Reno Air Racing Association Announces Aerobatics Performers for

55th Annual STIHL National Championship Air Races

The Reno Air Racing Association (RARA) is excited to release the initial list of performers for the 2018 STIHL National Championship Air Races, scheduled September 12 – 16, 2018 at the Reno-Stead Airport.

The Patriots Jet Team will headline this year’s performers. The Screamin’ Sasquatch Jet Waco from John Klatt Air Shows will perform aerobatics, along with the Smoke ‘n Thunder Jet Truck. Demonstrations will also include the F-16 Fighting Falcon as well as an F-35 leading the Heritage Flight.

“The STIHL National Championship Air Races are very excited that the Patriots will be returning to Reno this year,” RARA COO Tony Logoteta said. “We’re also thrilled to welcome back the John Klatt and Smoke ‘n Thunder Teams as well as our military demonstrations. I hope that race fans, visitors, and spectators will be as excited about this year’s lineup as I am.”

The Patriots Jet Team is very excited to be back this year to perform at the Reno Air Races,” said Randy Howell Owner of the Patriots Jet Team. “We love the spectators, and we love the races.”

Tickets are on sale for the 55th STIHL Annual National Championship Air Races, scheduled September 12-16, 2018 at Reno Stead Airport. For more information or to volunteer visit

Performer Descriptions

Patriots Jet Team: The story of the Patriots Jet Team, the largest civilian-owned aerobatic jet team in the western hemisphere, began with the vision of one person, Randy Howell. Fueled by a passion for aviation since childhood, it became Howell’s mission to create a six-jet aerobatic demonstration team that could entertain, inspire and educate today’s youth.

The talented group of pilots was first assembled in 2002 by Howell. Based in Byron, CA, the Patriots Jet Team features pilots who were formerly part of the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds and U.S. Navy Blue Angels. The volunteer pilots all share the same genuine passion for entertaining audiences at air shows and other events, while also encouraging the nation’s youth toward careers in the aviation and aerospace fields.

The Patriots Jet Team, unique in its kind, represents an all-encompassing blend of passion, inspiration, integrity, and professionalism, and captivates audiences from all over North America with their exhilarating aerobatic performances.

“The “Screamin’ Sasquatch” Jet Waco from John Klatt Air Shows: Starting life as a classic 1929 Taperwing Waco, this was once the aircraft of choice for barnstormers in the 1930’s and 1940’s. The Screamin’ Sasquatch has been completely redesigned and structurally reinforced using modern day engineering and materials, along with state-of-the-art technology to allow the addition of a jet engine to the aircraft. The Jack Link’s Jet Waco Screamin’ Sasquatch is powered by dual power plants: a Pratt & Whitney 985 radial engine and a General Electric CJ610 (J85) jet engine with 3,000 lbs. of thrust. Total thrust of the combined engines is rated at 4,500 lbs. A three-bladed Hartzell propeller is used to harness the power of the 985 radial.

This system allows the plane to achieve feats other stunt planes are unable to do, along with reaching speeds up to 250 mph. Snap rolls, spins, barrel rolls and the hover are among the list of maneuvers this aircraft can perform. The plane has a thrust ratio of greater than 1 to 1, which allows it to accelerate going straight up.

Smoke ‘n Thunder Jet Truck: The Hot Streak II is a twin jet engine 57 Chevy Pickup capable of speeds of 350+mph that has been entertaining fans across the country for over 20 years and is currently driven by Hayden Proffitt II.

It has two 2-Westinghouse turbine engines, recused from a Navy T-2A Buckeye Airplane with 25,000 horsepower. It delivers a ground shaking, heart-pounding performance equipped with an afterburner that fires 20-foot flames and produces billowing smoke and mini sonic booms.

F-35 Heritage Flight: The heritage flight program, of which the F-35 is a part, teams up current Air Force fighters with planes from the World War II, Korean and Vietnam eras in a dynamic display of our nation’s airpower history.

The F-35 is the U.S. Air Force’s latest fifth-generation fighter. It will replace the F-16 Fighting Falcons and A-10 Thunderbolt II’s, which have been the primary fighter aircraft for more than 20 years, and bring with it an enhanced capability to survive in the advanced threat environment in which it was designed to operate. With its aerodynamic performance and advanced integrated avionics, the F-35 will provide next-generation stealth, enhanced situational awareness and reduced vulnerability for the United States and allied nations.

F-16: The Air Combat Command F-16 Viper Demonstration Team performs precision aerial maneuvers to demonstrate the unique capabilities of one of the Air Force’s premier aerial multi-role fighters, the F-16 Fighting Falcon.

The F-16 Fighting Falcon is a single-seat, multi-mission fighter with the ability to switch from an air-to-ground to an air-to-air role at the touch of a button. With its lightweight airframe and powerful General Electric engine generating 31,000 pounds of thrust, the F-16 can fly at speeds in excess of Mach 2.