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Pilot profile: Paul Bonhomme


Red Bull Air Race pilot - Paul BonhommeIt all began for Bonhomme as a “hangar rat”, cleaning planes as a boy in an Aero Club, and by the time he was 17 he had a flying licence and he started training in aerobatics immediately.

His father was a pilot in the British Army Air Corps and later an Airline Captain, and his brother is also in the aviation industry as an Airline Captain too. It’s little wonder then, that the youngest member of the Bonhomme family also ended up as a professional pilot flying as Captain on the Boeing 747.

He lives in Cambridgeshire with his girlfriend Laura.

Paul, who enjoys motorcycling (when he can find spare time!), likes to focus his off-duty hours in pursuit of his calling.

He has flown in over 500 airshows since 1986, many of which have been in a Sukhoi together with Air Race teammate Steve Jones prior to stepping up in 2005 to the greatest challenge in flying with the Red Bull Air Race.

“Some people have plans. My plan is to win the Red Bull Air Race,” the 42-year-old says.

His three third place finishes in the 2005 season marked the start. In 2006 he won at Longleat and had two second place finishes in Istanbul and Budapest, coming fourth overall in the series.

Bonhomme keeps himself fit with mountain biking, fit for the extensively modified Edge which he’ll be flying this year, modified and tuned by Wade Hammond, his technician for the last two years and for 2007.

“We’ve been training hard to get used to the new mods. After all, you’ve got to be familiar with a 330 horsepower, 430 kph aeroplane that weighs just 500 kgs. “We’ll be ready and I’ll be up there challenging for victory”.

Back to Red Bull Air Race ... Paul Bonhomme official site ...
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