There's only one chance to meet two of the world's greatest Red Bull air race pilots in the UK this year – and that's at next weekend's Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford.
Paul Bonhomme, pilot of Team Bonhomme, and Nigel Lamb, pilot of Team Breitling, will bring their aircraft and pit hangars to the airshow, offering an exclusive 'meet and greet' opportunity for visitors on Saturday, July 17 and Sunday, July 18.
The Red Bull Air Race is an international series of extreme air races in which teams must navigate their way through an obstacle course in the fastest time. The planes used, built specifically for aerobatic flying, fly at an extremely low level, often over water, at speeds up to 370km/h through a gruelling track made up of tight turns and manoeuvres. Paul Bonhomme, the defending champion, currently leads the 2010 Championship after winning in spectacular style recently in New York. Paul hails from a long line of aviators: his father was a pilot in the British Army Air Corps and later an airline captain. His brother is an airline captain.
Nigel Lamb, who is currently third in the Championship, was born and raised on a remote farm in Zimbabwe. His passion for flying was kindled by his ex-RAF fighter pilot father. At the age of 11, Nigel first applied to join the Air Force, and persisted until he was finally accepted at 18. After six years in the military flying piston aircraft, helicopters and jets, Lamb began a new career in the UK as an Aerobatic pilot.
A spokesman for Red Bull said: ""The mid-summer break in between races gives us an ideal opportunity to show off the aeroplane to our British fans and where better to do it than the Air Tattoo. We'll be happy to sign autographs and answer any questions visitors might have about the Red Bull Air Race."
Nigel Lamb said: "It's been far too long since our last London Air Race, so it's a great opportunity to attend the Royal International Air Tattoo and meet the UK fans and supporters. It'll be a privilege to be part of such a popular event that supports a great cause and let's hope it becomes a prelude to a 2011 race in the UK!"
The Air Tattoo, which is held in support of the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust, is the world's largest military airshow and attracts around 300 aircraft from across the globe. This summer's event will stage special tributes marking the 70th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain. Tickets must be bought in advance. Admission is free for all under-16s plus there is free parking. For further details, visit airtattoo.com