Yelp, not always perfectly vertical or horizontal! Kirby having fun in the Sonoran Desert! Photo by GoPro
Dive into Kirby’s epic experience! The Red Bull Air Force are the most accomplished on the planet!
Air shows and aerobatics as a whole home a wide variety of airplanes. Even among the Red Bull Air Race family, each pilot has his choice of aircraft. Some masters fly an MXS or an MXS-R, while others choose the Edge540 V2 or V3. Many are familiar with Kirby’s Edge540, but what made the Edge Kirby’s ultimate choice?
In his early stages of aerobatic competition, Kirby climbed through the categories in his Pitts (pictured above). As he continued to excel, it became his goal to fly unlimited. But he faced a problem – he became aware that the unlimited sequences were so far advanced, his Pitts just didn’t have the performance to keep up. He knew if he really wanted to succeed in competition, he would have to transition from a biplane to a monoplane.
“At the time, the choice was really a monetary one. I’d had my eye on the Extra, but there was a significant price difference between that and the Edge. I decided to purchase the Edge, but in the end, the Edge chose me.”
Kirby continued his journey in aerobatic competitions with his Edge, but still held interests in an Extra. When later presented with the opportunity to test fly one, he was a little shocked.
“I was ready to do anything I needed to purchase this airplane if it proved to be that much better, but the Extra immediately told me, ‘I can’t do this, I can’t do that!’ It just didn’t have the pure performance that the Edge did.”
From that point on, it was always the Edge. Kirby has now spent so much time in them that he jokes the wings are mere extensions of his own arms!
Team Chambliss is excited to announce its newest team member, Paulo Iscold! Like the rest of the team, Paulo lives and breathes aviation. He received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerias (UFMG) in his hometown, Belo Horizonte, Brazil. He is now a specialist in aircraft design. Students at UFMG know Paulo as Professor, where he teaches multiple courses on airplane design, flight tests, and applied aerodynamics.
Paulo is already settling into his new position as Team Tactician. He has been diligently working alongside team technician, Jason Resop, preparing the race plane for the 2016 Red Bull Air Race World Championship. When the race season begins, he will focus on data analysis and course optimization.
Kirby and the Team are Training in Puebla! Epic amounts of flying and skydiving!
Approaching the new year, we wanted to reflect on 2015 and thank all of you who have supported the team! Whether it be at the Red Bull Air Races, various air shows across the globe, or online, we couldn’t do it without you! We would also like send a warm thanks to our families, friends, and sponsors for their continued support over the years.
In 2015, we welcomed new team members. We traveled the globe, making stops in nine different countries. The race plane underwent various modifications throughout the year. And to top it all off, we made it back on the podium in Austria! Boy, did it feel good!
So, what’s NEW in 2016?
As an established team, we are ready to greet an even bigger and busier 2016!
Have a Safe and Happy New Year!
“The first time I really experienced any significant g force was flying with our chief pilot in a Citation. He pulled the airplane up, probably producing a max of 2 g’s, and I just remember thinking, ‘this is something else!’ I felt like everything in my face was being pulled down and all I could do was hope the airplane didn’t break!As I started flying aerobatics, I had to build up a tolerance through anti-g strain maneuvers. When experiencing positive g’s, you tighten your stomach and abdominal muscles – it’s a straining motion. With negative g’s, it’s the opposite. Rather than straining, you really have to relax. A lot of people find negative g’s extremely uncomfortable, because it feels like everything in your body is trying to fit into your head. But like anything, with whatever you do, you get used to it.
Now I don’t even think about how to react to g’s, I just do it. It’s like breathing! That being said, there is a tolerance level. If I go more than about a week without pulling 8-10 g’s, positive and negative, it’s like starting all over.”
Ride along with Kirby as he torque rolls over Puebla, Mexico!