The magic under the cowling

This rule change was chosen to ensure the battle for the Red Bull Air Race World Championship was fair, as well as exciting. It's also a lot safer.

 

The engine chosen for all raceplanes was the six-cylinder, Lycoming Thunderbolt AEIO-540-EXP. This engine produces 300hp at 2,950rpm. The powerplant for each team has been race-tuned and customised to Red Bull Air Race's exact specifications, and built in Lycoming's Advanced Technology Centre.

Tech Talk: the RPM rules

With the recent infringements of the RPM rules causing confusion amongst the fans we thought it was a good time to get Technical Director Jim "Jimbo" Reed to explain why it's so important that the pilots don't exceed the 2950rpm limit...

Behind the Scenes: judging the pilots

To ensure the Red Bull Air Race is fair there is a very comprehensive set of cameras, machines and judges checking every movement of the plane and pilot. The pilots don't always agree with the decisions, but they respect them. Three-time World Champion Paul Bonhomme investigates what the judging team go through during a race weekend...

Behind The Scenes: Ghost Plane magic

It's hard to tell the difference when it comes to split-second timing. Who can imagine what 0.007s looks like when there's a raceplane in the sky? Well the experts at Netventure have worked it out, and they've also worked out a groundbreaking way to bring it to you, the fan! Three-time World Champion Paul Bonhomme investigates what the Ghost plane actually is...

Designed to win – behind the look of the raceplanes

There is a lot to consider in a raceplane design: Will it be instantly recognisable to fans? How will it contrast against the global backdrops of the Red Bull Air Race? And does it clearly represent what the team is all about?

Victoria Griffiths, team coordinator for #11RACING piloted by Mika Brageot, sums up what may be the most important objective of all: "We wanted to look different – totally different from the rest of the aircraft flying in the race."

Tech Talk: the PRU

To ensure a fair sporting event occurs in the Red Bull Air Race everything has to be measured. There is a unit inside every raceplane called the Position Reporting Unit (PRU), it can measure 40 different parameters at a rate of 1,000 times per second. Technical Director Jim Reed explains all...

Developing an athlete's performance

The Red Bull Air Race pilots are elite athletes who have to be at peak performance, not only physically but also mentally. To help them improve, the pilots were invited to the Red Bull Diagnostic Centre. Each pilot spent five days at the centre and were  put through their paces. Here we look at the process they go through...

Tech Talk: vortex generators

A wing stall will cost the pilot valuable time in the track, so the technicians and teams come up with ideas on how to try to lower the chances of this happening. Red Bull Air Race Technical Director Jim 'Jimbo' Reed explains one technique – vortex generators – and how they can help...

How to repair the pilots after the high-Gs

There are a lot of cogs in the machine of the Red Bull Air Race. One of those cogs is the series' physiotherapist, Daniel Rose – his role is to keep the pilots fighting fit and make sure they are in top condition for the race. Three-time World Champion Paul Bonhomme talks to Rose about how he fixes the pilots...

Tech Talk: Cheating

In motorsport everyone tries to gain that extra advantage over their rivals. Some even bend or break the rules. However, in the Red Bull Air Race there is the eagle-eyed Technical Director, Jim 'Jimbo' Reed on site to make sure rules are obeyed. And as a former team technician he knows how every rule can be broken, although he would never have dreamed of doing it himself...