AIRPOWER22: Highlights of the Flying Bulls' display

The Flying Bulls will offer countless highlights on AIRPOWER22’s second day. AIRPOWER22 is organised by the Austrian Armed Forces, the Province of Styria, and Red Bull. On top of those displays by the Austrian Armed Forces and the eternal highlight, the performance of the Frecce Tricolori, the Flying Bulls’ displays will raise goosebumps at Europe’s largest air show.

The Flying Bulls are bringing two of their treasured helicopters from their hanger for the first display on AIRPOWER22’s second day. The Bell Cobra 209/AH-1F (2002) and the BO-105 (built in 1974), piloted by Mirko Flaim, present a mixed display. They arrive together and take off jointly, after which the 1,800hp Bell Cobra takes over in a solo display with helicopter pilot legend Siegfried “Blacky” Schwarz at the controls. This is followed by the Flying Bulls’ BO-105 solo display. It is the only helicopter of this type with aerobatic certification and can perform almost all the manoeuvres known from fixed-wing aircraft, such as loops, flips, and rolls. The two helicopters will also be part of AIRPOWER22’s world-premiere “Red Bull Aerobatic Triple” in the afternoon.

Ready for round two of the spectacular world premiere? Then turn your gaze to the Red Bull Aerobatic Triple. You’ll never have seen anything like it at international air shows. For the first time, Flying Bulls’ fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters, the Red Bull Skydive Team’s wingsuit jumpers, and HSV Salzburg parachutists meet in a precisely choreographed interaction, seemingly laughing at the laws of physics. The world’s only aerobatic helicopter, the BO-105, the Bell Cobra 209/AH-1F – the legendary helicopter used by the US Armed Forces in the 1960s, the historic PT-17 Stearman, and the Zivko Edge 540 will be part of the show.

“You can think of it like an orchestra playing a difficult score. All the operations of the pilots and jumpers have to be perfectly coordinated because it’s a matter of fractions of a second – the timing has to be on point,” says Mirko Flaim, who, together with Dario Costa, is considered the mastermind behind the Red Bull Aerobatic Triple.

The Red Bull Aerobatic Triple worked perfectly on day 1. On Saturday, the second day of Europe’s biggest air show, Dario Costa (Zivko Edge 540), Philipp Haidbauer (PT-17 Stearman), Siegfried “Blacky” Schwarz (Bell Cobra), and Mirko Flaim (BO-105) want to repeat this feat together with the wingsuit acrobats of the Red Bull Skydive Team and the skydiving colleagues of HSV Red Bull Salzburg.

Red Bull Blanix’s display will be AIRPOWER22’s quietest highlight – the Styrian team proves that an air show doesn’t always have to be loud and fast to thrill the audience. The two pilots perform their demanding aerobatic programme with LET L 13 Blanik gliders and conduct many manoeuvres in mirror flight. In other words, the leader aircraft flies inverted while the second aircraft, only half a wingspan below, performs the flight manoeuvres in a normal flight attitude. Incidentally, the gliders will take to the skies above the Hinterstoisser air base with the help of a Flying Bull Extra 300 L. It will sensationally double-tow the two Blanix aircraft to their starting altitude.

© Joerg Mitter & Predrag Vuckovic