Buzzing the pit building on arrival, Red Bull Air Race world champion, Matt Hall landed early this morning on the main straight at Sydney Motorsport Park after a quick inverted sighting lap of the GP circuit.
Prepping for his display by watching other aero-fettled carbon monsters challenge physics, he was back out buzzing for take-off by lunch.
Blitzing the main straight with acceleration surpassing Formula 1, Hall took off low and hard before firing the custom-built steel tube, carbon-fibre clad Zivko Edge 540 V3 into a sheer vertical climb.
Capable of pulling 14 Gs, nearly double the G force experienced during a hard turn in an F/A-18, the race Zivko is one of the most manoeuvrable vehicles on Earth.
Its 350 horsepower six-cylinder horizontally opposed engine hauls the scant 500kg airframe with an incredible power to weight ratio. That’s one horsepower for every 701 grams.
Unsatisfied with the mundane lifestyle of an RAAF fighter pilot, Hall sought a lifestyle change. After 18 years sitting on Sidewinders and afterburners, he switched to aerobatics, then air racing.
With 11 years in the sport, he was several times a bridesmaid before taking out the Red Bull Air Race Championship this year.
Pulling more G’s than every car in pro class through turn one the champ left no doubt to his credentials, putting on an aerobatic master class.
Snapping off loops, spins, tailslides and rolls along with things the aerobatic dictionary is yet to invent definitions for, Hall put the cherry on top by hovering above the stands like a helicopter. Totally static, bar the racing propeller.
Rolling at 420 degrees a second, climbing at 3700 feet a minute and travelling at near 450km/h the neck bending lunch time show will see Sydney physiotherapists in the black for years to come.
We’re not sure whether to reach for a sick bag or to clear space on our lapels to button on brass wings.