RENO, Nev. (July 16, 2019) —As if featuring the world’s fastest motorsport wasn’t enough the 2019 STIHL National Championship Air Races will feature a jam-packed performance schedule filled with new additions and some returning event staples.
The core of the event is the six racing classes – Unlimited, Jet, Sport, T-6, Formula One and Biplane – competing head-to-head at speeds exceeding 500 mph. With some incredible racing planned, event veterans will also see the return of the National Aviation Heritage Invitational and GRADD-NVBAA STEM Education Discovery Zone.
The performance lineup has been finalized:
STOL Drag Racing Demonstration – September 12–15
The world’s largest backcountry fly-in is making its way to Reno. The STOL Drag Racing Demonstration gives a new spin to traditional competition top fuel drag racing style. STOL stands for short take-off and landing. The rules are simple, pilots fly a 3/4 mile straightaway down and back side by side, land on a marker and must come to a complete stop prior to turning around. The first pilot that comes to a complete stop wins.
F-18 Legacy Flight – September 12–15
F-18 Legacy Flight will be performed by the VFA-122 Demonstration Team with two FA-18E/F Super Hornet aircrafts. The Strike Fighter Squadron 122 (VFA-122) also known as the “Flying Eagles” are a United States Navy F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and F/A-18 Hornet Fleet Replacement Squadron. The F-18 will be joined by a historical Navy aircraft.
Michael Wiskus and the Lucas Oil Airshow – September 12–15
See world-class aerobatics with Michael Wiskus in the Lucas Oil Airshows Pitts Biplane as he performs double hammerhead rolls to slowing the airplane down to zero airspeed. Michael has owned the Lucas Oil Pitts S-1-11B since 2000 and, with the help of Tom Kerns, rebuilt it after purchasing it on Ebay as a wreck. The Lucas Oil Pitts has been extremely modified from its original build, adding full span ailerons for a 400º per second roll rate, 60% larger rudder and elevator for more authority, and a longer gear allowing Michael to stand the aircraft up in place without hitting the propeller.
Commemorative Air Force – September 12-15
Watch an aerial demonstration of World War II aircraft including a F8F Bearcat, a F6F Hellcat, a PBJ Mitchell, and a A6M by the Commemorative Air Force (CAF). The mission of CAF is to restore and preserve aircraft in flying condition from World War II and other military conflicts for the education and enjoyment of Americans. CAF is now one of the largest air forces in the world with 13,000 members and a fleet of more than 175 aircraft.
U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds – September 14 & 15
The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds are an official air demonstration squadron proudly serving our country and providing air shows across the world. The American Airmen have an hour-long demonstration showcasing excellence and celebrating American patriotism. Attendees on Friday, Sept. 13 will also be treated to their practice show. The U.S. Airforce Thunderbirds started in 1953 at the Luke Air Force Base located outside of Phoenix, AZ and are now currently located at Nellis Airforce Base outside of Las Vegas, NV.
The 2019 STIHL National Championship Air Races returns Sept. 11–15, 2019, just 20 minutes north of Reno. Tickets are now on sale. For more information, visit AirRace.org.
About the STIHL National Championship Air Races:
The STIHL National Championship Air Races are held every September just north of Reno by the Reno Air Racing Association, a 501(c)(3). The event has become an institution for Northern Nevada and aviation enthusiasts from around the world with six racing classes, a large display of static aircraft and several military and civilian flight demonstrations. Independent economic impact studies show that the event generates as much as $91.7 million annually for the local economy. The event is now part of the Grunt Style Air Show Majors, a six-stop tour uniting the most prestigious air shows in the country. For more information on the 2019 STIHL National Championship Air Races, to obtain media credentials, volunteer, be a vendor or purchase tickets for this year’s event, visit AirRace.org.