Road Trip: Red Bull Museum (Hangar 7)


The entire Flying Bulls airplane collection at Hangar 7 includes five Fairchild Dornier Alpha Jets, a North American B-25J Mitchell, a T-28B Trojan, a Vought F4U-4 Corsair, a Pilatus Turbo Porter PC-61B2-H4, a Cessna C208 Amphibian caravan, and a Pitts 52B.  A few of the helicopters include a decommissioned Bell TAH-12 Cobra and a Bo105 aerobatic helicopter.

 Chance Vought F4U-4 Corsair
The Chance Vought F4U-4 Corsairs were fighter bombers during WWII and the Korean War, though this particular one flew in Honduras and Texas before finding a home in Salzburg.  

The showstopper is a Douglas DC-6B (pictured in the 1st page), the penultimate one off the production line in 1958. It was produced for the national Yugoslavian airline, JAT. Instead of transporting passengers however, this DC-6 was converted into a luxurious private transport and sold to the Zambian air force. They were later used to fly tourists over west Africa before coming up for sale in March 2000. The Flying Bulls GM purchased the DC-6 and ferried it home 26 hours. With no hangar yet built, the plane was disassembled in the field grass.  The restoration project required rebuilding 78% of the airplane's structure thanks to corrosion and infestation by African wasps.  It took 30 men 4 years to complete.

This Zlin 50 LX airplane is part of the Flying Bulls aerobatics team (4 in total), which is based in the Czech Republic. The four pilots include Radka Machova, the first woman to lead an aerobatic team, Left Wing Jiri Saller, Right Wing Miroslav Krejci, and Slot Jiri Veprek.  

There is a specialist assigned to each plane and for the high maintenance aircraft like the DC-6 and B-25, each hour in the air requires about 50 hours of maintenance.  

Bell 47 G-3B-1 Soloy
The Bell 47 G-3B-1 (Soloy conversion).  The Bell 47 was designed as the first civilian helicopter in the world in 1946.  This model was built in 1966.  The name Soloy refers to the company that converted the original 220 horsepower 6 cylinder Lycoming reciprocating engine to a Allison 250 C-20B powertrain, which requires less maintenance.


Bell Cobra TAH-1
The Bell Cobra TAH-1 was almost part of the helicopter graveyard.  A few years back, the pilot caught a skid in the grass while landing and almost somersaulted it to the right.  He yanked the collective and managed to land a few feet away.

There are four Dornier Alpha Jets in the collection. It's not the easiest thing to buy a military plane. The German military doesn't sell to private parties. The Alpha Jet in this collection was designed in the 1970's as a trainer and light attack jet. It was retired in the 1990's, auctioned off with wing spans cut so they couldn't be used. The Flying Bulls purchased 2 in 2001, neither in a fly-right condition, but it was the first time they could be purchased directly from the manufacturer and the first Alpha Jets demilitarized and licensed for civilian use. Two more Alpha Jets in fly ready condition were later purchased. Since these planes were never available for civilian use, there were no guidelines set up for flight training.  A former Luftwaffe instructor provided the retraining.  Luftwaffe was the aerial warfare division of the German Wehrmacht during World War II.


The Bo105 is the world's only aerobatic licensed helicopter.  It was also the first light helicopter to be equipped with twin engines and fully redundant hydraulics and electronics. The fuel and oil supplies are built into the engine.  Chief Rotary Wing pilot Siegfried Schwarz occasionally offers a lesson to Red Bull employees.  One of his trainees was world rally champion Sebastian Loeb.  

Hangar 7 is kept cleaner than a hospital emergency room.  Drip pans may be found, but they have never caught a drop of oil.  The floors are suitable to serve a royal feast.

Boeing PT-17 Stearman
The Boeing PT-17 Stearman is a biplane construction first used for military training in the 1930's and 1940's. After WWII, they were sold off to become crop dusters and for aerobatics and wing walking in airshows.  It has a 9 cylinder double row radial engine and is often referred to as the “Harley Davidson of the Sky.”


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