A New Racing Series...

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Air Racing On A Figure Eight

Combine elements of the Reno Air Races, the World Aerobatic Championships and the military's William Tell competition into one action-packed afternoon and you have some idea of what Jeff Zaltman had in mind for Aero GP, which is being described as the aviation equivalent of Formula One auto racing. "They (competitors) do have to be nuts, but they are calculated nuts," Aero GP creator Zaltman told Reuters. "Aero GP is very dangerous, but it is also safe. These guys are very experienced. We want it to be safe while not looking safe." Perhaps what can safely be said is that it's possibly one of the most extreme forms of aerial competition devised so far. Aero GP competitions are divided into three parts. There's a head-to-head race (involving up to 10 planes) through a figure eight course at low level. There are also aerobatic competitions and mock bombing runs. This year, Zaltman and several pilots are staging demonstrations to promote next year's full competition schedule at stops throughout Europe, Dubai and India. Iron Maiden lead singer and British charter pilot Brian Dickinson will do the color commentary on the TV broadcasts.