And They’re Racing!


It’s September in Reno, and to aviation buffs, that means one thing – Air Racing! Once again, pilots are flocking to Stead Field north of the city to see whose aircraft is fastest – or at least fastest ion their class. While the crowd-favorite Unlimiteds are always the focus of the general public, it’s hard to ignore the fact that the Sport Class racers are going faster than many of the war bird qualifiers, and Sport Class means homebuilts!

But let’s not forget that the homebuilt label also applies to the Formula 1 racers, as well as quite a few of the Biplanes that will be going around the pylons all week as well. There is plenty of flying for anyone interested in experimental aircraft to follow, and we’ll be here much of the week to see what we can find out behind the scenes.

Our Kitplanes contributors will be wandering the pits looking for interesting stories on special modifications to airframe and engines, and you’ll see stories on those secrets throughout the year. Racing is about going fast, but that also means increasing efficiency – something that every builder and pilot would like to do.

Throughout the week, you can follow the detailed results of both qualifying and racing on the Reno Air Racing Association web site. The RARA reports team does a great job of keeping the reports up to date, and you might know the results of heats and races before those standing on the rail!

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Paul Dye
Paul Dye, KITPLANES® Editor at Large, retired as a Lead Flight Director for NASA’s Human Space Flight program, with 40 years of aerospace experience on everything from Cubs to the Space Shuttle. An avid homebuilder, he began flying and working on airplanes as a teen and has experience with a wide range of construction techniques and materials. He flies an RV-8 and SubSonex jet that he built, an RV-3 that he built with his pilot wife, as well as a Dream Tundra and an electric Xenos motorglider they completed. Currently, they are building an F1 Rocket. A commercially licensed pilot, he has logged over 6000 hours in many different types of aircraft and is an A&P, FAA DAR, EAA Tech Counselor and Flight Advisor; he was formerly a member of the Homebuilder’s Council. He consults and collaborates in aerospace operations and flight-testing projects across the country.


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