The Reno Air Racing Foundation and the National Aviation Hall of Fame invite those restoring our nation’s aviation treasures to become part of the National Aviation Heritage Invitational competitions.
The Invitational is dedicated to the recognition of excellence in the preservation and restoration of vintage aircraft in airworthy condition and is designed to encourage aviation history conservation. The Neil A. Armstrong Aviation Heritage Trophy resides in the Smithsonian National Air and Space museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center at Washington Dulles international Airport in Virginia.
For more information about the National Aviation Heritage Invitational, visit heritagetrophy.com.
History of the Invitational
The first invitational was held in 1999 in conjunction with the National Championship Air Races at Stead Airport in Reno, Nevada. The 1999 trophy was awarded to Bob Odegaard, of Kindred, North Dakota, for his rare F2G-1D Corsair. The 2000 trophy was awarded to Ray and Sherri Dieckman, owners of a World War II era FG1D Corsair.
Due to the tragic events of September 11 in 2001, the Invitational in Reno was canceled for that year. However, interest increased to the point that the Eastern Region Invitational was added to the 2002 Dayton Air Show in Ohio to allow a larger number and broader array of vintage aircraft to participate.
The fourth annual Western Region Invitational was held September 12-15, 2002 back in Reno in conjunction with the National Championship Air Races. That year, a Fairey Firefly owned by Captain Eddie Kurdziel of Del Mar, California received both the Rolls Royce Aviation Heritage keeper trophy and the National Aviation Hall of Fame’s People’s Choice Award Trophy. Since that time, the National Aviation Heritage Invitational has continued to play a large part of the Air Races each year.