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October 20, 2008

Air Racing

The Red Bull Air Race, started in 2003, is a series of air races, held all over the world, where pilots fly specialized aerobatic planes (with top speeds of over 250 mph / 400 kph) through a series of gates, racing the clock, accumulating points toward the championship title. Pilots must also perform specific manoeuvres while passing through the gates. The photos below are from the most recent two races, in Budapest, Hungary, and Porto, Portugal. The final race in the series is scheduled for November 1st, in Perth, Australia, and video of the event will also be streamed over the web. (17 photos total)

Spanish pilot Alejandro Maclean in his MXS aircraft performs during a qualification session for the sixth round of the Air Race World Championships on August 19, 2008 over the Danube River of downtown Budapest, Hungary. (ATTILA KISBENEDEK/AFP/Getty Images)

U.S. pilot Mike Mangold performs during the qualifying round for the 6th round of the Red Bull Air Race World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, August 19, 2008. (REUTERS/Dean Treml/Handout) #

Austrian pilot Hannes Arch performs during the final of the seventh stage of the Red Bull Air Race World Series in Porto, Portugal on September 7, 2008. (REUTERS/Daniel Grund/Euro-Newsroom) #

Hungarian pilot Peter Besenyei (bottom), Britain's Nigel Lamb and Paul Bonhomme (top) fly over Budapest, Hungary on August 17, 2008 during their "recon flight" prior to the seventh stage of the Red Bull Air Race World Series. Picture taken August 17, 2008. (REUTERS/Balazs Gardi/Red Bull Air Race) #

French pilot Nicolas Ivanoff rolls his aircraft above the Danube River during the qualifying round for the 6th round of the Red Bull Air Race World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, August 19, 2008. (REUTERS/Dean Treml/) #

British pilot Steve Jones pulls up from a gate during the final of the seventh stage of the Red Bull Air Race World Series in Porto, Portugal on September 7, 2008. (REUTERS/Daniel Grund/Euro-Newsroom) #

Peter Besenyei of Hungary performs during the seventh stage of the Red Bull Air Race World Series in Porto, Portugal on September 7, 2008. (REUTERS/Daniel Grund/Red Bull Air Race) #

Mike Mangold, of the United States, flies his Edge 540 aircraft over the Douro river during the seventh stage of the annual Red Bull Air Race World Series in Porto, Portugal, Sunday, Sept. 7, 2008. Mangold finished in third place. (AP Photo/Paulo Duarte) #

British pilot Steve Jones performs during the final of the Red Bull Air Race on August 20, 2008 in Budapest, Hungary. Hannes Arch claimed his first-ever victory in the competition. (Joerg Mitter/Red Bull via Getty Images) #

Austrian pilot Hannes Arch flies during the Red Bull Air Race World Series, with the Hungarian Parliament Building in the background, in Budapest, Hungary on August 20, 2008. (REUTERS/Karoly Arvai) #

Austrian pilot Hannes Arch, winner of the Red Bull race, flies his Edge 540 aircraft over the Danube River in downtown Budapest, Hungary during the sixth round of the Red Bull Air Race World Championships on August 20, 2008. (FERENC ISZA/AFP/Getty Images) #

U.S. Pilot Mike Mangold flies his Edge 540 aircraft straight over the Danube River in Budapest, Hungary during the sixth round of the Red Bull Air Race World Championships on August 20, 2008. (ATTILA KISBENEDEK/AFP/Getty Images) #

Austrian pilot Hannes Arch performs during the final of the Red Bull Air Race on August 20, 2008 in Budapest, Hungary. Arch claimed his first-ever victory in the competition. (Joerg Mitter/Red Bull via Getty Images) #

Glen Dell, of South Africa, flies his Edge 540 aircraft over the Douro river during the seventh stage of the annual Red Bull Air Race World Series in Porto, Portugal, Sunday Sept. 7, 2008. (AP Photo/Paulo Duarte) #

Mike Mangold of the United States, pilots his aircraft over the Douro river during the seventh stage of the annual Red Bull Air Race World Series in Porto, Portugal, Sunday, Sept. 7, 2008. (AP Photo/Paulo Duarte) #

Pilot Mike Mangold, of the U.S., pulls his Edge 540 aircraft up from the Douro river during the seventh stage of the annual Red Bull Air Race World Series in Porto, Portugal, Sunday, Sept. 7, 2008. (AP Photo/Paulo Duarte) #

British pilot Steve Jones climbs skyward, above the Danube River and the Hungarian Parliament Building, during a qualifyin run of the Red Bull Air Race World Series in Budapest August 19, 2008. (REUTERS/Karoly Arvai) #

 
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