Motorsport with Wings: Red Bull Air Race

rbar-cfd-cropThe Red Bull Air Race returns to Fort Worth in November 2018 to host their season finale at Texas Motor Speedway. If you’re an aviation nerd and haven’t witnessed this event, I highly recommend you get some tickets and come watch.

I’ve heard it said many times in many ways that engineers should love motorsports as a fun and competitive application of their vocation. And motorsports in this context is usually synonymous with Formula 1 and NASCAR.

We at Pointwise are fortunate to work with motorsports teams including our friends at Garry Rogers Motorsport and their V8 Supercar.

For better or worse, I personally can’t work up too much passion for cars. This is not a value judgement, just a statement that I don’t find them too interesting. I appreciate the technology and the level of driver skill involved, but it just doesn’t get my elevator to the penthouse. [I can count on two hands the number of times I’ve raised the hood of my 17 year old car.]

But then I saw a motorsport of a different kind, one with wings. The Red Bull Air Race came to Fort Worth in 2015 and I spent two fabulous afternoons caught up in the excitement of seeing elite pilots flying slalom-like at low-level and at 230 mph.

Red Bull Air Race Championship

If you’re unfamiliar with the Red Bull Air Race, it’s an accredited world championship in which raceplanes are piloted through a low-level course that slaloms through airgates while racing against the clock.

The championship is an international event with 2018’s season beginning in Abu Dhabi and ending in Fort Worth with stops in Cannes, Budapest, and more. There are 14 pilots in the Master Class and 10 pilots in the Challenger class.

Between races there are usually flight demonstrations of various sorts. Last time the event was in Fort Worth there was a P-51 Mustang flight and an acrobatic helicopter demo.


We worked with our partners at Applied CCM on this simulation of an Extra 300 and superimposed it on an image of the airgates at Texas Motor Speedway. Of course, the pilots actually need to come through the gate with wings level but then you wouldn’t be able to see the CFD as well.

Tickets Now on Sale

If you’re still undecided, checkout the Red Bull Air Race channel on YouTube where you’ll find cool videos on

Once you’ve made up your mind, tickets for the Fort Worth event on 17-18 November at Texas Motor Speedway are on sale now.

What are you passionate about meshing?

Not everything we mesh and simulate with CFD will get the type of public visibility that the Red Bull Air Race brings. But we’re all passionate about applying CFD to the products in our everyday workplace. Don’t let meshing detract from that passion. It may be time for you to request a Pointwise demo.


P.S. There is an obvious Red Bull + wings joke here I could have used. I hope you give me some credit for resisting the temptation.




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