There’s a special type of flying called “aerobatics” or aerial acrobatics. When you see Paul Andronicou flying his Extra 300SC, you’ll be left in no doubt why it’s called such!
The Extra 300SC is a purpose-designed unlimited aerobatic competition aircraft. It is lightweight and powerful, with an engine three times as powerful as a Piper Warrior, but roughly the same weight. It has a symmetrical aerofoil wing, which means it can fly upside down as well as it can right side up. The engine has oil and fuel systems which allow it to keep running upside down too.
Immensely strong, Paul will be manoeuvring the plane to +6G and -3G during his display, but the Extra is stressed for +10 and -10G… which is more than a normal human can withstand without losing consciousness! Put simply, at 6G the aircraft and pilot weigh 6 times as much as when standing on Earth.
With so much forces on Paul’s body, 10 minutes in an aerobatic display is equivalent to an afternoon at the gym!
The Extra is a German design, and is built of composites around a steel tube fuselage and carbon fibre wing.