Red Bull Air Race

From Abu Dhabi to Japan via Austria – Red Bull Air Race logistical challenge

The second event of the 2016 season brought the Red Bull Air Race to Spielberg in Austria, 23rd-24th April, and posed a fair number of challenges for DHL, who are the official logistics partner of this spectacular series – all the equipment had to be shipped from the United Arab Emirates to Styria after the season opener in Abu Dhabi.

The infrastructure required for the Red Bull Air Race, ranging from grid stand, race club and hangars to the cranes for the air gates, electronic equipment and the TV broadcasting center, is assembled and disassembled again for each of the eight events around the globe. In addition, the 14 planes, the main attraction at each air race, also have to be transported, of course!

Two mighty Boeing 747 jumbos moved nearly 100 tons of cargo from Abu Dhabi to Austria where they arrived in mid-March at Graz-Thalerhof Airport. While the equipment was transported over land for approximately 100 km to the race track at Spielberg, the Red Bull planes took a different route.

The planes which had been disassembled for shipping were immediately reassembled after their arrival in Graz to be subsequently flown to Spielberg where the magnificent men in their flying machines kept around 10,000 spectators entertained on the two days of racing as they watched German pilot Matthias Dolderer take victory from local hero Hannes Arch.

The work of dismantling the infrastructure, which can take up to three days to complete, was immediately begun again after the end of the race. This tight schedule was necessary, because Spielberg represents only a brief stopover in Europe before the next event on the Red Bull Air Race calendar gets underway in early June in Japan, thousands of miles away. So that’s where the cargo planes headed that took off in Graz and eventually landed in Tokyo.

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