For those who attended the Lehigh Valley Airshow in August of last year, the Black Diamond Jet Team put on an amazing performance, but it was an “impromptu audition” that took place on the ground that really set this particular display of aeronautical bravery apart from the others.
A 2012 Lamborghini Aventador LP-700 sat at the end of the tarmac throughout the show, with 30,000 people in the crowds listening the announcer. Michael Klesh, the man in the driver’s seat, wanted to try out for the Black Diamonds, but would have to first beat them in a race.
Of course, the true story behind how Klesh got to the show is a little different, but still just as exciting.
According to Klesh, after he purchased his Aventador in February of 2014, he immediately began going to “exotics-only” car shows, networking and connecting with other owners and becoming a part of the community. After a few months, he saw a post on Facebook from one of those connections asking if anyone who owned a fast exotic car would want to race a fighter jet.
“I immediately commented ‘YES!’ No details were needed for a situation like this,” Klesh told us. “I started out guessing that it would be a few people with the means or connections to rent out an airport for a few hours and someone in the group owned the Fighter Jet. Well, I found out a few hours later that I would be a performer, in front of 30,000 people, at the Lehigh Valley Air Show!”
To prepare, Klesh reached out to Seven Wraps in Southampton, Pennsylvania, to take his Aventador up a notch before the show. The paint scheme of the L-39 Albatross Fighter that the Black Diamond Jet Team uses was applied to the Aventador for a stunning new appearance. After that, it was show time.
“The race was unnerving to say the least! I was able to hit speeds of 180mph, but this was no match for planes capable of .8 Mach,” he described. “Being washed in smoke at those speeds was something I wouldn’t recommend!”
But even though the bull couldn’t quite outrun the flock of albatrosses, Klesh still had an amazing time during this rare event.
“I cannot even begin to tell you what an experience this was. From the randomness of the invite to the event to what we were able to pull off was nothing short of great!”
Be sure to check out the pictures of this Albatross-inspired Aventador, courtesy of Bill Rodgers, in the gallery below, and watch the video above for a full view of the race.
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Photos by: WJRodgers Photography