After graduating with honours, François Le Vot incorporated the French Air Force. His particular abilities and hard work distinguished him faster. Twice fist-class honours graduate of student-pilots class, he graduated as the best Air Force student of 1992. His brilliant performances associated with his human qualities brought him to the highest level. After 12 years as a fighter pilot and flight instructor, he became the Air Force official pilot-ambassador the 12 following years, awarded Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Mérite (Knight of the National Order of Merit.)
Now in his third season of Master Class competition, François Le Vot is a decorated former French Air Force fighter pilot who has claimed aerobatics titles on the world, European and national levels. The French ace will go down in Red Bull Air Race history as the victor of the first three races of the inaugural Challenger Cup season (2014), and with one Master Class podium already to his credit, he’s on the hunt for more.
Le Vot, who makes his home in the south of France, retired as a flight instructor from France’s “Armée de l’Air” after a distinguished 24-year career flying Alpha Jets and the Mirage 2000 and serving on the military aerobatics team. He joined the French national aerobatics team in 2004 and earned, to name just a few of his many honors, the individual Unlimited World Aerobatic Championship (2013), the team World Aerobatic Championship (2009, 2013), the team European Aerobatics Championship (2012) and the individual French National Aerobatics Championship (2011, 2013, 2014), as well as numerous other world, European and national podiums across team and individual competition. Altogether “Zool”, as he’s known in the aviation world, has well over 4,300 flight hours to his name, including 1,500 hours in military jet aircraft and more than 1,200 hours in aerobatics. He is also an aerobatics coach.
In Le Vot’s first season as a Master Class competitor, 2015, he wrestled with trying to optimize an unfamiliar aircraft as well as the demands of managing a team for the first time, all while striving to maintain the focus necessary to race against the best in the world. But applying what he learned, the pilot confidently blazed into 2016 by taking his first Master Class podium: third place at the season opener in Abu Dhabi. In 2017, he’s looking to elevate his results further and joining him in his quest are team coordinator Philippe Alberola, technician Javis Allison and tactician Francois Hanne.
Red Bull Air Race: Overall – 12th 2016; 14th 2015. Best race finish – 3rd place, Abu Dhabi 2016
Red Bull Air Race Challenger Class: Three race wins (Abu Dhabi, Rovinj, Putrajaya)
Other: A sampling of career highlights includes 9 gold medals, 10 silver and 3 bronze in World and European Aerobatic Championship competition, including the title of Unlimited World Aerobatic Champion, two-time World Aerobatic Team Champion, and European Aerobatic Team Champion; 4 gold medals, 2 silver and 1 bronze in the French National Aerobatics Championship, including three-time French National Aerobatics Champion