Archive for the 'Red Bull Air Race' Category

Friday Fun – Red Bull Helicopter

The 2008 Red Bull Air Race Series have just gone underway last Sunday with the season-opener in Abu Dhabi, and in recent years, the Red Bull Aerobatic Helicopter has visited most of the races as well. So watch out for this customized Eurocopter BO-105 CBS 4 Twin engine helicopter that has a Rigid Rotor system (fixed rotor) why it can do aerobatics. We hope it will be present on the Budapest Race as well, following last year’s amazing and really breathtaking show. If you attend any of the races this year, try to keep your head up all the time even in between the rounds of the actual Race, to see this helicopter piloted by Chuck Aaron.

one from Budapest in 2006:

And the last one including Chuck’s comments live while doing the loops:

You can find a lot more videos on YouTube if you like these just search for the Red Bull Helicopter and enjoy your Friday!

by balint01


Red Bull Air Race 2008 – Abu Dhabi

Red Bull Air Race is the most well known stunt flying competition in the world. It started in 2001 based on the idea of the Hungarian pilot Peter Bessenyei, who is still among the racing pilots and we at Airline World Blog keep our fingers crossed for him. 🙂

The race is always a spectacular show for fans of stunt flying. The series consist of 10 different races. This year the scenes are the following:

  1. Abu Dhabi – United Arab Emirates
  2. San Diego – USA
  3. Detroit – USA
  4. Stockholm – Sweden
  5. Rotterdam – The Netherlands
  6. London – UK
  7. Budapest – Hungary
  8. Porto – Portugal
  9. Spain (exact location not clarified yet)
  10. Perth – Australia

Red Bull Air Race World Series 2008

Each race lasts 2 days and includes the following sessions:

  • Training
  • Qualifying
  • Point One
  • Super Eights
  • Semi Finals
  • 3rd Place Fly off
  • Final

In 2008 this means that all pilots can fly on both days, but only 3 times a day, which is necessary for their safety as such an 1 – 1,5 minutes flight is very tiring and requires huge concentration. Thus the first three events take place on the first day – for all pilots, and the last 4 events on the second day – for the 8 quickest pilots.

Air Race - Abu DhabiAir Race - Abu Dhabi

There are air gates – blown up balloons that define the track of the race. Thus this is a kind of a figure flying race.

The first race this year took place in Abu Dhabi. Here are the results and the total points of the pilots so far:

  1. Paul Bonhomme (GBR) – 9 points
  2. Hannes Arch (AUT) – 8 points
  3. Mike Mangold (USA) – 7 points
  4. Peter Bessenyei (HUN) – 6 points
  5. Kirby Chambliss (USA) – 5 points
  6. Alejandro Maclean (ESP) – 4 points
  7. Steve Jones (GBR) – 3 points
  8. Nigel Lamb (GBR) – 2 points
  9. Nicolas Ivanoff (FRA) – 1 point
  10. Sergey Rakhmanin (RUS) – 0 point
  11. Michael Goulian (USA) – 0 point
  12. Glen Dell (AUS) – 0 point

See a video of last year’s race in Abu Dhabi:

You can read more about the race on the Red Bull Air Race website.

By Szafi


Best Of AirlineWorld 2007

This is the last day of the year. As billions of people around the world, we also took a look back to what happened in the old year and made some New Year’s Resolutions.

For us 2007 was not a full year as we started our blog in June. It was a nice calm Sunday and Szafi wrote her first post about the Radio Alphabet – a useful tool not just for aviation fans. Balint01 joined her on the 7th with his first post about “Fuller Planes – Good Or Bad?” – a brief explanation of revenue and capacity management of airlines.


A380 was one of our main topics this year. We could see the a video of an imaginery evacuation of an A380, we reported on that quite unusual initiation that Singapore Airlines sold the first tickets to the A380 on e-Bay and gave the money (USD 1,25 million) for charity. We tried to find out more about the possible cabin configurations and then we reported on the first delivery.

Boeing 787

Boeing 787, the Dreamliner was our other favorite topic. We wrote about it when it was revealed, we put it in our blog header, we reported on the first announcement of delay that predicted 2 months. Now it seems that a 6-month delay is more realistic.


Besides A380 and B787 we saw the birth of a Russian jet called Sukhoi Superjet and a Chinese one called ARJ21-700. We kept track of technology trends in aviation. We wrote an article about RFID usage at airlines and airports, about e-ticketing, a new online payment method at Qantas, a weightless flight, a solar powered, unmanned aircraft. Also we were interested in service developments such as the new Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse at London Heathrow Airport, Lufthansa’s new A380 First Class Concept, Boeing’s 747 development to keep up with A380,


Unfortunately again some serious accidents happened. We saw around 200 people dying in a very tragical crash in Sao Paulo, brazil. 19 people died in an accident of Air Moorea on the way to Tahiti. When China Airline’ 737 burst into fire and blew up, everybody could escape in time thanks to the flight crew, who was criticized for being rude – we thought it was better being rude than being inactive. Later it turned out that a loose bolt caused the fire. There was a sad collision of two planes at an Air Show in Radom, Poland. SAS Airlineshad a bad series of crash landings – without serious injuries – of its Dash 8 turboprop planes. Finally they decided on grounding all their Dash 8 fleet. 87 died in One-Two-Go Airlines crash in Phuket, Thailand. A few days later rallye driver champion Colin McRae died in a helicopter crash over Scotland. The most commented article was the weird accident of an Airbus A340 on the ground of the Airbus factory during testing. The last serious accident of the year was an MD-83 crash in Turkey killing 56.

Photo reports 

We received a lot of photos from our friends and airline enthusiasts, so we could show a photo report of a Royal Aircraft in Budapest, Red Bull Air Race in Budapest, an Air Show in Kecskemet and the A340 Airbus crash at the Toulouse Airbus factory.


We criticized airlines and other players of the industry about wrong steps and we were happy to present good initiations of other players. We found KLM’s promotion: a gift of a costmetics set for online bookers a very smart and useful initiation. We loved Iberia’s enviroment-friendly attitude with naming their new aircrafts Royal Owl, Imperial Eagle and other endangered species. We could read funny comments about an interesting topic: Vatican’s Air Mistral. IATA’s initiation of a greener aviation industry was also worth a post.

Sex and rock and roll 

And finally we tried to entertain those not interested in professional matters of the airline business with articles like Sex in an airplane, Sexy stewardess uniforms – with special attention to the self-designed uniform of Easyjet, Superstar pilots, Special aircraft paintings and we learned about where lost luggage end up going.

We also lost a very key figure of the European airline indusry. Tony Ryan, the founder of Ryanair died on 03 October at the age of 71. Net year we will definately write an article about him, because only a few know about his role in today’s aviation business.

And what is our New Year’s resolution? Well, we’ll do our best to entertain you and draw your attention to the magic world of airlines we so much love.

We both wish you a very happy, successful new year and please keep on reading us! 🙂

By Szafi and balint01

Mike Mangold Wins 2007 Red Bull Air Race in Budapest

“You are cleared into the Track, SMOKE ON!!” – this is the tower command to the pilots before they enter the airspace of downtown Budapest and begin their Red Bull Air Race lap by flying under the Chain Bridge – which was actually the first stone bridge above the Danube river in the capital of Hungary, handed over to the horse carriages and pedestrians in 1849. In average the Air Race participants pass under the bridge with a speed of about 380-390 km/h, and this weekend they were usually closer to the river than the bridge, by having about 6 meters to the bridge and about 2,5 meters to the river. One of the pilots that flew the lowest was Péter Besenyei, who was only 1,9 meters above the water surface (which is actually less than my own height…).

The 20th of August is a national holiday in Hungary, to commemorate the establishment of the Christian State in the year 1000. But for a few years now, it has also been the “traditional” date of the Hungarian round of the Red Bull Air Race World Series, which in return can be attended by a large number of Hungarians as they are having a holiday. 🙂 Hungarians tend to look at this race as one of their own events, especially as Péter Besenyei – the multiple time world champion of stunt flying – is one of the “fathers” of the Air Race. He came up with the idea of having to fly through gates around a lap, to bring stunt flying physically closer to the spectators. His idea was very much welcomed at Red Bull who became the title sponsor and organizer of such a race. It began as a single event 6 years ago, and has grown to a world series by 2007, with having 10 races this year from the US to Abu Dhabi, from London to Istanbul and “of course” in Budapest (for the fourth time). This year however has brought a new race order, first there is a pre-qualification round for all 13 planes, and based on their times, the top 12 take part in the qualification, from where the top 8 pilots advance to the semi-finals. Following the pre-qualification, Nicolas Ivanoff hurt his neck so today we saw only 11 of them competing for the top 8 places. Those 8 then compete in pairs (1 vs. 8, 2 vs. 7, 3 vs. 6, and 4 vs. 5) where the winner advances to the next round. So the top 4 will fly on the “circuit” 4 times during the day (qualification, semi-finals, knock out for the final and third place/final). The Budapest circuit is one of the most spectacular ones in the season as it is located in the real heart of a metropolitan city, between the Chain and the Margaret Bridges, where planes fly in front of the Castle hill, the Academy of Science, the Hungarian Parliament and of course the famous Chain Bridge. It is for the Air Race series, what Monte-Carlo is for Formula-1! The gates are placed on swimming platforms in the river drawing the path to fly.

Red Bull Air Race BudapestRed Bull Air Race BudapestRed Bull Air Race BudapestRed Bull Air Race BudapestRed Bull Air Race BudapestRed Bull Air Race Budapest


Red Bull Air Race BudapestRed Bull Air Race BudapestRed Bull Air Race BudapestRed Bull Air Race Budapest

The event itself is really something to see. This is the kind of thing that I would call “breathtaking”, especially when you see these planes fly with such high speed among such beautiful buildings, turning around, passing some of the gates sideways, crossing under the bridge twice in every lap and doing a few stunt movements at the end of each lap to “wave goodbye” to the crowd. Talking about the crowd: according to the organizers, this year there were around one million people watching the race on location!! Even if the reality was only half of that estimated number, it is still a huge crowd cheering for these guys!

I will not comment on the pre-qualification, qualification and the semi-final rounds, except that Mike Mangold really scared me once, when just after entering the circuit, he turned between gates 1 and 2, with his right wing almost touching the water. I could really see for a second that he hits it and crashes his white plane… But he didn’t, he was about 40-50 cms from the water, but it was amazing to see it right in front me, as I was standing in between those two gates on the Buda side of the river.

The top four pilots in Budapest in 2007 were Péter Besenyei (HUN), Mike Mangold (USA), Paul Bonhomme (GBR) and Kirby Chambliss (USA). Unfortunately Péter collected the only one, 3 second penalty of the day for flying too high in one of the gates when competing with Mangold, so he did not get in the final. On the other path Kirby was quicker than Bonhomme, so the finals were held between the two US pilots. For the third place Péter lost 0.21 seconds against Paul, so the winner of the first two races this year (Abu Dhabi and Rio de Janeiro) did not get on the podium on his home race. Péter has later told the press, that his engine had some problems, as the RPM could not go to the maximum, it stopped at about 100 rates lower for his last two flights today, which makes a difference in speed. On the other hand, Mr. Bonhomme, has been on the podium for 13 consecutive Air Races, which is a record on its own, and has lost his lead in the championship this weekend. In the final, Mike Mangold has won over Chambliss, with a very impressive lap, that timed at 1:12.85. This was the third victory for Mike this year so far: Istanbul, London and Budapest are his trophies from 2007.

The next round will be held in Porto, Portugal in only 11 days.

by balint01

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