six locations, 15 pilots will fight for seconds, points and the Red Bull Air Race World Championship title.

An overview of the upcoming season.

The fifth season in the history of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship will take place over six racing weekends. Already a tradition is the kick-off in Abu Dhabi, this year taking place on April 17 and 18. After that – also as in 2008 – it’s off to San Diego (May 9-10). On June 13 and 14 in Windsor, an auto manufacturing city on the United States’ border, Air Race pilots will conquer Canadian airspace for the first time. Following this are Budapest (August 19-20) and Porto (September 12-13), two well-known locations, before Barcelona celebrates its comeback in the racing calendar with the season finals on October 3 and 4. In 2006 one million spectators watched the Red Bull Air Race in the Catalonian seaport.

Boasting 15 pilots, the 2009 field is bigger than ever before. While two-time winner (Budapest 2006, Porto 2007) Steve Jones (GBR) ends his Red Bull Air Race career, four new rookies from four different continents will stir up the air. Alongside Matthias Dolderer (GER), Yoshihide Muroya (JPN) and Matt Hall (AUS), as the youngest Air Race pilot of all time 24-year-old Canadian Pete McLeod will try to snatch up as many WC points as possible from the established pilots surrounding title-defender Hannes Arch (AUT).

Something to look forward to on this grey and cold February day – oh come on spring – time to wake up!!

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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.