Felix Baumgartner shot to adventure athlete stardom when he set a record for high-altitude skydiving in 2012, jumping from an altitude of 128,100 feet (about 24 miles) over Roswell, New Mexico. After his free fall, he spoke of his dream to become a helicopter pilot. We're glad he's a man of his word because three years later, he has given us the Red Bull Heli Drifting clip — which is just as entertaining to watch as it probably was for him to make.
In the video, Baumgartner pilots a Bolkov BO105 — a light, highly maneuverable twin-engine helicopter — while Polish drifting ace Jakub Przygonski mans a 1000 horsepower Toyota GT 86 at the Debrzno Airfield, a former Polish Air Force base. According to Red Bull, "the name of the game was seeing how closely the chopper could track the movements of the racecar."
The footage shows Baumgartner chasing Przygonski along a runway just feet off the ground and inches from Przygonski's Toyota, with Baumgartner tilting the Bolkov helicopter into the turns each time Przygonski spins his car into drifts. "Chasing a drift car with a helicopter is like juggling five blades while standing on a slackline," said Baumgartner in a Red Bull Report.
One stunt even shows the heli knocking a target off the top of the parked Toyota. "He was so close that he hit the GoPro camera attached to my car," said Przygonski. "The helicopter was at 160 kph [99 mph] about 30 cm [11.8 inches] above my head. And if I'm honest, it was a pretty scary moment."
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