Sorry but I have to “KillaThrill”

Posted on 06. Nov, 2008 by in Featured

There is a widely circulating youtube video showing an alleged Red Bull air racer shedding a wing and landing the aircraft perfectly sans’ said wing. Looks cool, great camera work and- sorry; totally bogus. I’ll leave aside the subtle stuff like out of place radio traffic and the fact there are no signs of a Red Bull circuit in the back ground or that the alleged pilot interviewed is not on the circuit.

Let’s stick to aerodynamics and of course physics. As I have written in the past “a good pilot must know the laws of aerodynamics; but a good fighter pilot must know how to use physics to defy those laws.” And indeed an Israeli F-15 years ago lost a wing in a mid-air collision, and returned to base for a safe landing. However; the F-15’s fuselage is a lifting body. That means the fuselage is part wing, producing its own lift.

ISSUE #1: The aircraft rolls for no apparent reason; in a red Bull race the object is to get through the maneuvers and course with the lowest elapsed time and no penalties. To do this the pilots keep the aircraft loaded with maximum g to keep the lift vector always down the race course. They would never do an un-loaded roll or ease the g in a vertical move.
ISSUE#2: While it has happened in past accidents it is very unusual for a wing to catastrophically fail while unloaded and at a slow speed; as happened in the video.
ISSUE #3: The aircraft rolls and subsequently spirals the wrong direction; i.e. into the remaining wing. With only one wing producing lift the aircraft would roll opposite the remaining wing not into it. Even if you take into account zero airspeed and torque produced from the engine for initial rotation direction; as it accelerated it would have reversed directions violently.
ISSUE#4: Actually I will buy flying at full throttle, 90 degrees angle of bank. Hanging on the engine and using the rudder as an elevator is believable. However the wings level move just prior to touch down with one wing? Not buying it; also taxi speed within 10 feet, doesn’t seem likely either.

They should have gotten a good Aviation Technical advisor. I’ve fixed stuff like that for movies in the past. Good attempt tho; and it is getting tons of hits. I’ve had it passed to me by three different sources already.

8 Responses to “Sorry but I have to “KillaThrill””

  1. Vicky 9 November 2008 at 10:38 #

    I think I’d believe you before believing YouTube! Thanks for the info … interesting ;)

  2. Chip 9 November 2008 at 15:23 #

    You are welcome. chip

  3. Jon 10 November 2008 at 19:08 #

    OK, what you say makes sense. You obviously have a much better idea than the rest of us if you’re a pilot.

    One question, though: Is the video totally fake, or could the various stunts be done with a good RC model and a skilled pilot?

  4. chip 11 November 2008 at 17:31 #

    Excelent question! I’ll answer in a post.

  5. Killroy 4 December 2008 at 14:05 #

    There is a youtube video of a RC model plane losing a wing. The owner manage to land the model, but it’s nose hit the ground first damaging the landing gear and nose assembly. I think the makers of the killathrill video saw that video. Because the RC model handled like the plane in the video.

  6. chip 5 December 2008 at 09:50 #

    I absolutely agree and if you look at the next post I made on, 7 November, you can see the video. Also I keep getting sent links to the bogus clip, so I put the videos next to each other on my latest post,on 3 December. Take a look at the videos side by side, it is very obvious.

  7. Tony 12 January 2009 at 09:34 #

    I liked the video, but the second the plane lands you can see the odd blurred shadows of a cgi special. The grass is all wrong (too deep and again blurred). Don’t get me wrong, it’s done brilliantly and frame by frame must have take hours- well done guys.

  8. chip 15 January 2009 at 00:38 #

    You definately have to admire the amount of traffic it has driven, which no doubt was the point.

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