Every September for more than 50 years, the STIHL National Championship Air Races have torn through the skies of Reno, Nevada. This world-fastest motor sporting event has Air Races that sees planes flying faster than 500 miles per hour! This legendary event attracts aviation enthusiasts from around the world and helps stimulate the region’s economy in massive ways.
From September 14th through the 18th, you’ll be able to witness speed in a way you’ve never seen. Get ready for an action-packed race week and we’ll see you there. Simon Brown, a Warbird Broker and owner at Platinum Fighter Sales, has been frequenting this event every year since 1990. Be sure to come say hello!
Learn about the Air Races you will witness:
All Formula 1 aircrafts are powered by a Continental O-200 engine (the same 100 hp engine used in a Cessna 150). The fastest Formula 1 aircraft exceed 250 mph on the 3.12-mile racecourse in Reno. A more economical way of entering the excitement, many Formula 1 aircraft are built by the pilots that race them. High speed, lower costs.
The T-6 Class features match racing between stock aircraft, including the original T-6 “Texan,” the Canadian-built “Harvard,” and the US Navy “SNJ” version aircraft. The fastest T-6 aircraft generally bolster speeds between 220-230 mph on the 5.06-mile course at Reno. Due to the aircraft being the same type, the T-6 Class provides some of the most exciting racing at Reno, while implementing resourceful strategy and pilot skill rather than relying solely on raw horsepower.
With the exception of very few “scratch-built” aircraft, the Unlimited Class has generally been populated by stock or modified WWII fighters with the P-51 Mustangs, F-8F Bearcats and Hawker Sea Furies being flown most often. The Unlimited Class flies in speeds exceeding 500 mph.
The Biplane Class Races will see smaller, more aerobatic aircraft like the Pitts Special, the Mong, and the Smith Miniplane. These nimble planes give pilots a chance to apply their skills to racing on a 3.18-mile course at speeds exceeding 200 mph.
Competition in the Sport Class is fierce, with the rapid introduction of race-driven engine and airframe technology. It highlights the new and innovative work being done in the development of high-performance kit-built aircraft. These aircraft race on a 6.37-mile course at speeds reaching nearly 350 mph.
STOL (Short Take off & Landing) drag racing is purely about who gets to the finish line and stops first. STOL drag racers fly on a designated track, about 2,000 feet in each direction, landing on or after a white chalk line. Precision and perfect timing are crucial, as any aircraft that doesn’t make a complete stop between runs are disqualified.
Being introduced in 2002, the Jet Class began with featuring match races between Czech-built Aerovodochody L-39 “Albatros” jets. Today, the class has opened the field by adding other aircraft such as Provost, Iskra, L-29, and DeHavilland Vampires. This class truly stands for the “Fastest Motor Sport” with speeds exceeding 500 miles per hour.
See You There!
Whether you are an avid aviation enthusiast or just looking for a fun family event, the STIHL National Championship Air Races is excitement for all! Get your tickets today and make sure to say hello to John and Simon!