Reno Air Races 2013

Take a look at the exciting week of this year's National Championship Reno Air Races and Air Show.

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The home pylon at the National Championship Reno Air Races at Stead Field outside Reno, Nevada remained unchanged for the 50th anniversary races. With the exception of some short, isolated storms, the racers and air show performers enjoyed perfect conditions with mostly clear skies and calm winds. (Photos by Pia Bergqvist)
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**Legendary pilot and former Reno Unlimited race champion Clay Lacy performed a terrific aerobatic show in a Learjet. **
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The signature forward tumble was one of many unbelievable maneuvers performed by David Martin in his CAP 232.
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**There was plenty of smoke as Bill Braack fired up the afterburners on his jet car with aerobatic master Michael Goulian flying above. **
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**The Merlin engine that powers the highly modified P-51 Strega, last year's champion in the Unlimited class, get a thorough check before each race. **
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Team Voodoo parades along the flight line on its way to the final race in the Unlimited Class.
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**The parade just before the final Unlimited race is a chance to honor the owners, pilots and mechanics that make these incredible races happen. **
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**Steven Hinton looked confident on the final racing day, spending hours at the Voodoo pit signing autographs and posing for pictures for his many fans. **
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The T-33 pace plane, flown by former Unlimited champion Steve Hinton, the father of this year's winner Steven Hinton, takes off.
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**Bill Braack thrilled the crowds with his Smoke-N-Thunder Jet Car show. **
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**While the L-39 American Spirit reached 504 mph in the final Jet Gold Heat, it was not able to catch L-29 Just Lucky, which took home the trophy. **
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During a qualifying round Hoot Gibson flew 232 to record breaking Sea Fury speeds. Gibson may have had a chance to snag the Unlimited trophy, but 232's engine suffered a massive blowout in Saturday's race. Thankfully the former astronaut landed calmly after the emergency.
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It is not only the engines on these highly priced Unlimited machines that are meticulously maintained during the races.
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**Beautiful fan favorite Rear Bear appeared to have lost its throaty signature roar. But the Bearcat held up through the final race and placed fourth. **
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**Spectators in the grandstands cheered as t-shirts were frequently shot their way with air cannons. **
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**The Swiss daredevil Yves Rossy, aka Jetman, flew the race course with his carbon-Kevlar wing powered by four mini jets. **
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**The Patriots Jet Team performed a beautiful show and served as a terrific replacement for the military jet teams that Reno's spectators have enjoyed before the federal budget sequestration. **
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While the larger airplanes, such as the Jets, T-6s and Unlimiteds, group up in the air to start their races, the smaller airplanes start racing on the runway.
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Precious Metal, with its signature contra-rotating three-bladed propellers, gets some TLC from the team's mechanics.
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Some of the race planes are about the size of a motorcycle with wings.
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**The top of the cowling on 232 shattered when the engine popped during Saturday's race. **
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Major components on the P-51 race planes are overhauled or replaced between each race and race team mechanics often work through the night.
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**Kent Pietsch's Interstate S-1 Cadet kept losing major components, such as the right aileron, during his impressive and comedic air show performance. **
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**The T-6s kept the spectators alert with their roaring radial engines. **
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**One of the most exciting battles was in the final Silver jet race where Robin 1, an L-39, and Predator, a TS-11 Iskra, kept passing each until they reached the finish line only half a second apart. **
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**Each Unlimited team in the final Gold heat was introduced in front of the grandstands before the pilots cranked up the roaring engines one last time. **
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**Steven Hinton banks Voodoo steeply at the home pylon, keeping a strong lead in the final heat all the way to the finish line. **
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Being forced to start at the back of the pack, Matt Jackson, flying last year's champion Strega, was unable to catch Steven Hinton in Voodoo.
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A group of 2011 box seat attendees, some of whom lost limbs in the tragic crash of the Galloping Ghost, got together for an impromptu celebration with the Unlimited trophy. Read more of our Reno Air Races coverage here. Watch our video of the Final Unlimited Gold Heat here.