At Hangar 7 the private collection of the Red Bull founder resurrects the inner child in all of us
A helicopter in front of you, a jet plane behind you, a racing car next to you, and you hear a bell ringing, what’s your next move? – If your guess would be to get off a carousel, you are now wrong… Because you are at Hangar 7, the Headquarters of Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz in Salzburg Austria, and the bell signals the elevator to leave behind one of the most versatile and spectacular collections in Europe and to take you to one of Austria’s best restaurants.
The picturesque city of Salzburg is also the hometown of Mozart, and I had the impression that it is almost a mission impossible to find a house that does not relate to the famous composer, one way or another. Having seen Hangar 7, I’d say mission accomplished, there is at least one exception now. Not that the greater region around Salzburg would not have anything else to attract tourists. The famous city of Hallstatt is a must-see, along with the salt mines, and it takes half an hour to drive to the Fahrtraum Museum hosting the private collection of the Porsche Family.
Salzburg managed to surprise me every time I had the opportunity to visit, and Hangar 7 provides a striking contrast to the nature and classic beauty of the region.
Mr. Mateschitz arranged his private collection near the airport at the edge of the city, in a modern hangar complex. Hangar 7 is accompanied by the smaller supporting Hangar 8 (not accessible for the public), that is the home of the Flying Bulls where the restoration and maintenance are carried out, allowing quite a variation. Its also worth a peek at Hangar 8, as the glass construct might reveal what Mr. Matschitz is planning to expose next, but for me, even the visitors’ car park was a treat for the eye.
Inside Hangar 7, the neutral background of the modern aluminum hangar provides a stark contrast to the spectacularly colorful collection carrying Red Bull’s patterns. The Collection encompasses everything that Mr. Mateschitz owned, sponsored or cherished, from a king size Predator sculpture made of scrap metal, through the “jumpsuit” that Felix Baumgartner used to jump out from the stratosphere and the Red Bull Air Race competition planes to the Red Bull Formula 1 Race cars that dominated F-1 until recently.
In addition, there are a number of Toro Rosso and Sauber cars as well, and the X2010 concept car, designed by Adrien Newey also takes center stage. The X2010 was conceived by legendary chief engineer Adrian Newey, as an ultimate racing machine, without limitations by any rules or regulations. If the whole concept would works, it might actually supersede Formula One cars in terms of speed and handling.
To remain true to his name, Hangar 7 hosts to an extensive collection of aircrafts. Among them, there are acrobatic planes, competing in the Red Bull Air Race, but also restored passenger and fighter aircrafts from all ages or the rocket-propelled Red Bullet and Felix Baumgartner’s “jumpsuit”. Most of the aircrafts are courtesy of the Flying Bulls, a group of aviation enthusiasts with a great passion for rare historical aeroplanes and helicopters. The set constantly changes, and thanks to regular maintanance, they don’t just move between the two hangars, but they are also regularly flown. My Personal favourites are the Cobra attack helicopter and the Corsair fighter from the second world war.
The collection is very colourful and versatile, and well illustrates the sense of adventure of Mr. Mateschitz. At the same time, it is not bound by corporate identity to remain cold and technical, like some of the premium luxury brand’s factory museums. I had the impression that Hangar 7 reflects the success of a man who built his empire from scratch and the brash glamour, with the sharp contrasts and brilliant colours are a testimony of his success. Although access is free, Hangar 7 offers plenty of opportunities to leave money there. Besides the souvenir shop, there is a 360 Bar at the top of the hangar, and the Mayday Bar on the second floor. Solicitors of culinary specialties are awaited by the Ikarus Restaurant, a Michelin star restaurant that invites a new star chef every month to establish his/her own menu.