Fairytale flight: Race pilots take in views of Neuschwanstein Castle and Zugspitze
Taking a break from their test flights for the Red Bull Air Race debut in France later this month, 2016 World Champion Matthias Dolderer (GER) leads another favorite, Martin Šonka (CZE), for an aerial view of two famously popular tourist destinations that are practically in the German pilot’s backyard: Neuschwanstein Castle and the Zugspitze mountain.
Perched dramatically on a cliff, the 19th-century Neuschwanstein looks like something from a fairytale, while the Zugspitze stretches even higher, its sheer rock face reaching an elevation of 2,962 meters, the highest peak in Germany. By contrast, when glamourous Cannes rolls out the red carpet for the sport on the French Riviera, the field of 14 world-leading pilots will face off near sea level, speeding at 370kmh through a racetrack of pylons that rise just 25 meters above the bay.
“It’s always a pleasure to show my friends some magical places of my home country. Neuschwanstein Castle is a unique historical building and the best way to look at it is from above, plus Zugspitze – with the German and Austrian mountains in the background – makes for dream scenery. I think Martin enjoyed it a lot,” said Dolderer, whose raceplane has been undergoing aerodynamic modifications since the World Championship’s 2018 opener in February. “This was a good opportunity to get the feel back after two months not in the plane. The competition is closer than ever, and all the pilots are capable of winning, so it should be a pretty interesting season ahead!”