Rick Volker
Rick Volker

Rick Volker

Rick has created a unique performance in the Sukhoi SU-26M. There is a common theme in all of his 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 three dimensional space to create a masterpiece of entertainment.

The Sukhoi SU-26M is like no other Unlimited aerobatic airplane. Designed in an era of unlimited Soviet budgets, it’s a super plane out to prove a point… and the point was made with after win in the World Aerobatic Championships. Its ultra high lift wing features a massive symmetrical camber. The titanium and composite airframe can withstand G loads that are unsurvivable by humans (even Rick). Paired with the nearly 400 horsepower Vendeneyev M-14P radial engine, a better than 1:1 thrust to weight ratio was achieved. The result is a plane that can do the things it does in any flight attitude, and many things that can’t be replicated by any other aircraft. Rick takes full advantage of the Sukhoi’s unique capabilities. His routines are a roller coaster of artistry and athleticism, alternating frequently between violent maneuvers and delicate finesse.

Entering the competition aerobatic world by storm, Rick won numerous regional Unlimited aerobatic contests, such as the Can-Am, Henry Haigh, and Kathy Jaffe Challenges in both the Pitts biplanes and Sukhoi monoplanes. He is a former competitor in athletic events such as swimming, speed skating, bicycle racing, cross-country skiing, body building, and he is an active track cyclist. This 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.

Rick is known for flying the WWII Supermarine Spitfire Mk. IX in a spectacular display of surface level aerobatics, and as a member of the exclusive Canadian Heritage Flight team where he flew in close formation with the CF-18 fighter. He is one of a very few pilots in the world qualified to fly both the Messerschmitt Bf109E and G models. He has flown the same serial number Bf109 as did Hans-Joachim Marseilles in an air show dogfight routine vs the Hawker Hurricane, and solo before the crowd at the Red Bull Air Races. His other qualifications include brilliant full aerobatic displays in the Hawker Hurricane MK XII and the Harvard Mk. IV.

Rick is a piston warbird, high performance, and formation aerobatic ACE (Aerobatic Competency Evaluator), and has trained aerobatic pilots in the Sukhoi SU-29, Extra 300L and Pitts Specials.

He is featured on the PBS series “The Aviators” Season 1, Episode 8.

Rick Volker

Rick VolkerRick has created a unique performance in the Sukhoi SU-26M. There is a common theme in all of his 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 three dimensional space to create a masterpiece of entertainment.

The Sukhoi SU-26M is like no other Unlimited aerobatic airplane. Designed in an era of unlimited Soviet budgets, it’s a super plane out to prove a point… and the point was made with after win in the World Aerobatic Championships. Its ultra high lift wing features a massive symmetrical camber. The titanium and composite airframe can withstand G loads that are unsurvivable by humans (even Rick). Paired with the nearly 400 horsepower Vendeneyev M-14P radial engine, a better than 1:1 thrust to weight ratio was achieved. The result is a plane that can do the things it does in any flight attitude, and many things that can’t be replicated by any other aircraft. Rick takes full advantage of the Sukhoi’s unique capabilities. His routines are a roller coaster of artistry and athleticism, alternating frequently between violent maneuvers and delicate finesse.

Rick VolkerEntering the competition aerobatic world by storm, Rick won numerous regional Unlimited aerobatic contests, such as the Can-Am, Henry Haigh, and Kathy Jaffe Challenges in both the Pitts biplanes and Sukhoi monoplanes. He is a former competitor in athletic events such as swimming, speed skating, bicycle racing, cross-country skiing, body building, and he is an active track cyclist. This 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.

Rick is known for flying the WWII Supermarine Spitfire Mk. IX in a spectacular display of surface level aerobatics, and as a member of the exclusive Canadian Heritage Flight team where he flew in close formation with the CF-18 fighter. He is one of a very few pilots in the world qualified to fly both the Messerschmitt Bf109E and G models. He has flown the same serial number Bf109 as did Hans-Joachim Marseilles in an air show dogfight routine vs the Hawker Hurricane, and solo before the crowd at the Red Bull Air Races. His other qualifications include brilliant full aerobatic displays in the Hawker Hurricane MK XII and the Harvard Mk. IV.

Rick is a piston warbird, high performance, and formation aerobatic ACE (Aerobatic Competency Evaluator), and has trained aerobatic pilots in the Sukhoi SU-29, Extra 300L and Pitts Specials.

He is featured on the PBS series “The Aviators” Season 1, Episode 8.