Things are Heating Up in Reno!


The 52nd Annual National Championship Air Races have kicked off their week of dominating the skies north of Reno Nevada – and qualifying has begun. Today, Tom Aberle set a new speed record in the Biplane class in his modified Mong Sport named “Phantom” with a speed of 284.454 mph. And that was just the first morning of the first day of the event – many more airplanes are tuning and practicing for the heat races to come. Of special interest to Kitplanes readers is the Sport class – ranging from a huge number of RV’s to the high end Lancairs, this is the class for homebuilders and their mounts. Formula 1 and the Biplanes are also here in numbers – so for those who live and breath experimental aviation, its not about the big Unlimiteds (although they are fun to watch as well).

Photo credit: Elliot Seguin
Photo credit: Elliot Seguin

Reno is currently experiencing a fair amount of smoke and haze due to growing wildfires in California, but so far it is staying VFR and the forecasts are for it to stay that way. We’ll be watching for interesting stories all week, and will share them with you here on Newsline at

For details on tickets and information on the races, go to

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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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