Abu Dhabi’s ‘Flying Falcon’, Hannes Arch, one of the world’s foremost aerobatic stars, will make his debut at the Al Ain Aerobatic Show this week with his dazzling new ‘Rhythm & Air’ routine – a stunning display which ties in the world of aerobatics with live music, dancers and moving images, all built around the four elements of air, fire, earth and water.
The never-before-seen act will be a highlight of the show, running at Al Ain International Airport from 2-5 February, and will draw on the Team Abu Dhabi pilot’s vast experience as a Red Bull Air Race dare-devil, where his lightening quick reflexes and nerves-of-steel earned him the coveted world champion title in 2008.
“Abu Dhabi is a home from home for me, so it is an honour to be able to take part in the Al Ain Aerobatic Show for the first time this year,” said Hannes, a global ambassador for show organiser, Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA). “I am really excited about being able to perform my new display, and doing it in the UAE for the first time makes it even more special. For me this is a departure from my home territory of racing, so I hope everyone will enjoy it.”
The ‘Flying Falcon’, as he is known, earned his Red Bull Air Race World Championship title in 2008, and followed it up with second places in both 2009 and 2010, achieving a record-breaking four consecutive wins in the latter. The Austrian pilot’s gift for aerobatics has seen him race all over the world, wowing spectators with his nail-biting performances. Having made a career out of climbing the world’s highest mountains and jumping off the tallest buildings, Hannes is sure to have visitors on the edge of their seats with his awe-inspiring aerobatic manoeuvres, hundreds of feet above the ground.
Helping him to set the skies alight over the Oasis City will be his trusty, Abu Dhabi-branded Zivko Edge 540. This lightweight aircraft has the highest aerobatic thrust to weight ratio of any competition aerobatic aircraft. It is also capable of a 420 degree per second roll rate and a 3,700 foot per minute climb rate.
“Hannes has a special talent for getting the best out of his aircraft and dazzling spectators with his gravity-defying manoeuvres and unbridled showmanship. His new routine in Al Ain will be no different,” said Faisal Al Sheikh, Events Manager, ADTA, which organises the show in conjunction with the UAE Armed Forces.
“He has been a great ambassador for the emirate around the world, so it is fitting that he will be one of the highlights of this year’s show, which will be the biggest and best yet.”
Joining Hannes and the other solo acts in Al Ain is another airshow favourite - Skip Stewart with his aircraft Prometheus. An aerobatic gold medallist, he was the first pilots to fly an airplane under a jumping motorcycle and is recognised as one of the world’s most entertaining pilots. Prometheus, a Pitts S-2S customised by Stewart himself, brings extra flash to the aerial manoeuvres with its eye-catching, hot rod-style flame paint job.
More than 20 aircraft will take to the skies in the daily flying display at the 2011 Al Ain Aerobatic Show. In addition, the unique, multi-discipline FAI Desert Challenge, arranged by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI), the international governing body for air sports, will see six of the world’s best pilots flying in classic and free-style competing to be Al Ain’s first free-style Desert aerobatic champion.
Topping off the aerial displays will be spectacular on-ground activities for the whole family, including meet-the-pilot sessions, tethered hot air balloon rides, go-karting and bungee trampolines, as well as face-painting and appearances by children’s favourite magazine character Majid, the Al Ain Aerobatic Show’s own Friendly Pilot Bear and a stilt-walking pilot.
The 2011 Al Ain Aerobatic Show, held under the patronage of HH General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, will take place at Al Ain International Airport. Approximately 80 minutes drive from Abu Dhabi and Dubai, it is an ideal day trip from across the Emirates.
Daily show tickets are just Dh40 per adult and Dh20 for children between three and 10 years old, while children under three enter free. Schools are being offered free access on the Wednesday and Thursday – further information can be obtained by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 04 2867755. Ticket details can be found on the Al Ain website at www.alainaerobaticshow.com.
The Al Ain Aerobatic Show is backed by a high-profile sponsorship line-up that includes Gold Sponsors Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB), Abu Dhabi National Hotels, Al Ain Water and Etisalat. Mubadala Aerospace, TDIC, Abu Dhabi Aircraft Technologies and Pilatus Aircraft are Silver Sponsors, while Emirates Motor Company is the Official Supplier and ADAC the Host Sponsor. The 2011 edition of the Show is carried out in partnership with Al Ain Municipality and Al Ain Police.