Didi & Sigi's Excellent Collection
How do you align your brand with energy, superiority, and effervescence? Build the best private airplane collection in Europe and the most sophisticated museum to show it off.
- By Bettina H. Chavanne
- Air & Space magazine, March 2006
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"We had a dream to buy a B-25," Angerer says. He prefers airplanes from the United States because he claims German craft "aren't so interesting, and there aren't many left.
"We went to the U.S. and found [the B-25] in terrible shape in Kansas City. It looked like a fish carcass...but the structure was very sound." Angerer flew it until he got used to the old airplane, adding: "We had to add 20 liters of oil per hour on one engine."
A two-and-a-half-year overhaul followed. Once the airplane was fully restored, Angerer flew it from Texas to Innsbruck, a flight lasting 27 grueling hours.
"It was very nice," he says sardonically. "We flew at 5,000 feet...[in] very bad weather, rain, storms. The waves were like houses."
The Red Bull ground crew hangared the new acquisition in Innsbruck, and Angerer spent the next several years based there while flying airshows for Red Bull. When hangar space opened up in Salzburg, where Mateschitz was living at the time, the two men jumped at the opportunity for more room for their aircraft.
On August 22, 2003, the elliptical glass Hangar-7 opened its doors to the public. The floors were buffed to a shine, the aircraft were displayed in all their glory, and a ritzy on-premises restaurant called Ikarus held a grand opening.
As the Flying Bulls collection and staff grew, so did their need for yet another space dedicated solely to their airplanes. Ground was broken for Hangar-8 in May 2002, and in December 2003, the last piece of curved and pressure-treated glass was dropped into its frame. Now there was a place for maintenance (Hangar-8) and a place for exhibits and fancy parties (Hangar-7).
The separation between the glamorous and rather leggy staff of Hangar-7 and the maintenance team in Hangar-8 is rigid. Socializing between the two is actively discouraged. Hangar-7 falls under the purview of Red Bull, which is a separate entity from the Flying Bulls. The world-renowned restaurant, Ikarus, with its list of star international chefs who do guest stints; the chic lounge, Carpe Diem, where guests sip exotic tea and bask in the view of the airplanes and the Alps; the Mayday bar, with its moody lighting and thumping music; and the Threesixty bar, with its transparent floor overlooking the hangar-all are part of an image Mateschitz cultivates for his brand.