Sergey Rakhmanin, one of the most decorated aerobatic pilots of his generation, has been gradually moving up the pack since joining the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in 2007. The soft-spoken Russian ace has one of the most elegant flying styles in the field and has steadily improved his low-altitude flying skills each year.
Rakhmanin switched from an Edge 540 to an MXS-R last year and with a faster plane quickly rose higher in the standings, grabbing an impressive 5th place on a difficult track in Windsor. But he suffered engine damage in Budapest that put a damper on the second half of his season. The man with the moustache from St. Petersburg is widely recognised as one of the world’s most talented precision-flying pilots. Rakhmanin hopes that extensive off-season modifications to his plane and a detailed analysis of his flying performance in 2009 will help him rise to the next level in 2010.
A pilot who thrives on the more technical courses and especially likes turn-filled tracks, Rakhmanin says one of his main goals is to get the most out of his plane. He is as focused as he is determined. He has developed a large fan following in Russia, where the Red Bull Air Race is a popular TV fixture, and hopes that there will be a race in his home country before long.
Rakhmanin, who was born in Germany and raised in Russia, spent 20 years in the USSR and later Russian Aerobatic teams. Rakhmanin was the last Soviet champion in 1991 and in 1999 he won the European Aerobatic championship. He won the FAI World Aerobatic championship in 2003 and 2005, gaining in the process the coveted title “Honoured Master of Sport of Russia”.