We Ask the Pilots!
Recently we met up with Kent Jackson, Lionel Mougel and Scott Holmes to talk all things aviation. Regarded as some of the best pilots in Air Race 1 they seemed like the perfect people to ask about what the future holds for Air Race 1 and what they think of Air Race E and what this could mean for the next generation of air racing.
What’s one thing nobody would ever guess about Air Race 1? What surprises people new to the sport?
Kent Jackson: I think people would be surprised by the friendliness of the racers, although we are competing we all share a passion for aviation and as such creates a great camaraderie behind the scenes with everyone. Overall, it’s a great atmosphere to be in.
What’s the most challenging thing for a pilot about Air Race 1?
Lionel Mougel: Keeping safe while travelling at amazing speeds. The planes travel at around 200kph and with other planes racing at the same time your reactions and decision making must be on point to keep yourself, other racers and the public safe throughout the event.
How did you become a pilot (involved in aviation) and get into Air Race 1?
Scott Holmes: I learned to fly through my time in the Canadian Air Cadet program when I was a teenager, from that point I was hooked and realised this is what I wanted to do with the rest of my career. From there I wanted to move on to the next best thing and so I moved into aerobatics and eventually Air Race 1.
What is your favourite plane you have ever piloted (worked on)?
Kent Jackson: I would have to say my plane obviously. Me and the rest of the team spent so long working to perfect the design and create the best plane we could. Seeing the result and having so much success with it has made it an amazing experience.
What tips would you give for people wanting to get into Air Race 1?
Lionel Mougel: Come and get involved, we are always keen to speak to people about aviation, if you are ever at an event the hangar doors are normally open and we love speaking to passionate fans. CLICK HERE to go to the Air Race 1 Contact Information (https://airrace1.com/contact-us/).
What are you most looking forward to about Air Race E?
Scott Holmes: I think the advancements that are being made will be like air racing in the 30s. The technology in this sport is making leaps and bounds and it hopefully will bring new fans to the sport which would be fantastic.
Where do you think Air Race E will be in 5 years’ time and where would you like to see it go?
Kent Jackson: I would love to see an international circuit of races like what Air Race 1 has been able to achieve in the last few years, I think that Air Race E could be even bigger than Air Race 1 due to it being the first aviation race of its kind.
The first Air Race E race is aimed for 2020, how do you think it will differ from Air Race 1 racing?
Scott Holmes: Obviously there will be no refuelling after the races. But the big change will be in the post-race maintenance tasks we complete after each race. Instead of checking mechanical components we will be doing things like checking battery cells and electric components for signs of overheating.
If you have any questions or want to know more about Air Race E, you can visit the official website here.
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