Archive for the 'sport' Category

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

(photos: http://www.redbullairrace.com)

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Air Asia Airbus in Williams F1 Livery

AirAsia WilliamsF1 livery Airbus A320 - by F1live.com

AirAsia is a sponsor of the Williams F1 team, and has recently extended the 3 year contract. As the 2008 Formula-1 championship was kicked off a week ago in Melbourne, Australia, the second round is arriving to Kuala Lumpur for the coming weekend. To mark the Malaysian Grand Prix and the sponsorship with Williams, AirAsia has painted one of its Airbus A320’s into a special, Williams F1 livery.

The aircraft, whose livery is an exact look-alike of the AT&T Williams racing car, with Williams’ traditional racing colours of blue and white, whilst the ‘nose’ of the aircraft is designed to look like Nico Rosberg’s racing helmet. At the belly of the aircraft you can also find painted Bridgestone tyres in the front and in the aft part as well. The aircraft (new registration number: 9M-AFW) was named ‘Sir Frank Williams’ in tribute to Sir Frank Williams, Team Principal of Williams.

Nico Rosberg said: “It has been incredible to see the AT&T Williams livery on AirAsia’s plane. I’m delighted that the design of my helmet, which I have been racing with all my life, has been used to create a lasting tribute to the team’s partnership with Air Asia.” Kazuki Nakajima has added: “I am very impressed at how well the Williams Toyota FW30’s design has translated to the SFW30 Airbus. I think we would all like to thank AirAsia for this great venture and we are proud to be associated with the Airline of the Year 2007. This is indeed a source of inspiration to both of us going into the Malaysian Grand Prix this weekend.”

A high resolution picture of the plane on airliners.net by Rajesh Changela:

Link to airliners.net for the Large photo

by balint01

Batman Is Real – Wingsuit Flying

If you will see Batman flying over above you, don’t think you are mad. It is real. Wingsuit Flyers look exactly like cartoon heros, but they live what we just dream of. Gliding through the sky without a plane, without engines, without any disturbing circumstance that would destroy the feeling of free flying.

What is wingsuit flying?

WingsuitWingsuit flyers are almost like parachuters – in fact they carry parachutes, too – the difference is that they wear a special suit that forms a ram-air wing between their body and arms and between their legs. With the help of these wings they can glide like birds and they can change direction, increase or decrease their speed or altitude by changing the shape of their own body. They carry a regular parachute as well and they open it for landing as the wingsuit does not slow them down to a speed safe enough for landing. Wingsuit flyers can jump out of a plane, a helicopter or they mmight use any base jump points: buildings or cliffs. Wingsuit flying has become popular in the late 90s and early 2000, when this type of uniform was developed by Jari Kousma and Robert Pecnik. They established the first company (Birdman Inc.) that trained people and sold wingsuits for the public.

Wingsuit Flying clubs

The Bridman club remained active in pioneering and their next big step was wingsuit flying with jet engines attached to the feet of the flyer. The Finnish Birdman was able to achieve approximately 30 seconds of horizontal flight with no noticeable loss of altitude. Besides Birdman new clubs and stores were founded like Phoenix Fly or Fly your body or EG Wingsuits. They all experiment and manufacture their own wingsuits. A wingsuit costs EUR 400-1200. Mostly they are around EUR 1000, but you can find special promotions for older versions. On the website of Phoenix Fly you can even find user manuals for the wingsuits and other articles about aerodynamics and the basics of wingsuit flying.

The fun of being Batman

Although many people have already experienced parachute jumping, the two sports are far from each other and in order to become a wingsuit flier, you have to learn both. Also it requires different techniques to jump from a plane or from a base. Therefore it is wiser to contact these clubs and ask for contacts of local trainers before you get started. They say it requires more than 200 jumps with the attention of a trainer to become expert enough to jump without assistance.

Once you get there and try it, please share your thoughts with us here! In the menatime watch some videos of this fantastic extreme sport!

By Szafi

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