Car News

Red Bull Air Race World Championship pilots’ falcon inspiration


When it comes to pilots of the world’s fastest motorsports series, a break from flying needs to be worthwhile. That’s why the 2014 season start in Abu Dhabi saw pilots put to use their break time well. On the day, it was a trip to a hospital that cares for the fastest birds in the world, falcons. The visit was instructional and,as you can guess, inspirational.

Falcon’s are important in UAE where falconry has long been a national sport. Race pilots not only checked hospital facilities, but were in awe of a demonstration of falcons in flight. German pilot Matthias Dolderer used the opportunity to feed a falcon perched on his arm. Falcons can dive at 320 kph / 200 mph, so, the immediate connection between pilots and them isn’t lost as the athletes deal with speeds of 370 kph / 230 mph and force of as much as 10 Gs on the racetrack at Abu Dhabi’s Corniche.

Canadian Pete McLeod, the 30-year-old (youngest-ever Red Bull Air Race pilot when he joined the competition 5 years ago) said, “I appreciate the strength and precision and speed that these birds use to get the job done – like we do on the track. The falcon has a very strong presence and shows that, like our planes, you don’t have to be huge to be powerful.”


About the author

Would you like to receive stories like these in your inbox daily? Please enter your email address in the box below.

Your opinion matters