Red Wings forwards Justin Abdelkader and Dylan Larkin traded in their skates for a flight of a different kind last week. The pair took the skies at the Thunder Over Michigan Air Show with the Breitling Jet Team.
Flying at over 10,000 feet, the Breitling Jet Team maneuvered their seven L-39C Albatros Jets within a few feet of each other at speeds of up to 565mph. Abdelkader and Larkin experienced loops and barrel rolls while in flight.
"I actually got to do a barrel roll myself, take over control,” Larkin told MLive.com. “I was just focused on looking down and not looking up in the air. What those guys do is pretty incredible.
"When you bank to the left or to the right you pick up some serious speed. When we were coming over to the airport to land, that was pretty fast, you could definitely feel it in your stomach and your chest."
Abdelkader, who flew with the Blue Angels five years ago, knew what he was getting himself into.
"Knowing how to breathe on the plane kind of helps, squeezing the legs, trying to keep the blood in your head, because if you don't ... I'd be curious to hear if anyone passed out," Abdelkader said.
"We did a couple of barrel rolls, we flipped upside down and did a left turn."
Supported by Breitling, the independent Swiss watch company, the Breitling Jet Team is the largest professional civilian jet team in the world.The Breitling Jet Team is made up of seven L-39C Albatros, Czech-made aircrafts. The aircrafts can reach speeds of 750 kilometers per hour during level flight and 910 kilometers per hour during dives.