AIRPOWER22: Highlights of the Flying Bulls' display

After the successful “Red Bull Aerobatic Triple” world premiere, the two protagonists Mirko Flaim from the Flying Bulls and wingsuit pilot Marco Waltenspiel talk in an interview about the challenges of the unique display, shown worldwide for the first time at AIRPOWER22.

Hi Mirko and Marco. Congratulations on the successful world premiere! How does it feel to bring something across the line that you have trained so long for?

Marco Waltenspiel: Yeah, Red Bull Aerobatic Triple is in the books! I already had goosebumps when taking off with the Flying Bulls’ Pilatus PC-6, when you see the thousands of people from overhead. Then you are in the zone anyway and concentrating fully on the display. After landing, it was an indescribable feeling … simply sensational!

Did everything work out for your spectacular display as you had planned?

Mirko Flaim: I’m really happy. This year everything came together perfectly – the weather let us show the Red Bull Aerobatic Triple world premiere at AIRPOWER22. You can always improve and optimise things; you can never satisfy a perfectionist 100 percent. We showed the full display, as Dario Costa and I had planned and as we had tinkered with in countless training sessions. The audience was given a cool show – we are absolutely delighted!

Marco Waltenspiel: Our wingsuit formation worked perfectly. Dario Costa had to change the approach a bit due to clouds, but the slightly different angle also worked, and he could fly around us multiple times as planned. In such situations, you know that Dario is one of the world’s best aerobatic pilots, and he can react immediately.

Mirko, you are one of the masterminds behind the Red Bull Aerobatic Triple: What were the biggest implementation challenges?

Mirko Flaim: The challenge was combining all these elements with the most diverse properties in the air into one display. Speed, sink rate, manoeuvrability: We tried to combine these characteristics – and it worked. Everyone perfected their individual manoeuvres for themselves; then, in the joint implementation, it was extremely important to calculate perfect timings to combine everything in one display.

Marco Waltenspiel: We needed to fly a tight formation so Dario Costa could screw around us with the Zivko Edge 540. That was an important aspect, as was the exit timing, which had to be precise so that Dario could start rolling immediately.

You already had planned a similar display for AIRPOWER19 – back then the weather let you down. How did you develop it for this year?

Mirko Flaim: We tried to make the display even more spectacular for the spectators as seen from the ground. In between the main acts, we have other elements like the PT-17 Stearman biplane with Philipp Haidbauer at the helm or the Bell Cobra with pilot legend Siegfried ‘Blacky’ Schwarz, whose appearance bolstered the display.

The bar has been set high by this successful world premiere … what’s next? Do you have anything new in your sights?

Marco Waltenspiel: Good question … we have loads of ideas and projects that we want to try out and show to the viewers. But that is still up in the air. We will come up with another spectacular display; you can count on that.

Thanks for the interview, Mirko and Marco!

© Joerg Mitter & Predrag Vuckovic & Sebastian Marko