LONDON | The governing body of air sports, the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI), has formally agreed to partner with the fledgling World Championship Air Race (WCAR), with racing to begin in 2022.
WCAR announced in early January that they will become the official successor to the much-loved Red Bull Air Race (RBAR) series, which ended in 2021. Many RBAR competitors and organisers are expected to take part in the new series, with Jimbo Reid, Paul Bonhomme, Jim Dimatteo and Nigel Lamb all confirmed as members of the advisory board.
Willie Cruickshank, WCAR Race Series Director, said: “We are delighted to announce this exciting new agreement between the FAI and World Championship Air Race to bring city-centre air-racing back to the public.”
“World Championship Air Race now has the commitment from the best race pilots in the world, flying the best aircraft, under the exclusive jurisdiction of the world governing body, putting us in a very strong position as we build towards Season 1 which we plan to debut in early 2022.”
The FAI have granted WCAR with exclusive staging rights for manned air-gated air racing for at least the next 15 years. They will also provide safety oversight and governence for the new series.
By the fifth season of WCAR, organisers plan to have four tiers of competition: Aero/GP1, the top tier of competition, similar to RBAR; Aero/GT, a feeder competition for less experienced pilots; VTOL/J, for jet-powered Vertical Take Off and Landing (VTOL) aircraft; and VTOL/E for electric VTOL aircraft. Aircraft competing in Aero/GP1 and Aero/GP will consist of raceplanes such as the Edge 540 and MXS-R, but organisers hope these will run on sustainable, low-emission fuel in future seasons.
They will also establish the WCAR Academy, helping to introduce new talent to the sport. The academy will be headquartered in the UK, with training facilities across the world.
Another major aim of WCAR is to expand the event to include side acts, live music performances and an Aviation Tech Village in each host city.
Late last year, the sport got a boost from Greenpro, a capital investment company from Malaysia. Greenpro said the new series will be flying into cities around the world, with races planned in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Australia, India, China, South Africa, United Kingdom and France.