Air Race set to return next year following agreement with FAI

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The Red Bull Air Race is set to return next year – without the sponsorship of Red Bull – after the Federation Aeronautique Internationale licenced its return to a new organisation.

World Championship Air Race (WCAR) has agreed a partnership with the Federation Aeronautique Internationale (FAI), to begin the international air race series between January and March next year.

The FAI, which governs competitive aircraft racing in a similar way to how the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA)  oversees motorsport, have granted WCAR exclusive staging rights to run a range of piloted air vehicle classifications flown on air-gate courses. 

David Monks, president of the FAI said, “FAI is pleased to give formal recognition to the World Championship Air Race series, providing it with expertise in supervising aspects of safety and sporting governance while sharing its exciting vision to educate, inspire and encourage the next generation of aviators.”

The Red Bull Air Race was cancelled in 2019, shortly after Aerospace Testing International ran this article, detailing how engineers and technicians test and inspect the high performance aircraft that were used in the championship. The series had run successfully for 16 years, holding more than 90 events in 34 different cities around the world. 

The UK-headquartered WCAR, hopes to build on this legacy and use the experience of a production team and competitors  from their involvement in the Red Bull Air Race while creating “a showcase for the future of aviation, urban air mobility and sustainably powered, clean technology”.

WCAR plan to launch the 2022 season with the same conventionally powered race-planes the Red Bull Air Race used, while working with aerospace companies to embrace the latest advances in technology, including sustainable fuels, electric drivetrains and electric Vertical Take-off and Landing (eVTOL) race-craft from 2024.

Willie Cruickshank, WCAR race series director and former head of aviation for the Red Bull Air Race said, “We are delighted to announce this exciting new agreement between the FAI and World Championship Air Race to bring city-centre air-racing back to the public. In addition to creating a highly competitive championship for spectators around the world to enjoy, we share a common purpose to develop and demonstrate the future of green aviation and urban air mobility in a demanding and highly competitive environment. 

“World Championship Air Race now has the commitment from the best race pilots in the world, flying the best aircraft, under the exclusive jurisdiction of the world governing body, putting us in a very strong position as we build towards Season 1 in early 2022.”

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Ben has worked as a journalist and editor, covering technology, engineering and industry for the last 20 years. Initially writing about subjects from nuclear submarines to autonomous cars to future design and manufacturing technologies, he was editor of a leading UK-based engineering magazine before eventually becoming editor of Aerospace Testing in 2017.

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