What’s On a wing and a prayer - wing walking over Dubai Marina
What’s On previews the Breitling Wing Walkers show for the XCAT World Powerboating Series over Dubai Marina, JBR and The Palm this weekend.
Turn your eye to the sky this weekend and you’ll see one of the world’s most spectacular flying troupes whizzing by.
The UK based Breitling Wing Walkers will be strutting their stuff in above Dubai Marina, JBR and The Palm to celebrate the return to town of the XCAT World Powerboating Series, which takes place at the Dubai International Marine Club.
It is the first time such a performance has taken place in the UAE. The stunts, which include all sorts of acrobatics, as they as wing walking, will be done using two Breitling-liveried 1930s Boeing Stearman bi-planes.
“It’s great to have the well-known Breitling Wingwalker team in the UAE,” said a spokesman. “The team represent our passion for aviation and our strong aeronautical heritage. The Wingwalkers help to display our company values of innovation, performance and precision. I would urge anyone interested in aviation and who haven’t seen the team in action, to make sure they take time to watch the show from along the beach area. It’s quite an incredible sight.”
Ahead of the show, What’s On was treated to a very special experience on the wings of one of the planes….
Words by Laura Coughlin
When it comes to extreme activities, you can usually find me at the front the queue. I’m not sure whether it’s because I choose to be at the front, or if my fellow colleagues push me to the front. Nevertheless, I’m usually there, with a smile on. Bungee jumping? No worries. Sky diving? Absolutely. I’m there. With bells on. But nothing was to prepare me for that wing walking experience.
The engine of the plane shudders and roars into life and I check that I’m strapped in safely for the 90th time. The plane faces down the Skydive Dubai runway that now stretches out towards the sea. LET’S GET GOING! I may have been on a plane a hundred times, but this time I am quite literally ON the plane – strapped to the wings. We start hurtling down the runway, gathering speed at a startling pace. This is it….
I’m here with the internationally renowned Breitling Wing Walkers – an aerial display team that are used to performing impressive tricks such as loop-the-loops with a brave wingwalker atop their wings, but there’ll be none of that today – instead I sit tight, wave my arms around like a teenager at a One Direction concert and wipe the drool off my face.
There is very little to learn before walking your first wing. Thumbs up for ‘This is the best day of my life!’ thumbs down for ‘I’m about to vom all over your nice shiny plane.’ Before I know it I’m soaring through the sky.
I spend the entire 10 minutes screaming.
As the initial rushes of elation recede, I chill out for a moment and start to take in the experience a little more attentively. I start to look around. What an incredible view. We fly over The Palm and I wave to people below at a beach club. We zoom over yachts aiming straight for Burj Al Arab before plummeting towards the sea. It’s the thrill of a skydive, the tranquility of a paraglide and the sensation of really, truly flying is one I’ll never forget.