Rick Volker: The Performer
Rick Volker entered the competition aerobatic world by storm, winning numerous regional Unlimited contests, such as the Can-Am, Henry Haigh, and Kathy Jaffe Challenges. Rick is a former competitor in athletic events such as swimming, speed skating, bicycle racing, cross-country skiing and body building. Such is the type of conditioning required to fly at this level, as it tests the limits of human endurance. While flying Unlimited aircraft, Rick alternates between plus-11 and minus-9 Gs often in the same maneuver. Unlimited pilots train for this type of extreme flying with the same intensity as any other fitness sport.
He has competed in aerobatic competitions for many years in high performance aircraft such as the Pitts Biplanes and Sukhoi monoplanes. Rick is known for flying the WWII Supermarine Spitfire MK IX in a spectacular display of surface level aerobatics. He is one of a few pilots in the world qualified to fly the rare Messerschmitt Bf109E, and has flown the same serial number Bf109 as Hans-Joachim Marseilles in an air show dogfight routine vs. the Hawker Hurricane. His other qualifications include brilliant displays of the Hawker Hurricane MK XII and the Harvard Mk. IV. He was a member of the exclusive Canadian Heritage Flight team where he has flown the Spitfire Mk.IX in close formation with the CF-18 fighter. He is a piston warbird, high performance, and formation aerobatic ACE (Aerobatic Competency Evaluator).
There is a common theme in all of Rick’s displays: complete mastery of the aircraft’s possible flight envelope, pushing the boundaries of both low and high speed limits, and artfully utilizing the smallest 3 D space to create a masterpiece of entertainment.
Rick is featured on the PBS series “The Aviators” Season 1, Episode 8.
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