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We’re at the Red Bull Air Races on the Detroit River! Windy as hell with a constant breeze of about 25 knots coming more or less directly out of the south. I understand that this is pretty much directly opposite where they were for the practice runs yesterday, so all of the racers are paying a lot of attention to how that’s going to change matters.
We have a lot of riverfront upon which to do this, so this is the longest course (3.8 miles from end to end) in the four years of the Red Bull series. And the wind today is just about directly aligned with the long axis of the course, so that’ll have a big effect, depending on the relevant maneuvers.
Rod Rakic is here for the weekend and is helping out with coverage. Rod grew up in the Detroit area and did his primary pilot training at Detroit City (Coleman A. Young) Airport (KDET). He also spent a summer as an office manager at a flight school there. He’s visiting from Chicago and is going to be a key part of the Airspeed team for this event. We’re going to try to hangar-fly a little tomorrow and get an episode up from the media center on site.
The setup on the race course is pretty cool. Red Bull has brought along two of its own control towers (yeah, they brought their own control towers!). Here’s the one that’s down on the waterfront with the landmark Renaissance Center.
The High Flyers’ Club is just on the other side of the tower. As with any event like this, I like to go around seeing where my media pass will get me in. I can say with some certainty that, although it has gotten me many places, it has not gotten me into (or even near) the High Flyers’ Club. But I can hardly whine. Red Bull has provided free valet parking, lots of other access, a spectacular media center on the waterfront (and another really nice one at the airport) and, naturally, all the Red Bull I can drink. I am so wired right now I can barely stand it. And I’ve only just begun.
A couple of cans of Red Bull with the other cylindrical icons of the event in the background. A first class event in all respects so far. More posts soon!