Some call it impossible, others inspiring, many call it insane. Rob Holland calls it his day job.
Pushing the limits of possibility is what Rob thrives on. The world-renowned aerobatic pilot will keep fans glued to their seats at this year’s STIHL National Championship Air Races when he performs Thursday, Sept. 12 through Sunday, Sept. 15.
When asked about his performance, Rob said “If you blink you are probably going to miss something.” And it’s no surprise when you hear he regularly pulls 16 positive and negative g’s and rolls at an astonishing 500 degrees per second in his fast-paced airshows.
At this point in his career Rob is in a class all to himself. He is one of the most decorated aerobatic pilots in the world with eight national aerobatic championship wins, four world freestyle golds and 24 international medals.
Rob was infatuated by the sport at an early age and grew up attending airshows throughout New England. He earned his pilot’s license in his teens and began flying aerobatics almost immediately. He built flight time as a corporate pilot, commuter pilot, banner tower, flight instruction and ferry pilot. In 2002 Rob opened his own aerobatic flight school. He is now in his 18th year as a full-time performer with a reputation for incredible handling, boundless enthusiasm for aerobatics and performing never-before-seen maneuvers.
Last April Rob’s custom, 100 percent carbon fiber American made MXS-RH suffered a catastrophic engine failure during a ferry flight between air shows. Rob walked away unharmed but his plane is out for the year.
Luckily Rob hasn’t missed a beat, jumping into the MX2 he flew from 2007 to 2011. The two-seater won gold at the 2008 World Advanced Aerobatic Championships and he won his first U.S. National Aerobatic Freestyle Title flying the aircraft.
As a self-proclaimed former “biplane guy,” Rob originally tested the MX prototype with hesitation. He was hooked. The carbon fiber MX allows him to do true nose-to-tail outside maneuvers. Powered by a 260-horsepower Lycoming IO-540 flat-six piston engine with a three-blade tractor propeller, the MX2 has impeccable handling and remains light-weight and powerful. With a max speed of 253 and a stall speed of 67 the aircraft will not hold Holland back from putting on a jaw-dropping show.
“I’m extremely excited to perform in Reno. The National Championship Air Races are world renowned and at the top of any pilot’s bucket list,” said Rob. “It’s a true honor. I’m looking forward to also watching the races.”
Rob will be in Reno for the 2019 STIHL National Championship Air Races Thursday through Sunday giving fans a chance to witness the best-of-the-best in aerobatic shows.
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