Pilot Dario Costa crosses two tunnels in a plane at over 200km / h, a world first

For the first time, Italian pilot Dario Costa achieved the feat of piloting his plane at high speed through two consecutive tunnels.

Among all the sane pilots on our planet, most make it a point of honor to stay as far as possible from the ground and any obstacles. But that’s without counting some adrenaline junkies, who take pleasure in performing pirouettes as majestic and technical as they are risky. And among the craziest acrobatics imaginable, there is certainly the flight through a tunnel; the kind of insanity that you only find in games like GTA… or among the berserk at Red Bull.

On behalf of the red bull team, accustomed to brilliant shots based on performances as dangerous as well filmed, the Italian pilot Dario Costa embarked on a mad race: last Saturday, he flew through no not one, but two consecutive tunnels aboard his Zivko Edge 540!

Narrow tunnel and nerves of steel

On a Turkish highway obviously privatized for the occasion, it took less than 44 seconds for this seasoned veteran to cover a distance of 2.26km, including 1.73km of tunnels. An absolutely devilish performance, knowing the inhuman precision that such a maneuver requires.

Indeed, Costa had to keep his aircraft on an extremely precise trajectory. Throughout the course, the wing tips were only a few meters from the walls and less than two meters from the ground. The latter was not, moreover, perfectly horizontal; it included a slight drop in height, which further complicated the operation. Suffice to say that the slightest error would certainly have been fatal.

And to spice things up, the pilot had to deal with a capricious air flow, which threatened to deflect the machine, especially during the critical section between the two tunnels. According to RedBull, to stay on course, he had to perform a host of ultra-precise micromaneuvers, with hand movements of barely a few millimeters. And to top it off, because of the extreme speed (up to 245km / h), it had less than a quarter of a second for each of these vital adjustments! Suffice to say that it is better to have a firm hand and excellent reflexes.

© Nuri Yilmazer for Red Bull Content Pool

Records in spades

Fortunately for him, Dario Costa showed his nerves of steel by managing to cross the two tunnels before offering himself a more than deserved celebration candle. In passing, he inherited the title of first pilot to cross a tunnel aboard a plane under the leadership of the Guinness Book of Records. He also became the first to take off from a tunnel, and also won the record for the longest flight under a solid object.

Obviously, these are “only” the records approved by Guinness, and they must therefore be taken with a grain of salt; but that in no way detracts from the exceptional performance of the pilot, who has shown unfailing composure by offering a real piloting masterclass. Hats off, Mr. Costa!

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