Last week I visited the Red Baron team at Bankstown Airport in Sydney. I had wanted to go ever since I found out they owned the only Red Bull Extra 200 plane in the country (brother to the Red Bull Air Race Extra 300). I hooked up four GoPro cameras, more than ever before on their Extra 200, and ratcheted (yes – ratcheted) myself into the front seat for the insanity that is Red Baron Aerobatics. Video after the jump.
You can pay for the team’s cameras to film you, but I added on more GoPros (head mounted; top-left video feed, and aiming at the Pilot; top right video feed). When I booked the flight I was going to be the first passenger ever to use a head mounted GoPro, but between then and the flight I had been beaten to the punch according to Red Baron pilot and owner, Joel Haski, by only a few days.
Within the 30 minute ‘Red Bull Air Race’ flight Joel pushed the aircraft to its G-Force limits of 8 positive G’s (I weighed 536kgs during those manoeuvres I’m told) and negative 3.5 G’s, reaching a maximum speed of 200 knots (370km/h). He even flew backwards at one point! And yes, I did lots of Starfox-style barrel rolls (with a roll rate of one roll per second!).
It wasn’t all hard core though, Joel pointed out landmarks and flew close to clouds whenever he could, ensuring that I got a taste of more peaceful aviation as well.
Upon returning back to hangar I was offered free Red Bull until my body returned to normal while they transferred their GoPro footage onto USB for me to take home.
I can't thank the Red Baron team enough for their efforts to give me the best flight possible on the day. I highly recommend anyone that wants to experience aerobatics to check out redbaron.com.au!