NEW πŸ“—Story: Island Hopper ❌

High-stakes air racing

Saturday, Nov 2, 2019

Each year, a race is held amongst the most remarkable geological monuments of Vekllei’s interior. Steep mountains forged in the restlessness of the European and American tectonic plates become deadly checkpoints in the world’s most high-stakes aeroplane race in the Western Hemisphere.

Low-speed, high-maneuverability jets (manufactured by the likes of General Reactor, V.K. Heavy Industries, and Kaleidoscope Aerospace) roar through narrow valleys in time trials that last only a few minutes. These jets are built differently from your standard light aerocraft, and feature heavily shielded reactors and cockpits (or, unusually, combustion engines), automatic ejection mechanisms, and a fuselage and wings designed to crumple upon impact. They are constructed first and foremost around high-velocity crashes.

Although a high-risk sport where fatalities are common, it remains popular in Europe and Vekllei. In the latter, the races are organised and subsidised by air racing orgs, usually clubs or pilot associations, and enthusiasts hike the otherworldly slopes of the valleys to watch racing jets compete for glory. In a world where seconds make the difference between failure and a world record, aerocrafts and pilots are pushed to their limits.