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Emma Bulmer

Great Britain’s Murphy makes his mark on World Championship

At the Red Bull Air Race season finale in Fort Worth, USA on Sunday, British pilot Ben Murphy finished in the Final Four for the second stop in a row, clinching the best rookie-season performance of any graduate of the sport’s second competition category, the Challenger Class.

Fort Worth, USA – Murphy and his Blades Racing Team burst onto the World Championship scene with a stunning sixth place at February’s season opener in Abu Dhabi, ultimately accumulating a substantial 29 points across the eight races to finish seventh overall. The season finale at Texas Motor Speedway was a roller-coaster for the British team, seeing them recover from 12th place in Qualifying to their fourth position in the race, a mere 0.1 second between Ben and his fist podium position.

“It’s the fairytale ending of our first season. When I think back to that first race in Abu Dhabi, I don’t believe we could’ve thought that we could achieve this much in such a short space of time,” said Murphy, a former Team Leader of the RAF aerobatic team, the Red Arrows. “I’m ecstatic, not just for me, but for the whole team as well. It was a really difficult race, because we just couldn’t dial it in during Free Practice and Quali. And when I came to the Race Airport today, I didn’t expect to be in the Final Four. But what a way to go into 2019.”

For the second year in a row, the Red Bull Air Race World Championship came down to the final flight of the final race, and both times, the pilot under pressure was Martin Šonka (CZE). Last year, the Czech ace saw the title slip through his fingers. In Fort Worth, it was the USA’s Michael Goulian who came into the season finale with the overall lead, but after barely making it out of the opening round due to engine issues, he faced Šonka in the Round of 8. Two penalties for the American gave his Czech rival the advancement, and then the title was down to Šonka and Australia’s Matt Hall as they flew in the Final Four along with Murphy and American Kirby Chambliss. Hall topped Chambliss and Murphy with 53.100s before Šonka claimed the title with 52.796s.

When the race awards were handed out at Texas Motor Speedway, the cheers for third-place Chambliss, a Texas native, were as loud as those for race winner Šonka and second-place Hall. Then, when the World Championship trophy was presented, Šonka was sprayed with champagne by Hall and Goulian, in the biggest celebration of the season.

Team work achieves results!

The Team at Physical Digital® have been avidly following Ben Murphy and The Blades Racing Team’s “Rookie” journey during this Red Bull Air Race World Championship. We have been proud suppliers of 3D Measurement for this Edge 540 aircraft, flown throughout this Championship, which has allowed the team to conduct analysis using CFD and make design modifications using the reliable and traceable data, with the aim of improving overall performance.

The dedication and hardwork of this team has delivered fantastic results for them and we are so excited to see how they prepare for next year. We are sure Ben Murphy will continue to achieve great things for The Blades Racing Team. Well done and huge congratulations to them all!

Results Master Class Race, Fort Worth 2018: 1. Martin Šonka (CZE), 2. Matt Hall (AUS), 3. Kirby Chambliss (USA), 4. Ben Murphy (GBR), 5. Yoshihide Muroya (JPN), 6. Mika Brageot (FRA), 7. Juan Velarde (ESP), 8. Michael Goulian (USA), 9. Nicolas Ivanoff (FRA), 10. François Le Vot (FRA), 11. Pete McLeod (CAN), 12. Petr Kopfstein (CZE), 13. Matthias Dolderer (GER), 14. Cristian Bolton (CHI)

Final standings, 2018 Red Bull Air Race World Championship: 1. Martin Šonka (CZE) 80 points,  2. Matt Hall (AUS) 75 pts, 3. Michael Goulian (USA) 73 pts, 4. Mika Brageot 41 pts, 5. Yoshihide Muroya (JPN) 40 pts, 6. Kirby Chambliss (USA) 34 pts, 7. Ben Murphy (GBR) 29 pts, 8. Pete McLeod (CAN) 27 pts, 9. Juan Velarde (ESP) 24 pts, 10. Nicolas Ivanoff (FRA) 22 pts, 11. François Le Vot (FRA) 22 pts, 12. Matthias Dolderer (GER) 17 pts, 13. Petr Kopfstein (CZE) 16 pts, 14. Cristian Bolton (CHI) 12 pts

About Red Bull Air Race

Created in 2003, the Red Bull Air Race World Championship has held more than 85 races around the globe. The Red Bull Air Race World Championship features the world’s best race pilots in a pure motorsport competition that combines speed, precision and skill. Using the fastest, most agile, lightweight racing planes, pilots hit speeds of 370 km/h while enduring forces of up to 12G as they navigate a low-level slalom track marked by 25-meter-high, air-filled pylons. In 2014, the Challenger Cup was conceived to help the next generation of pilots develop the skills needed for potential advancement to the Master Class that vies for the World Championship.

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3D Scanning heads in an artistic direction

Physical Digital have always worked with a wide variety of clients, spanning a vast number of sectors, so with experience in the automotive industry as well as consumer art, one of our most recent projects with wire frame artist Benedict Radcliffe was an exciting one for us to be involved with. Benedict was commissioned to design a 3D wireframe of a Lamborghini Countach LLP 500 for a US based client, destined to be displayed at a hotel in Las Vegas. With previous wireframe projects, Benedict has relied on blue-prints of vehicles to design the steel structure, which is then cut, moulded and welded by hand.

One of Benedict’s most renowned projects is an Austin FX4, the world-famous London Cab, which is currently placed in Heathrow Terminal 2. Bright orange in colour, the artwork is designed to represent Modern Britain.

One of the obstacles faced by our client is achieving accuracy to provide an exact representation of the required design, which lead Benedict to look for a solution which would enable him to capture as much detail of the vehicles as possible, therefore maintaining authenticity in his designs. Physical Digital’s 3D Scanning and Reverse Engineering services could offer Benedict the accuracy and precision required.

Our Team went on-site using our ATOS TRIPTOP photogrammetry equipment and ATOS Triple scan to capture an original vehicle, including finite detail and key features of the Lamborghini. The highly accurate scan data is then brought into one of our many CAD packages from which a 3D model was then created by our skilled Design Engineers.

Working with Benedict provides a fantastic example of how our 3D scanning and reverse engineering projects can support very niche industries and how valuable such accurate data can be to supporting businesses in their future growth and development.

You find out more about Benedict Radcliffe and his wire frame artwork on his website:

3D Scanning for Halloween

As preferred suppliers of 3D measurement, reverse engineering and quality inspection services to many clients within the Aerospace, Automotive and Power Generation sectors, we have vast experience of working with many industrial components of varying sizes. However, we do also work with some very niche and specialist clients who have one-off 3D scanning projects that fall outside of industrial sectors.

The exciting part of our job is digitizing these objects for the client and seeing how this data is then used further downstream.

We wanted to pick a common object that is recognisable to most in which to showcase the capabilities of our measurement systems, which use 3D Structured Light (3DSL) in which to capture the surface geometry of an object, and that chosen object is a PUMPKIN!

We scanned the pumpkin using our industry-leading non-contact GOM ATOS Scanbox, an automated 3D measurement system uses a robotic arm and GOM’s Triple scan sensor. Thanks to the automatic precision calibration, the Triple scan sensor produces high-resolution scan data at high-speeds, making this a time and cost-effective solution for your project. The Triple scan works with two digital cameras and a sensor that uses narrow-band blue light, resulting in any ambient light being filtered out during the data capture. Together with both cameras, the projection sensor unit operates according to the triple scan principle. During the measurement, a phase shifting fringe patterns is projected onto the surface of the object and captured by two cameras, based on the stereo camera principle.  This produces the precise, accurate 3D data our customers demand.

The pumpkin was placed on a bespoke fixture to further ensure stability of the pumpkin throughout the measurement process.

Once captured, the high-density point-cloud data is processed into a mesh of these points.

Using GOM Inspect to review the high-resolution data following 3D scanning, the images captured by photogrammetry were projected back onto the pumpkin relative to the cameras position, resulting in the 3D colour image you see below, which would be exported as a high-resolution .STL file.

Our experienced team use GOM Inspect industrial software to work with the scan data for all projects captured by our automated ATOS Scan Box and our manual GOM measurement systems.

For more information on how the team at Physical Digital can help digitize your object using our industry-leading GOM 3D optical measurement systems, assist you with reverse engineering and quality inspection for your project, please contact our skilled engineers on 01483 750200 or email

Happy Halloween from all the team at Physical Digital!