Reno National Championship Air Races flies into town

militaryplanes600It’ like Nascar racing, but a lot more dangerous …. and a lot faster.

Daredevil pilots take to the sky during the Reno National Championship Air Races this week (Sept. 16-20), bringing the world’ best pilots together to compete for prize money and bragging rights at Stead Field north of Reno, Nev.

The annual event enters its 64th year, offering spectators a jaw-dropping spectacle of speed – racers reach up to 500 mph, the fastest-moving machines in motorsports – as they jockey around pylons placed throughout the field. The view from the grandstands is up close and personal, and the action is non-stop. Several different classes of aircraft compete throughout the week, and between races a procession of aviation-related events, from acrobatic performances to static aircraft shows – including a performance by the Blue Angels – keeps the entertainment going. Come out and celebrate one of the best shows in the sky.


Sept. 16

  • Qualifying begins at 8 a.m., with race heats throughout the day and into the late afternoon, including: Biplane, F-1 Stage, Jets, T-6 and Sport. The Blue Angels perform circling maneuvers at 1:15.

Sept. 17

  • Races start at 8 a.m., with the Biplane heat kicking off the action. Following morning racing, performer David Martin takes to the sky at 9:50 a.m., with racing and performances throughout the day, including: Patty Wagstaff, Smoke and Thunder (Red Eagles) and the Blue Angels.

Sept. 18

  • Races in all classes are held all day, 8:25 a.m.-4:10 p.m. Special performances include: The Red Eagles, Patty Wagstaff, Smoke and Thunder, Blue Angels, David Martin and a military demo.

Sept. 19

  • Racing from 8:25 a.m.-4 p.m. in all classes, with performances by David Martin, Patty Wagstaff, another military demo, Smoke and Thunder, the Blue Angels and the Red Eagles.

Sept. 20

  • Final day of white-knuckle racing in all classes, and more acrobatic performances and military demonstrations. The final race, the Unlimited Gold Race, will be held at 4:05 p.m.

    For complete information on the Reno National Championship Air Races, log on to