Horsing around at the air races
26th September 2016
Dave took 3 customers to the Red Bull Air Races on Saturday 13th August at Ascot racecourse, Ron Charbonneau (Permasense Ltd), Phil Stevens (Creation Security Ltd) and Martyn Buxton (Lincoln Binns Ltd).
Full hospitality and a grandstand view of the air races from level 4 – pretty well in line with the racing. We had about 5 kitchen choices, fish, Indian menu, Hot traditional English, Burgers and salad all separate with 4 or 5 separate bars all on level 4. All of us were absolutely full by the end of the day having sampled all of the kitchens and the bars, it would have been rude not to do so! The Grandstand at Ascot is huge and the seated terrace gave a spectacular view of the flying with huge screens positioned on the inner horse jumping circuit giving us all the timings and replays of each pilots timed run. The best pilots were completing the course in about 66 seconds. Aircraft took off from our left with slight tail wind and with 230hp available were off the ground in less than 200 metres and then landed from our right into wind taxi-ing in front of the Grandstand usually with much applause from spectators and waving from pilots.
Aircraft fly against the clock around a closed circuit with air inflated pylons marking the course, if the aircraft touch the pylons (and they do) the pylon tears and instantly deflates to prevent damage to the aircraft. Replacement of the pylons takes about 5 minutes at the most. Aircraft are single seat monoplanes with 230hp 6 cylinder engines, 3 bladed propeller and a very small wingspan. They have a roll rate of about 320° / second – that’s very quick!
There was plenty of support entertainment – kids on bikes doing hair-raising stunts, the Royal Navy had a helicopter parked in front of the Grandstand, Hamilton had a stand selling watches (we had to drag Phil and his wallet away on a couple of occasions) Dougie Lampkin on his trials bike and much much more
Saturday is qualifying day for the Master Class (top pilots) and race day for the Challenger Class (next seasons heroes) with Challenger Class pilots flying the course in about 78 seconds, so a bit slower but still very exhilarating.
On level 4 there was a photo opportunity for all guests with Biggles style flying jackets and goggles and we just had to have our photo taken, Ron far left (Captains hat), Phil, Martyn and then Dave on far right (with the goggles).
After the flying, the hospitality customers were escorted to the hangars to talk to pilots and ground crew and view the aircraft. The hangars are part of the Red Bull set-up with hangars, aircraft, pilots and crew flown world-wide for races in Ascot UK, Abu Dhabi, Austria, Chiba, Budapest, Germany, Indianapolis and Las Vegas.
A grand day was had by all. In fact so good was the hospitality, flying and support entertainment that Dave has booked for 2017 but for the Sunday Race day (13th August). Mike Divey (Technique Engineering Ltd) has his name down already, so there are still 2 places still to be taken for next year………………
Many thanks to my 3 guests for making such a good day out, Corporate Days are our thanks to customers for their valued custom and gives me an excuse to get out of the factory even at a weekend!
Follow this link for details of the event
We had a real laugh at the photo booth with the additional props provided. See an example of the amusement we had, but take a look at the whole series in the gallery below.
Somebody said the last picture was Dave's plane! Is this true?
Pictured above: Ron Charbonneau (Permasense Ltd), Phil Stevens (Creation Security Ltd), Martyn Buxton (Lincoln Binns Ltd) and Dave Connaway (Cirrus Laser).
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