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National Championship Air Races 2005

Reno / Nevada

- by Gerhard Schmid, translation by Jurgen Binnemans -

Small aerobatics Biplanes such as Smith Miniplane, Mong Sport and Pitts Special form the Biplane Class. This class is dominated by the Pitts S-1. Large modifications are permitted in this class. The fastest machines in the Gold Class are hardly recognizable. It his hard to see what type of airplane once formed the basis of the plane.

The fastest eight of a maximum of 24 participants fly in the Gold Class. The following eight in the Silver Class and the last eight in the Bronze Class. The speeds reached in qualifying are used to determine in witch racing class the pilots will fly.

The start in the Biplane Class is a ''rolling start" just like in auto racing. All eight airplanes of one Class start at the same time. However the fastest time in the qualifying does not give the ''pole position'' but the exact opposite - the fastest pilot starts from the last position in the last row. This makes the race more exiting for the spectators.


race Low and close - that is what Reno Air Racing fans want to see. With these exciting duels of the biplane class the spectator gets value for his money...
#62 The basis of the extremely modified #62 "Phantom" of Andrew Buehler and Tom Aberle is a Mong Sport. But there isn't much left of it. But all the trouble of modifying was worth it. With 230,8 mph Andrew Buehler flew into first place - with 10 mph lead to the second place.
Pylon 5 Together with the Formula One Class the Biplanes share the smallest course. It is 3.17 miles long. Six rounds per race. So the bipes fly a total of 19 miles.
#13 Place 2 in the biplane Gold Class was for Jeffrey Lo with the #13. His Pitts LR 1 is also extensively modified. Look at the wings!
race That is not a formation flight! Here is an exciting fight for the best places along the way. Larry Teuber starts to overtake with his black Pitts S-1S #18 "Wily Cock".
#13 A frightening experience for the spectators and probably also for Jeffrey Lo. As he flies into the slipstream of airplanes ahead of him, his LR 1 seems out of control for a few seconds. Close to the deck Jeffrey could regain control and stayed in the race.
#18 A look over the shoulder shows that both overtaken machines drop back. The distance between them becomes larger and larger...
#00 For Stephen Brown the Reno Races are a home game. He lives in this gambling city. With 209,7 mph Stephen landed his Pitts S-1 #00 "Tonopah Low" in the fourth place in the Gold Class.
#18 With 180 mph Larry Teuber of Rapid City won the biplane Bronze Class race.
#16 This modified Mong is steered by Frank Jerant around the course. The film producer from Salinas, California, reached the seventh place in the Gold Class.
#51 One of the two overtaken pilots is Mark Barber with his Pitts S-1C #51 "Shortcut". With 15 mph behind Class winner Larry Teuber Mark landed on the 5th place in the Bronze Class.
#711 The eighth and last place in the biplane Gold Class was occupied by Robert Vaccariello from Houston, Texas, with his Pitts S-1S #711 "Rollin ". With 183,9 mph Robert was 48 mph slower than the winner Andrew Buehler with "Phantom".
#42 Earl Allen, likewise overtaken by Larry Teuber, came in second with his Pitts S-1S #42 "The Other Woman".
#26 Here Tom Aberle passes pylon 5 with Ben Buehler's Mong Sport #26 "Mistress". 165, 1 mph was enough for the sixth place in the Bronze Class. A pretty relaxed race for Tom, who normally dominates the Gold Class with his "Phantom".
#77 Pitts and Mong dominate the Biplane Class. An exception is the Smith Miniplane DSA-1 #77 "Rich's Brew" of Richard Beardsley from Vacaville California. 164,9 mph was sufficient for the seventh place in the Silver Class.
race Jonathan Gourley and Tom Aberle fight for the best places. In the end of the Bronze Class race Jonathan had clearly the nose in front.
#2 Jonathan Gourley flew with his Pitts S-1C #2 "Johnny Rocket" in the Bronze Class and got the third place. He flew with a speed of 171,3 mph and was thus faster than the pilots who came in last in the Silver Class.
#8 "Eightball", Carl Gruber and his black Pitts S-1C #8. With 164,8 mph he came in second last in the Bronze Class.
#28 Winner in the Silver Class was Michael Davis. Like most pilots Michael flies a Pitts S-1S. With his #28 "G-Whiz" he was leading the Silver Class with a speed of 189,4 mph.
#4 In the cockpit of this Pitts S-1S sits Marilyn Dash, the only woman in the Biplane Class. Marilyn flew into the last place at a speed of 145,9 mph in the Bronze Class.
#31 Tony M. Higa is an airplane mechanic. The Californian also flies a Pitts S-1S. Tony came in fourth in the Bronze Class race.
race This picture shows Earl Allen, with his #42 on the outer line in order to pass the slower Mike Barber in #51.
#111 With "Bar Code", his Pitts S-1S #111, Bob Blackwood is a regular participant of the Reno Races. This year Bob, here at the pylon 5, came in third in the Silver Class.
#27 Almost a standard plane with small modifications, but these are enough for the third place in the gold Class. You can see this Pitts S-1S #27 "Magic" with Norman Way at the controls.
#50 "Humm Baby" is the nickname of Jim Smith's Pitts S-1S with starting number 50. At the end of an exciting race week, Jim occupied the fifth place in the fastest group, the Gold Class.
#27 Between races and in the evening the time is used to fine-tune the engine in order to get the last out of it.
#50 In order to fly in the Gold Class, pilot and airplane must be above average. The pauses between races are used for maintenance and testing, like seen here.
continue to  >>>Part 3
 

 

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