Red Bull Air Race 2016: Ready for Take-Off

The Red Bull Air Race 2016 starts in Abu Dhabi (11 & 12 March). This season’s opening race sets the stage for the world’s top pilots to battle it out in the skies over the Arabian Gulf.

Competition (high-speed, low-altitude) aircraft, flying at 370kph with pilots enduring up to 10-Gs, requires technical precision, high performance as well as nerves of steel – these are just some of the reasons why this event attracts fans from around the world. Abu Dhabi is hosting the race for the ninth time.

Experts from DHL Global Forwarding, Motorsport Division and the Red Bull Air Race team arrived at VG Cargo GmbH on the 23rd of February to oversee and coordinate the transport of the race aircraft and equipment. Careful handling, customs and inventory were important parts of the first phase. The next step involved building up the freight to load on to the 747 – scheduled to leave Frankfurt-Hahn Airport at 2:10AM the following Friday.

The competition aircraft (including related equipment) were built up based on a specific load plan created by the team of experts, working closely with the airline to ensure safety of the cargo, personnel and loading compliance was maintained throughout.

One significant reason this operation runs smoothly is because of the “…experienced people working together” according to Mike Hoesl, Head of Event Production, Red Bull Air Race.

The aerial race is an international event travelling around the world (Abu Dhabi, Austria, Japan, Hungary, England, Germany and the USA). On top of the logistics challenges, time constraints and weather, “…being a part of this thrilling (global) event and experiencing the different countries and cultures” is a big part of what makes this work even more interesting for Richard Perry, Motorsport Manager at DHL Global Forwarding UK.

“The total weight of the high-performance planes (incl. equipment and parts) was 66,965 kilos, which does not reflect the challenges of the loading and rigging requirements the team members had to meet for the flight to Abu Dhabi.” according to VG Cargo COO (V. Gornak) who also worked closely with the client on the details, ensuring safe and efficient processing, before the actual freight arrived (land-side) as well as during the entire operation until take-off.

on site report by: M. Taweel