Those Magnificent Red Bulls in Their Flying Machines

The Roman Colosseum was originally named the “Flavian Amphitheatre”. This weekend the Swan River becomes the Fluvial Amphitheatre.

For this weekend the Red Bull Air Race series comes to an end here in Perth.


Surrounding the Swan River, a human flood will surge on the dry side of the river banks and gasp at the skill and daring of the pilots who will be risking their lives.


Climbing and diving, twisting between pylons in side-on, wing-down flight.


Unlike Icarus they see how close they can come to the water’s surface, how far from the sun. Yet water could rip those wings off as easily as the sun melted the Greek’s wax-fixed pinions.


Flying over the makeshift control tower, buzzing the officials, convincing the Gods of Flight that they are worthy of flying like falcons through the air.


In front of an assembled multitude who, gaspingly say, “Oh, I hope he doesn’t make a mistake.”

Denying the secret wishes hidden inside most come for this bread and circuses event. The ancient close-kept and feared desire that those Gods of Flight will demand a sacrifice.

Today was just a practise session for the combatants in the Swan River Colosseum. The crowds will attend tomorrow and again on Sunday. All the pilots made it safe home today.


7 responses to “Those Magnificent Red Bulls in Their Flying Machines

  1. Great shots Aerchie!

    And yes, the great attraction of “without-a-net” is the possibility of “with a great splash”.

    It’s the same at circuses and, as I have discussed with co-thespians, live theatre.


  2. Metro, Oh yes, I know all about the thespian bit 🙂 Isn’t it strange that we all have that little bit of nastiness hidden away. I wonder what evolutionary need it fills.


  3. Those are horrible shots. Under exposed, poorly cropped, not level. Learn how to use a camera, and post production.


  4. I’ve looked very very closely and done a little research and have to tell you,
    those aren’t bulls at all!
    Nice piloting, Mr. Archive!


  5. amy, thank you for those constructive comments. I admit they are not professional quality photographs. I recognised that the essay I had written to go with the images was a trifle pretentious so I attempted a photographic informality or an imagic veratis as a balance. I do hope you are not a critic who is bound to the past in all its anally retentive adherence to a falsely idealistic representation of the world around us. In the 21st century we need to record the world as we see it. Not brutally squashed into some outdated idealistic framework. Only Republicans (or Australian Liberals) do that!

    Cybe, I have been lied to! It is advertised as the Red Bull Air Race! Now you are telling me that there are no red bulls involved? What are they then? Little White Bulls?


  6. Why, Amy … what a mean comment! I realise Archie isn’t the world’s best photographer, although some of his work such as his floral work and birds are superb, but he isn’t a professional, as he admits, and doesn’t deserve such a damning comment to be made. I gather you /are/ a professional photographer … although I think you could have couched your criticism in more constructive terms … and are probably trying to help Archie, but it really came out very meanly!

    Maybe you are just having a bad day???!


  7. buff, I think I got trolled. I’ll keep on posting my horrible photographs.


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