Stunt Pilot Blasts Through Motorway Tunnel At 150Mph To Set New World Record
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CA daredevil stunt pilot has just made history after becoming the first person ever to fly a plane through a road tunnel - twice. Watch below:
The nail-biting feat - which set a new world record - had never been attempted before, until veteran stunt pilot Dario Costa of Italy flew his specially modified Zivko Edge 540 racing aircraft through the Tunnel Pass system near Istanbul, Turkey on Saturday.
Precision skill was needed as Costa navigated the two concrete tunnels, maintaining an altitude of just three feet as he zipped down the motorway in a stunt that he later claimed had been years in the making.
Limited overhead clearance meant that he had to keep the aircraft on an average flight path between 70cm and 1m above the asphalt, while also managing a tight distance of about 3.5m between each wingtip and the unforgiving tunnel walls.
Further complicating the trajectory were minor changes in the tunnel's incline and shape, which had understandably not been designed with an aircraft in mind.
Costa set off at 6.34am, and despite a strong cross-wind, the Red Bull stunt pilot perfectly navigated his plane through the 360-metre tunnel and into a longer second one, which measured 1,160 metres.
Changes to airflow, combined with the highly sensitive steering of the aircraft, required reaction times of less than 250 milliseconds as Costa executed fine hand movements of mere millimetres throughout the flight, aware that even the slightest mistake could kill him.
The entire stunt took 43.44 seconds to complete, with Costa celebrating with a 360-degree loop and punching his fist in delight after emerging into the open air.
He was then presented with his Guinness World Record certificates upon landing, for the longest tunnel flown through with an aeroplane.
His achievement also notched another four records - the first aeroplane flight through a tunnel, the longest flight under a solid obstacle, the first aeroplane flight through two tunnels and the first aeroplane take-off from a tunnel.
Speaking after the fact, an emotional Costa said: "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.
"It was a big relief, of course, but big, big happiness was the main emotion. For me it's another dream come true."
"Everything seemed to be happening so fast, but when I got out of the first tunnel, the plane started to move to the right because of the cross winds, and in my head, everything slowed down in that moment.
"I reacted and just focused on getting the plane back on the right path to enter the other tunnel. Then in my mind everything sped up all over again."
Assisting Costa in his endeavour were a team of 40 support staff, specially developed training technology and more than a year of intense preparation.
Well, I suppose you'd definitely need the latter. Nice work!
Featured Image Credit: Red Bull
Topics: Interesting, Weird