Historic Aircraft Return to Stihl’s National Championship Air Races

Reno air races include static and flying displays of warbirds and vintage aircraft.

A Mitsubishi Zero and a Grumman F6F Hellcat from CAF's SoCal Wing will participate in a mock dogfight at the Reno air races.CAF SoCal Wing

The 55th annual Stihl National Championship Air Races, set to take place at the Reno-Stead Airport outside Reno, Nevada, on September 12 through 16, is giving aviation enthusiasts many reasons to attend other than just to watch ultra fast airplanes of various types battling it out around the pylon courses. The Reno Air Race Association recently announced that it is including airplanes from the Commemorative Air Force SoCal Wing in Camarillo, California, as well as the National Aviation Heritage Invitational – a fan favorite that will return after a couple of years’ hiatus.

“Over the years [NAHI] has hosted several hundred of the finest vintage aircraft in North America to compete at the Reno Air Races,” said RARA’s CEO and chairman Fred Telling. “RARA believes that the NAHI vintage aircraft and the National Aviation Hall of Fame Enshrinees offer another major attraction for guests attending the Stihl National Championship Air Races and we are extremely pleased to have NAHI back this year.” NAHI will display what chairman and executive director Ken Perich calls “the finest restored vintage aircraft in the country” on the ramp at Reno-Stead.

CAF’s SoCal Wing will bring some of its beautifully restored and maintained warbirds, and will put on a mock dogfight with an original Mitsubishi AM63 Zero, a North American B-25 (PBJ) Mitchell, a Grumman F8F-2 Bearcat and a Grumman F6F Hellcat, all based in Camarillo, California.

RARA also announced it is offering free admission to the reserved seating area with a military ID or proof of service on September 14. On this special “Military Day,” family members of service members will also receive discounts to the reserved seating areas when accompanied by their military members. “We are excited to provide our nation’s heroes with the opportunity to enjoy a fun and memorable day at the races with their families and experience the thrill of watching the world’s fastest motorsport,” said Tony Logoteta, RARA’s COO.