Red Bull pilot stuns with daring tunnel flight

Samo Vidic / Red Bull Content Pool

Red Bull has claimed another daring record. The company, known for sponsoring flying stunts, has posted a video of Italian pilot Dario Costa flying a plane through two tunnels. 

The stunt, which took place near Istanbul, Turkey at dawn on September 4, saw Costa taking off from inside one tunnel, speeding through it, before entering into the daylight in a gap in the road and then zipping through a second tunnel. He celebrated exiting the second tunnel with a loop. 

The flight, in a modified Zivko Edge 540 race plane, lasted 43.44 seconds, covered a distance of 2.26 kilometers and saw the plane reach a top speed of 245 kilometers per hour, Red Bull said in a statement. 

Professional stunt and race pilot Costa, 41, had to keep the plane at about 1 meter off the ground at the most, while the clearance to each wingtip was about 3.5 meters in the tunnels. 

I’d never flown in a tunnel in my life – nobody had ever done it – so there was a big question mark in my head whether everything would go as we expected or if there would be something to improvise,” Costa commented in the Red Bull statement. “It was a big relief, of course, but big, big happiness was the main emotion. For me, it’s another dream come true.”

Costa was mentored by Hungarian aerobatic and racing pilot Péter Besenyei, 65, who played a role in developing and competing in the Red Bull Air Race.

Besenyei said flying one meter above ground is not so hard -  if you’re on a runway. In the dark tunnel, it’s a different matter. 

“It’s difficult in your mind because you know that if you make a mistake, the wall is hard.”


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