The 56th Running of the “STHIL National Championship Air Races” was just held, September 11 – 15, at Reno, Nevada. The STIHL National Championship Air Races, commonly referred to as the “Reno Air Races”, is the only such type event held anywhere in the world.
Held, each year, in the middle of September, the STIHL National Championship Air Races is celebrating its 56th Year as a worldwide Aviation Spectacle. It is the “World’s Fastest Motor Sport” type event, and Air Race fans from all over the world, including Australia, Japan, and Europe, flock to this once a year happening in the Northern desert plains of Reno, Nevada.
This year proved to be another exciting event, with some of the top pilots in the world, piloting special “race prepared “ airplanes, around a “Closed - Course Pylon Race” course, down low, in the sage brush, from 50 feet up to 150 feet off the ground, at speeds, sometimes, up to and over 500 mph !
There are six different classes of Air Racing planes, including; Formula 1, single seat, low wing racers; small Sport Bi-plane racers; WWII Advanced Fighter AT-6 Training Aircraft; High Speed Sport Class, retractable landing gear, Racing Aircraft; Jet Class Trainer type Racing Jets; and the stars of the show, the Unlimited Class Air Racing planes, formerly WWII and Korean War “Piston-powered Fighter Planes”, some super modified and some in stock condition, capable of up to and over 500 mph speeds, down low over the desert of Northern Nevada.
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This year, in addition to the six classes of airplanes, racing in multi-day, individual “Race Heats”, the United States, Air Force Thunderbirds, Jet Demonstration team, performed for 3 days, to the thrill and excitement of “world wide race fans” in attendance.
The Gold Final Sunday Air Race Winners are the following: Unlimited Class : Sea Fury - Dreadnought, 1st Place, 403 mph; Jet Class : L-29 Delfin Jet – “Just Lucky”, 1st Place, 495 mph; AT-6 Class – AT-6B – “Barons Revenge”, 235 mph; Sport Class - Lancair Super Legacy – “One Moment”, 390 mph; Formula One Class : Gilbert DG-2 – “Fraed Naight”, 243 mph ; the Bi-plane Gold Race was cancelled due to “high winds” on the Sunday’s course.
It was another exciting year for the Fastest Motor Sport in the world. Some “may-days”, fast racing and some and a good time was had, by a lot of avid Air Race Fans, at the only type, such event in the world.