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Red Bull Air Races?

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
These have been getting a lot of hype.... one ~30sec TV spot on heavy rotation during Pistons' games.... and look kinda interesting.

Any Bears out there that have any inside dope? Looks like I'll be there
post #2 of 25
If I was near I'd definitely go. I can't believe they're holding that in a city though. Just have an exit path if you go.
post #3 of 25
Thread Starter 
Yeah, first time I saw the ad I immediatley thought it would be like going to a Champ Car race with no fences, rails or walls. Seems like the potential for disaster is..... well maybe not high but mosdef present.

We'll be on a yacht: on the river so I guess there will be only one escape route.

If we don't get hit by a wayward plane, it should be fun. I'll snap a few pics and file a report next week
post #4 of 25
Go team OSU my little sister is there and the trip/hotel/entry was paid for by red bull.

which I meant sky diving, lol not airplane racing.
post #5 of 25
I've been to the air races in Reno a few years back. If you're interested in that sort of thing it's well worthwhile. My only complaint was that after you get past the whole planes flying low going fast thing and settle into watching a race it was disappointing. In all the races I saw whoever led at the start won the race. There was very little passing, in fact I remember one pass for second place in one race all day. Still a neat show.
post #6 of 25
steve, these are a bit different. They run them one at a time in heats of two through a course marked with inflatable pylons. Winner of two goes on to next round at some point. It's much more acrobatic type flying - or dive bombing/strafing avoiding groundfire looking. Courses can be over land or water. London, Sydney, Dubai, SanDiego - Detroit
It's on tv somewhere - definitely worth checking out.
post #7 of 25
Tog, I guess they figured out they had to do something to make it more interesting. Sounds good.
post #8 of 25
Thread Starter 
Alright... got a minute? Here's my story.

My interest in aviation is casual. As a teenager I was hot to pursue a career as a pilot but was convinced that the only road to that goal went through the military. My horrendous eye sight and my distaste for authority kept me on a different road.

So I started seeing these TV ads for the Red Bull Air Races. It looked pretty cool, it could be fun to go down to the Detroit River and check it out for a day. Went to the website a couple of weeks ago only to find that the designated veiwing areas had sold out already. Figured we might just head down there and find a spot on our own, but ya know, I figure we might go do something adventurous quite a bit more often than we actually do it.

So Friday afternoon I'm listening to the local student radio station WCBN because well.... its a really fun station and I try never to miss the Tight Pants Program After back announcing the DJ explains that a listener has just called in and donated tix to that Red Bull boat thing going on this weekend. By this time I've got my phone out and I'm poised to press send as soon as he says that he'll give them to the first caller. To my chagrin he asks for the fifth caller. Press send I did, it rings, I'm the first caller and I tell him I was really hoping he was going to ask for the first caller 'cause I was jazzed to get these tix! Call back he says. I do, the phone rings, I'm the second caller. First and second I tell him. Call again he says. I do, the phone rings, I'm the third caller. First, second and third I tell him. Try again he says. I do the phone rings, I'm the fourth caller. I'm going for the clean sweep I tell him. Are you the same guy that was caller one, two and three he asks. Yes I am I tell him. Well screw it, the tix are yours he says. Sweeet!

He says I'll be on the guest list and I should show up at the Stroh River Place by noon. This makes no sense. The race is a fair ways down the river from the SRP and why do I have to get there two hours before the show starts? Oh, these aren't just tix to the race he says, they're tix to a party cruise. Check out the site.

Well the boat was really cool. The food was pretty good, the music was mediocre and the drinks were free. The crowd (300 of us) was largely much younger than my lovely wife and I and quite a lot of them seemed to know each other already. The atmosphere, I would estimate, was that of a dance club that I would try to leave quickly if I found myself there.

The race..... was not a race at all. A race is to see who can finish first. This was a time trial. The planes went one at a time as Tog explained. They were, however, quite amazing. They fly low to the water, between 10 and 60 meters. They have to fly between and around inflatable gates, in precise position (some gates require flying with wings parrallel ro the water and some require perpendicular position). Halfway through the run they must climb to an altitude of ~200 meters then back down to complete the course. Uh.... this video explains things much more clearly and there are some good pics here.

The thing that really struck me was the maneuverability. They would roll 180 degrees in the snap of a finger and change directions just as fast. Very cool to watch.

So I promised to snap some pics for this little report, and I did. Twenty seven of them. There were definitely some cool shots to be had as they did aerobatics directly above us before they flew into the course. It was so bright and sunny that I couldn't really see the camera screen but I figured if I just aimed the camera to my best estimation of where the plane was, I was sure to get a good shot or two. I was wrong. There are some great pics on the third link in this post though.

If you have Fox Sports Network you can check this all out starting in July. If you have Fox Sports Detroit it will be on July 27 at 6pm.

So anyway, this lucky dog had a good time at the RBAR. If you have an interest and the opportunity I would reccommend you check it out. I really don't think they should call them races though.
post #9 of 25
wow, sounds like a great area to watch it from.
Maybe I'll start calling into radio shows too!
The flights on tv are definitely impressive - they pull a lot of g's. The sound is also pretty cool on tv - sounds like dive bombing in a movie. Must have been even better in person.
post #10 of 25
Thread Starter 
Yeah, the planes just change directions in an instant. I'd like to know what kind of g forces are generated, must be a ton. Unfortunately we missed out on the sound as the music was blasting pretty loud. We could hear them when they were directly over head but not when they were on the race course.
post #11 of 25
Using the fastest, most agile and lightweight racing planes, pilots navigate a low-level aerial race track made up of air-filled pylons, reaching speeds of 370 kilometres per hour while withstanding forces of up to 10 Gs.
On tv they sometimes have a g-meter. I recall seeing 6-7 but 10 - must be very brief. I thought the limit for passing out was about 7.

Btw, on line they have a game and you can fly the Detroit course.
post #12 of 25

Air Races

A very good friend of mine (Mike Mangold) is one of the primary racers. Actually, he won the whole thing last year. He was an accomplished former ski racer and ex-Air Force fighter pilot (F-4's). I still ski race with his brother, Frank. I highly recommend you go. It's an eye-opening experience and much more exhilarating watching it live. Enjoy.
post #13 of 25

Red Bull Air race

That last post was meant for bumpfreaq.
post #14 of 25
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by rmmaster View Post
That last post was meant for bumpfreaq.
Well, I had already read it even though it wasn't addressed to me

Pretty cool stuff to have a friend on the inside.

Yeah, I'm glad I went. It was fun to see in person but now I'm anxious to see the televised representation. I think it will be much clearer what was actually going on. One thing I didn't mention was that everytime a plane was on course they had a helicopter shadowing it. Obviously that's where many of the pics in the links come from. I'm sure it provided some great vid footage as well. The in-plane cam shots that they showed (very briefly) in the TV spot looked way cool too
post #15 of 25

Air Races

Yeah, Mike has really enjoyed the experience. He was also a former world aerobatics champion. He has also told me they do, in fact, pull up to 10 G's, but very, very briefly and usually not intentionally. They occasionally have to make course and altitude corrections that demand it. I haven't talked to him in a while but his brother, who lives near me, says he's really gearing to win this whole thing again. Based on his personality (read tenacious competitor) he'll give his best to do it again. I wish him well, cuz he doesn't need luck.
post #16 of 25
Check it out, there is even Daron skiing:

post #17 of 25
wow rmmaster, Mike Mangold that is one of the names I remember from watching it - pretty cool.
bumpfreaq, bummer about the music. What's up with that? Sponsored by a music station? It's like going to an F1 race - or any race and listening to an ipod. Changes the whole thing.
post #18 of 25
Thread Starter 
Oh, don't get me started on ipod+sports:

The tix that I won were for a cruise that was a lot more about the booze and the party than about the races. Still a fun time though
post #19 of 25
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by bumpfreaq View Post
If you have Fox Sports Network you can check this all out starting in July. If you have Fox Sports Detroit it will be on July 27 at 6pm.

I saw the races from San Diego the other day on FSN. Pretty cool stuff.
post #20 of 25
I have been watching them.

It seems like the "G's" are of short duration right after that first run through and at the top & bottom of the climbing turn & dive for the final pylon run.

The "G Suit" is probably limited to a "G collar/neck choker", not a full suit since it's a short duration thing.

Prediction: Sooner or later one of these guys will screw the pooch and put an aircraft into the crowd. In conventional air shows, all of the energy and flight trajectory must be away from the viewing area. It may be just the camera angles, but it seems that they are headed toward the crowd and buildings and such.
post #21 of 25
I got to see these while in Abu Dhabi, and it was pretty neat to watch. The acrobatics and tight maneuverability on these planes is amazing. One got so close to one of the pylons, they clipped it and popped it! Race had to be delayed until it could be fixed! They do come down pretty low and were not all that far from the crowds gathered on the nearby beaches and marinas. I'll see if I can find my pictures from the race.

This photo gives you an idea of how low and close to the crowds the planes were:

post #22 of 25
Thread Starter 
Wow, that's way closer than they got in Detroit. For the sake of perspective, that's quite a small plane.
post #23 of 25
It's Abu Dhabi. Some how, I don't think they have the same safety rules there that they do here.

There were points where the planes were flying straight at the crowds before making the turns. As someone mentioned before, the potential for disaster was huge as the beaches and corniche were packed.
post #24 of 25
Even though they use breakaway pylons, sooner or later, given time, the fabric or paper (or whatever), can jam a control surface, most likely an alieron and cause loss of control.

I will admit to enjoying watching the races but still, the potential for a major league disaster is there. The rules for air shows were changed after a crash in the UK that resulted in a lot of spectators being killed.
post #25 of 25
Looks cool!
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