Kirby Chambliss was on the podium for the first time in five years in Spielberg, but the competitive American will not be satisfied with third place – he's in the Red Bull Air Race World Championship to win!
With the ever-increasing need to push their raceplanes to the limits, the pilots will do all they can to make their aircraft slicker, faster and more competitive in the Red Bull Air Race World Championship.
US pilot Kirby Chambliss has decided that the 2015 season is over for him, and it's time to look forward. Team Chambliss has been desperate to make modifications since the end of the 2014 season, but only had two weeks to work on his raceplane before the 2015 season started.
Now with the European leg of the season almost over, Chambliss and his team will be heading home and have time to work on his Edge. But it's not just Team Chambliss' technician Jason Resop who will be involved in the remodelling – Edge manufacturer Zivko will also be in on the action too.
"It's going to be a whole different raceplane," explained Resop. "We're going to cut it down and make it a lot slicker, it's going to be pretty cool. A lot is going to change," he added.
The team was originally going to make modifications throughout the season, but finding time with the raceplane has been an issue. So with Chambliss' raceplane back in the US it'll be heading to Zivko Aeronautics, the manufacturer of the Edge 540, to have its overhaul. "We're going to fly in Fort Worth and then the raceplane will go to have all the work done," said Resop. "All the new components are being built right now and will be ready to go as soon as the aircraft is there. Then the components will be fitted and painted all in time for Las Vegas – we're really excited about it," he added.
Chambliss has worked closely with Zivko for more than 20 years, and the manufacturer knows the score when it comes to the American air race pilot's raceplane. "I'll be there for the start, but most of the work will be done by Zivko. They do really, really good work, so I'm going to leave it in their hands," explained Resop.
How will these changes affect Chambliss himself, who is desperate to be a title contender once again? "I think it'll give Kirby more confidence," said Resop. "We've been waiting to make these changes for a long time. After the 2014 season, we only had the raceplane for two weeks. We put all our effort into making a new cowling that and in the end it didn't make any difference. Most of this new stuff has been tested. So in theory the numbers have been done and it should work," he explained.
So expect there to be a vastly different looking raceplane in Chambliss' hangar very shortly. "It'll be cool in Vegas, but there will be even more changes to come for the next season. We're ready to move on," concluded Resop.