Red Bull Air Race to make U.S. debut in Reno |

Red Bull Air Race to make U.S. debut in Reno

Sierra Sun staff reports

Photo courtesy of Red BullThis was the scene in a recent Red Bull Air Race World Series event at Budapest, Hungary. Competitors flew across the Danube River at speeds of up to 250 mph. The series will make its debut on American soil in Reno Sept. 16-19.

From Sept. 16-19 at the National Championship Air Races, the high desert outside of Reno will host an exciting and dynamic new style of air racing featuring eight of the world’s elite aerobatics pilots. This is the final championship round of the three-round series.

The Red Bull Air Race, making its United States debut in Reno at the 2004 National Championship Air Races and Air Show, takes air racing to new heights as pilots execute gravity-defying aerobatics while navigating through a twisting race course of pylon obstacles stationed just over 500 feet in front of spectators.

Invented and developed in 2003 by Hungarian pilot Peter Besenyei, a former World Aerobatics Champion, the Red Bull Air Race features single format racing through a radical, slalom-styled course marked by air-filled pylon obstacles set 18 meters up from the ground.

Pilots must not only fly low with meticulous precision at break-neck speeds of up to 250 mph through the gate-like obstacles, but they are also required to execute pre-determined, aerobatics maneuvers such as a vertical roll 360 ” all under the pressure of a ticking stopwatch. The pilot who completes the course with the fastest time emerges as the winner.

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Budapest, HUN (Aug. 21, 2004) — On Friday, Aug. 20, hundreds of thousands of spectators watched as American aerobatic pilot Kirby Chambliss (Flying Crown Ranch, Ariz.) won his second race of the 2004 Red Bull Air Race World Series.

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Competing against seven of the world’s finest aerobatic pilots, Chambliss flew across downtown Budapest — over the Danube River, beneath the famous Chain Bridge and right past the historic Parliament building — in a breathtaking competition against the clock.

Friday’s race was the highlight of St. Stephen’s Day, the Hungarian national holiday. Following a fantastic air and water show, Chambliss

posted the best time (1:29.45) on the final air race run of the day,

closely outstripping German Klaus Schrodt (1:30.86) and Hungarian favorite Peter Besenyei (1:32.15).

The race in Budapest started as each pilot flew beneath the Chain Bridge at full speeds over 250 mph. Then the pilots had to fly through the obstacles in the predetermined order and perform the acrobatic stunts. After flying a huge figure eight in front of the Parliament building, the pilots crossed the finish line by flying once again beneath the Chain Bridge.

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