Sorry but I have to “KillaThrill”, AGAIN!

I first published this nearly a decade ago. Recently it has popped up on the internet again generating arguments on authenticity. Sorry, its still a hoax, fake, not real!

There is a widely circulating youtube video showing an alleged Red Bull air racer shedding a wing and landing the aircraft perfectly sans’ said wing. Looks cool, great camera work and- sorry; totally bogus. I’ll leave aside the subtle stuff like out of place radio traffic and the fact there are no signs of a Red Bull circuit in the back ground or that the alleged pilot interviewed is not on the circuit.

Let’s stick to aerodynamics and of course physics. As I have written in the past “a good pilot must know the laws of aerodynamics; but a good fighter pilot must know how to use physics to defy those laws.” And indeed an Israeli F-15 years ago lost a wing in a mid-air collision, and returned to base for a safe landing. However; the F-15’s fuselage is a lifting body. That means the fuselage is part wing, producing its own lift.

ISSUE #1: The aircraft rolls for no apparent reason; in a red Bull race the object is to get through the maneuvers and course with the lowest elapsed time and no penalties. To do this the pilots keep the aircraft loaded with maximum g to keep the lift vector always down the race course. They would never do an un-loaded roll or ease the g in a vertical move.
ISSUE#2: While it has happened in past accidents it is very unusual for a wing to catastrophically fail while unloaded and at a slow speed; as happened in the video.
ISSUE #3: The aircraft rolls and subsequently spirals the wrong direction; i.e. into the remaining wing. With only one wing producing lift the aircraft would roll opposite the remaining wing not into it. Even if you take into account zero airspeed and torque produced from the engine for initial rotation direction; as it accelerated it would have reversed directions violently.
ISSUE#4: Actually I will buy flying at full throttle, 90 degrees angle of bank. Hanging on the engine and using the rudder as an elevator is believable. However the wings level move just prior to touch down with one wing? Not buying it; also taxi speed within 10 feet, doesn’t seem likely either.

They should have gotten a good Aviation Technical advisor. I’ve fixed stuff like that for movies in the past. Good attempt tho; and it is getting tons of hits. I’ve had it passed to me by three different sources already.

If you’ like to learn more about flying, check out my books in the Aviator Series.


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