The Red Bull Air Race World Championship comes to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway in October for the last U.S. stop of the 2014 world tour. During the competition, pilots race single-engine, propeller-driven custom planes that are designed for extreme flying and are capable of tolerating stresses of up to 10 times the force of gravity and flying at speeds as fast as 230 mph during the races. Pilots from around the world compete on a tight course constructed with towering inflated pylons that they must deftly navigate while maintaining maximum speed.
The races, which take place at venues across the globe—including in Abu Dhabi, Australia, Malaysia, and Brazil—were first held in 2003. After the 2010 series, the organizers took a break and developed a new set of rules that standardized the planes’ engines and propellers and enhanced safety guidelines—emphasizing the importance of pilot flying skill rather than aircraft mechanical advantages. The course pylons were redesigned to be safer as well as taller, which improves the visual experience for the audience.
Doors at the Motor Speedway open Saturday morning, October 11, with races held throughout that day and Sunday. The speedway’s Sky Lounge is the ultimate spot to watch the competition from, with spectacular views of the racetrack, climate-controlled seating, live video feeds, bar and waiter service, VIP parking, hangar tours, and more. Prices for the Sky Lounge start at $950 per person for a two-day pass. After Las Vegas, the competitors head to Spielberg, Austria, for the final races of the season. (www.redbullairrace.com)