Monday, November 10, 2008

Red Bull Air Race

On the weekend of 1-2 November Jason and I enjoyed our last weekend in the West Perth apartment. Jason was quite excited that this last weekend also coincided with the Red Bull Air Race. After visiting 10 other cities around the world the Perth air race was the final round in the 2008 world series and was raced over 2 days. Jason was enthralled for the entire 2 days... I watched intermittently (in between sun bathing on various decks at our apartment- dependent on the best tanning options hehehe). I apologise now as I have uploaded lots of photos to this blog. Some are repetitive but I just couldn't decide on what ones to use!

All photos were taken from our deck so some are far away! Here's a patriotic one for the aussies... the flag above the race course. Too far away to really see the detail though.
A temporary runway was set up in Langley Park. Langley park was created by reclaiming land from the Swan River (which kind of looks like a lake not a river!!!). Apparently the park was used as an airstrip in the 1920s and in 1997 a plane used the park for an emergency landing as it was experiencing engine failure. Here was our view of the park:

The planes used for the races were pretty small and maneuverable, they have to be when you actually see the course that they have to negotiate. The next few photos are of the race planes.
This one is the actual red bull plane... not dispensing free red bulls like the girls in Wellington though :-)

We managed to get some great shots of the planes from our deck... we have almost the best view that we could possibly get... bar actually paying for tickets and being in the stand... which wouldn't really be ideal as it would have been so hot and uncomfortable. We got to enjoy the comforts of the apartment and the actual race!!!

This is a better shot of the race course. The inflatable pylons are knows as "air gates". These gates define the air race track. The pylons can withstand winds of up to 60 kmh so not so good for Wellington at all. The pylons are held upright by using a high pressure system, the pylons burst apart when scraped by a wing from a plane. The pylons are designed for rapid repair and everytime one bursts a speedboat zooms out to the pylon and engineers have a new one up and ready to go within 3 minutes. 

The objective of the race is too negotiate the pylons in the correct way, in the fastest possible time incurring as few penalties as possible. Each gate is 20m high and between 10 - 14 m wide. The planes wing span is about 8 m wide. The following photo shows the awesome spot that the numerous Perth boaties had!!!

Each loop from the racing planes was about 1 min 20 seconds. Between the race there was lots of flying entertainment. There was a lot of formation flying and I do apologise that I have LOTS of photos from this... here they are at the start:

And moving slightly closer

And closer still:

Now some of their tricks...

One of the real highlights of the weekend was the fighter jet and its stunts. The noise was amazing and we both really enjoyed this part of the show!

And some more formation flying (just in case you didn't get enough above)

The next series of shots is of two planes "playing" together:

Then after all the fast and noisy planes came a quantas jumbo jet... it looked slow and awkward compared to the other flying we had seen. Not a great shot but here it is...
Finally... what goes up.... must come down...

Thats all... we have over 500 photos from the weekend so this is just a small snapshot for you. 

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