Air race lovers can now get an up close and personal look at the Reno Air Races in Air Racers 3D, which premieres today in select IMAX theatres. The movie is sprinkled with historical footage, providing background information on the history of air racing and some of the airplanes that participate in the Unlimited race category. In addition to an in-depth look at the Unlimited race, the movie includes some highlights of the other race categories and events that make up the five-day air show, which takes place every year in September at Reno Stead Airport near Reno, Nevada.
The movie pays particular tribute to Steve Hinton Jr., who at the age of 22 became the youngest winner of the Unlimited Gold category in 2009 and also won in 2010 (due to the unfortunate crash in 2011, the races were not concluded) in the bright red P-51 Strega, previously flown very successfully for many years at the Reno Air Races by its owner Bill “Tiger” Destefani. There are some intriguing cockpit shots of Hinton during the race and several crisp exterior shots of Strega where the 3D footage shines.
Some of the flying 3D footage is so crisp that it makes the airplanes appear to be models. But other segments are incredibly real and give you a very good sense of what it’s like to be the pilot flying the airplane around the closed pylon course.
One particularly moving segment of the movie showcases the late, great Greg Poe doing his incredible aerobatic routine. You’ll see Poe from the vantage point of the panel, looking down at the airport below as he performs his vertical aerobatic moves - a truly spectacular piece of footage.
As expected, Paul Walker does a great job of narrating the story and the sound quality is generally very good, showcasing the roar of the highly modified Unlimited race airplanes. But Rare Bear fans will be disappointed, as the movie omitted the very distinguishable low roar of the Grumman F8F Bearcat as it passes by.
All in all, Air Racers 3D is well worth its price of admission, at least for people who love airplanes. For a full schedule of Air Racers 3D, visit www.airracers-thefilm.com.