Around the Pattern

Ramblings about flying for fun and profit.

Tag: Voodoo

Reno – Day Six

For those of us who are based at Reno-Stead the races are not just the five days published as the race days. The airport starts to transform into the race venue about a month prior to the event. It all begins with the set-up of the temporary bleachers – all the sections to the east of the main grandstands.

It will now take almost 3 weeks to return the airport to its normal operations. Today was departure day for the majority of the aircraft that were on the field during the races. By the time I left for home about 5:30 pm the ramp was virtually empty of aircraft. All through the day we had high performance takeoffs and low passes across the field. VIP tents, skyboxes and some pit areas are still in place, but are quickly being dismantled.  The taxiway in front of my hangar runs right into the area where the Hawker-Beechcraft display was located. All of their display is gone except for a 3′ pile of rocks right on the taxiway centerline. Apparently the ramp sweeper can’t pick up grapefruit- to basketball-sized rocks.

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Reno – Day Four and Five

Day four was Saturday. More heat races and the Snowbirds show and  the super-loud F-18 demo. (Make sure that you bring earplugs when you attend the races.)  I got out of the hangar for a little while, but spent most of the time there talking with the people who stopped by.

After the racing had concluded on Saturday I helped out with a BBQ dinner that some of the RV builders on the airport have started hosting. Each year on Saturday night the Stead RV builders host a BBQ for anybody who has built or is building one of Van’s RV series of aircraft. Last night about 55 people showed up for the donations-only dinner. No, I have not built an RV of any kind. Since I brought one of the BBQ units, offered to cook and have a metal airplane they said they’d let me stick around and have dinner. Nice bunch of folks from all over the U.S. and Canada.

I was surprised at the amount of flying that was going the race schedule had been completed. A few planes went out on what appeared to be test flights but the majority of the flights had two people in the plane.  Right at sundown a four-ship formation came back and did an overhead pattern to landing – two F7f Tigercats and two P-38s. I was aimed the wrong direction to get a photo of the formation – sorry. I’m not sure if they managed an air-to-air photo shoot, but if they did the results will be in the magazines in a couple of months.

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Reno – Day One

The first official day of the races was today, Wednesday. The morning sessions were filled with qualifying periods and the afternoon sessions were the first of the heat races for all classes except the unlimiteds.

The Reno Air Race Association has a website at airrace.org. All of the qualifying times and race results will be posted there.  I ‘borrowed’ some of the qualifying times and placed them in this pdf file. It shows the top four qualifiers in each class.  For those of you interested in the unlimiteds, Steve Hinton (the younger) qualified first Flying Strega at 484.255 mph followed very closely by Will Whiteside flying Voodoo at 479.180 mph.

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