Using personal photos from my own collection, and that of the AP, I document the highlights of the first half of the 2009 season at the Red Bull Air Race. With more pilots than ever in the series and new and traditional locations galore, the Red Bull Air Race is expanding more than ever. Without further ado, here are the pylon hits, the close calls and the amazing shots taken at the first three races of the 2009 season.
Photo courtesy of the AP
In his first qualifier in Abu Dhabi, Yoshi Muroya took an odd angle in comparison to his competitors, an interesting way of going at it for the young Japanese.
Alejandro Maclean's first run in Abu Dhabi was quite respectable and with a zoom that worked on the camera, a lot of detail was taken of the underbelly of the Spaniard's MXS.
Michael Goulian's only qualifying run in Abu Dhabi was respectable. A well-timed shot of the American going through the quadro.
Matt Hall makes a clean cut in the third gate at his first Red Bull Air Race. Nonetheless, the Australian has had an amazing run in his MXS being the most profitable rookie this year, so far.
German rookie Matthias Dolderer is no stranger to the Red Bull community. In his first race in Abu Dhabi, I catch this shot of him going through the quadro.
This gate appeared to have given all the pilots trouble in some manner or another, as Alejandro Maclean hits this gate for the second time in Abu Dhabi.
The Englishman Nigel Lamb flew cleanly against his opponents, but his MXS just wasn't fast enough. The Englishman claims that he has the most beautiful aircraft on the field, and he has a point.
Englishman Paul Bonhomme couldn't win it in Abu Dhabi, but his consistent performance in the first three races could be a good thing for the Brit.
The top three in the first round talk to reporters with Arch looking on and smacking his lips. Could he have spotted the catering behind me and gotten hungry?
In the San Diego race, Peter Besenyei passes the RB105 helicopter in his MXS.
In his final run, Hannes Arch hit a pelican and damaged the tailplane of his aircraft. Arch continued his run and came third overall. He claimed to have heard a bang but continued anyways.
Photo courtesy of the AP/www.smoke-on.com
The RB105 is in American airspace as it looks into Canada and Glen Dell's qualifying run in Windsor, Ontario.
In his home race, Pete McLeod performs his run during qualifying and is able to make it into the top ten and out of the Wild Card for the next day.
Mike Mangold in his vertical turning maneuver with a seagull nearby. No hits for him this time.
Nigel Lamb enters the track for qualifying in Windsor, Ontario.
Kirby Chambliss makes his run in qualifying in Windsor and wins one point for the fastest time. "I'll take that point," says the American over the radio.
German Matthias Dolderer goes fast in qualifying, but not fast enough to make it into the top ten.
Put a Matthias Dolderer sticker somewhere, photograph it, and then post it to his Facebook profile. I've broken the rules here so I'm out of the running.
I wanted to get a photo of Rakhmanin's MXS, but he decided to pose with it. It's still a nice picture.
Sergey Rakhmanin turning into the United States during his run on race day in Windsor.
Alejandro Maclean makes a vertical turning maneouvre in the third round of the Red Bull Air Race in Windsor.
Frenchman Nicolas Ivanoff makes his run in the third round of the Red Bull Air Race in Windsor.
In the final gate, the Russian ace hits the start/finish gate thus ending his run in Windsor.
Nigel Lamb flies adjacent to the Renaissance Center in Detroit.
Hannes Arch, Air Abu Dhabi, flies in the middle of the quadro during the third round of the Red Bull Air Race in Windsor, Ontario
Matt Hall was on such a good run that he pushed himself beyond his limits and ended up hitting a pylon in the quadro and had to SCO.
Kirby Chambliss attempted to make two wins in a row on the border. He came too short against Briton Paul Bonhomme.
Left to Right: Pete McLeod(CAN), Matt Hall(AUS), Paul Bonhomme(GBR), Hannes Arch(AUT), and Kirby Chambliss(USA) take questions in the media centre. Arch is putting his trophy on the table while Bonhomme is still wiping sweat off himself.
The top three trophies in Windsor look very similar to a certain piece of iconic Canadian foliage.