1. Who won the 2018 Red Bull Air Race?
2. Who won the 2017 Red Bull Air Race?
3. Who took the win during the Hungarian leg of the World Championship at Lake Balaton in July?
4. How long is the aerial race track?
5. How high are the race pylons?
6. How many metres are there between pylon gates?
7. How long does it take to set the pylons up?
8. How many pylon hits have there been since the race started?
9. In Formula 1 racing, there are typically 15 people in a race support team. How many key team members are there in an Air Race team?
10. When competing, a Red Bull Air Race pilot will experience more g-force on their body than a Formula 1 driver. How many Gs can pilots fly up to in a race?
11. Why do pilots use smoke when flying?
12. Who is the ‘godfather’ of the Air Race who famously flew upside down under the Chain Bridge that spans the Danube River in Budapest?
13. What does Red Bull Air Race director Jim DiMatteo have in common with the character Viper in the film Top Gun?
1. Martin Šonka - It was the tightest ever season since the race began.
2. Yoshihide Muroya. He made history by becoming the first Asian pilot to win the World Championship.
3. Australian pilot, Matt Hall.
5. 25 metres. Each pylon is made up of nine segments and weighs 200lbs. It’s basically like a huge sail secured with a 1,000 kilo anchor and a 1,000 kilo chain.
6. 13 metres – a typical plane has a wing span of 7.5 metres. There is only 125 metres between the pylons. Pilots have to fly flat between the gates otherwise they receive a time penalty. Cameras are used to help verify this.
7. Two weeks. Initially pylons are built on land then towed out to their location on the water, which is marked by GPS, before being anchored in position.
8. 1800. The team are water based, so they can be at the pylon, replace the damaged section and have it re-inflated within just two minutes!
9. There are typically four members in each team: team controller; technician; tactician; and communications manager.
10. 11g but only for a couple of seconds. Anything over this and they get a DNF (Did Not Finish). They don’t wear pressurised suits. They simply train to pull their bodies in tight to handle sever G-force.
11. Primarily for safety, so the control tower can see their trajectory and work out if they are safe. In a race if they don’t use smoke they will be penalised.
12. Péter Besenyei. The Hungarian obtained his pilot’s licence aged 19 and is considered by many to be a legend of the skies. He was the test pilot responsible for proving out the Air Gate technology and an integral member of the group that developed the race format. He announced his retirement from the competition in 2015.
13. Both were Top Gun commanders.
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