First Gold for Britain in Unlimited Aerobatics

 XtremeAir XA41

Among the 21 of the best European aerobatic pilots who competed in the European Freestyle Aerobatic Championship in Slovakia, air display and competition pilot Gerald Cooper from Lincolnshire was held the champion. Cooper, competing in the new XtremeAir XA41 high performance monoplane, became the first ever Brit to receive a gold medal in Unlimited aerobatics in the history of aerobatic sport flying.
Cooper flew a freestyle routine choreographed to demonstrate the art of precision flying and the impressive capabilities of this new carbon fibre aircraft with its superb power to weight ratio. Performing a combination of high-speed, animated gyroscopic figures that seemingly defy the laws of physics and aerodynamics, Cooper and the XA41 equally impressed the judging panel in the competition.

“Gerald was flying the XA41 in only his second international competition in this radical new, all-carbon, high-performance monoplane among a field of 22 of Europe’s top competition pilots. Gerald’s innovative style, sometimes quirky, sometimes using the XA41’s remarkable control authority at low speed, set him apart from his competitors in a way that gained the approval of the ten International judges,” explains Alan Cassidy MBE, British Aerobatic Association (BAeA) Chairman.

Cooper believes the XA41’s strength and ability to respond faster, turn quicker and climb better than its competitors is largely responsible for his Gold medal.

Testament to the capabilities of the XtremeAir aircraft is the fact that eight other competitors chose the same machine for the competition. XtremeAir’s Designer Philipp Steinbach, representing Germany, competed in the two-seat version XA42 finishing fifth in the Freestyle competition.

The XtremeAir XA41 is a new carbon fibre aircraft that has superior power to weight ratio providing lots of room for a creative pilot’s imagination to invent new figures whilst expanding their own envelope. Cooper describes the XA41 as ‘a fast, good looking and incredibly light to the touch. It is also a capable tourer – with a range in excess of 900 miles – ideal for transit between air displays and aerobatic competitions.’

The XA41 is capable of over 220mph and has a roll rate in excess of 500 degrees per second, which is one and a half times round per second. It has a climb rate of 3,500ft per minute. It is light on the controls and is comparable to a Formula One race car.

Cooper reflected on his win, saying “Winning this event was a real surprise in only my second season flying this new aeroplane. For me, this award is recognition of all the hard work on engineering, management and development by the fantastic team we have at One Sky Aviation without whom competing – and winning – would not be possible.”

“This is a great result for Gerald and for the British Unlimited Aerobatic Team. Gerald’s individual Freestyle Gold, the first ever by a UK pilot in an Unlimited European or World Championship, shows once again that Team GB is able to compete at World level in powered sport aerobatics despite the complete absence, so far, of any backing from the usual sporting lottery funds administered by Sport UK,” adds Cassidy.

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