The IF1 and Air Race 1 World Cup are the only international competition with multiple aircraft racing together. Unlike other events, this race sees pilots racing directly against each other to be the first to cross the finish line after eight laps around a tight circuit.
In each race, 8 of the world’s best pilots take command of the only real race aircraft to accept the ultimate challenge of pilot and machine – just 10 meters above the ground at speeds of 450km/h.
For live and television audiences this is the chance to feel the true power of speed in the world’s most intense motorsport.
Since the sport began in Reims, France 1909, Air Racing has regularly been used as a platform to develop and showcase new technologies and to promote brands.
The sleek aircraft in our sport, known for 70 years as “Formula 1 Air Racing’” are the only aircraft in the world built with a sole purpose to race – they are designed to the specifications of the race formula.
It is a race class that sets strict parameters to ensure all pilots – men and women, young and old – race on a level playing field. Only a combination of highly-trained skills and a honed engineering expertise can win the day.
Mercè Martí was born in Barcelona September 9th, 1968 and her life has been always linked to the sports. She obtained good results in athletics and participated in several international races. Her spirit brought her to fly for the first time when she was 17th and instantly she decided that flying would be part of her life. She went to the United States in 1989 to obtain her Commercial Pilot License, IFR and Multiengine Ratings.
Once she obtained the licenses she returned to Spain to convert all her American FAA Licenses to European EASA. In 1992 she came back to the States to get her Instructor Ratings CFI, CII, MEI and create a pilots’ school “Cardinal Wings” in Kentucky, where she worked as a co-manager and Flight Instructor.
Returned to Spain she worked as commercial pilot for a Cargo Company flying a Fairchild Metroliner and two years later for a Spanish Airline (Spanair) flying the MD-80. Mercè has been always combining her passion of flying with air races, preparing flight expeditions and conferences. Also she is involved as a reporter for national TV and radio programs in Spain.
Currently she is in front of her aviation company Infinit Air founded in 2000 specialized in aerial work activities such surveillance flights and photography www.infinitair.com. From 2012 to 2016 shared activity as a Regional Account Manager for Shell Lubricants for Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece achieving great results.
Her sportive activity has brought Mercè to be one of the 100 Big Spanish Adventurers of all times, published in “La Revista”, a special Sunday Supplement of “El Mundo” newspaper. Mercè was awarded with the FAI Gold Medal and has been inducted into “The Forest of Friendship” at the Amelia Earhart Museum in Kansas EEUU in 1996. In 2004 was awarded by the Spanish Geographical Society for her trip with a 1930 biplane Bucker.
- Winner of the Race around the World in 1994. First Spanish person to race around the world and the first woman to win it, 33.500 Km. in 92:27h in a Cessna 210P.
- Three World Speed Records in North American and Asiatic routes. Category C1D
- Second position in the Race of the Americas in 1996. 30.000 Km through the American Continent in a Mooney 203
- Bronze medal in the First World Air Games 1997 in Turkey flying as the Spanish Team in a PA-30 "Spirit of Freixenet"
- Organizer of the Flight Expedition Discovery Flight in 1998, to commemorate the first flights to the Spanish Colonies over the Western part of Africa in a 1944 Fairchild
- The Great Hawaiian Air Race 2002, seventh overall in a Cessna 177
- The US Air Race, July 2002. First position in a Piper Lance
- EADS Centennial Flight 2003, Flight expedition to celebrate the 100 Anniversary of 1st Flight flying a 1930 biplane Bucker through Spain
- 25th Anniversary Rally Toulouse -St. Louis de Senegal -Toulouse 2007. Ruta Aeropostal
- The Great Bahamas Air Race 2011, third place in a Piper Lance
The Cassutt Sport Racer aircraft is available to home builders and is supported by plans, parts, and kits. It was developed in 1960 by TWA Captain Tom Cassutt on original racer winner. No other design has raced more races at the Reno National Air Races. It is fun, fast , flies strong and over 600 has been built world wide.
A Cassutt can top well over 210 MPH with its Continental O-200 of 100HP.
The aircraft is tiny , with a slender steel-tube fuselage converted either in a fabric, glass fiber or carbon composite skin, housing a cramped cockpit surmounted by a canopy only a little bigger than the pilot’s head. Has a fixed landing gear , which like the rest of the aircraft is carefully streamlined and faired to reduce drag, while the wing, although required to have a minimum area by the rules, is tiny.
Depending on the wing and tail some can get the 250 MPH. Stall at 65-70 Climb 1200 fpm Empty Weight are about 575 Pounds Gross 950. Fuel Capacity of 10 Gallons. Standard Span 15 foot Length.
- Winner in Silver Category in Thailand last November at the Air Race 1 World Cup.
- Second position in Silver Category Reno National Championship - September 2017.
Formula one air racing is based on a very technical set of rules that makes sure all airplanes have the same basic specifications- the same formula. These rules include important limitations such as:
- Each plane must have wings with a total of at least 66 square feet of area.
- Each plane must weigh over 500 pounds
- Even the pilot has to be over a certain weight of he/she must wear more weight in their flightsuit
- The engine must be a stock 100 horse power Continental -200.Some modifications are allowed.
- The aircraft must have fixed landing gear and a fixed pitch propeller.
- Every plane must be filled with 5 gallons of fuel
- And many more interesting regulations…
These rules are strict in order to allow planes to compete on an equal basis. But there is still a lot of room for each plane to be quite different as long as they fall within the guidelines of the formula.
During the race, all airplanes start together on the runway in what is called a “standing start”- just like car races.
Up to 8 airplanes line up in rows on the runway and when the green flag is waived by the judge the race begins!
- Airplanes then take off together and they are already racing. They must perform a left-hand circuit, which means a left turn around a circular race course (very similar to the one used in NASCAR in the USA).
- The airplanes complete 8 laps. Each lap is 5 km in distance and takes less than 1 minute to travel flying at speeds of up to 450 kph.
- To guide the airplanes around the course there are six race markers, or “pylons” that are placed to create an oval pattern. They are numbered 1 through 6 for reference purposes. The airplanes fly down to 10 meters altitude to hug the course and maintain the tightest race line
- Pilots may pass each other throughout the race. Overtaking should be performed on the outside (the right side) unless the plane being passed is flying a very wide circuit. The safety of the maneuver is always the responsibility of the airplane trying to pass-great care must be taken to make sure it is safe!
- To overtake another airplane, a pilot must usually generate at least 7-10mph of speed differential and they must make it quickly or lose the opportunity. To gain such speed a pilot may have to start the maneuver from a higher altitude to convert height into energy at the right moment. Sometimes a better race line is enough and other times one plane is just faster than another and wins the battle.
- An airplane is not permitted to fly inside of a pylon. If a pilot cuts inside a pylon a time penalty is given. A pilot may even be disqualified for big errors.
- In the end, the firs plane to cross the finish line is the winner. This is real racing! True motorsport at its fastest!
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