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National Championship Air Races 2005

Reno / Nevada

- by Gerhard Schmid - translation by Jurgen Binnemans -

Small but brave one could say when looking at the speeds, that the participants in the Sport Class reach when flying around the 6.36 mile long course. With speeds of well over 300 mph some Sport Class pilots would easily qualify for the Unlimited Class and leave some stock-Mustangs in the Unlimited Bronze behind.

The airplanes that are certified for the Sport Class, must originate from a production model of which there are at least five planes build. Another condition is the use of a piston engine of max. 650 cubic inch.

As in the Unlimited Class, the Sport Class groups of Gold, Silver and Bronze fly together in the same race, after the pace-plane starts the race with the words "Gentlemen, You have A Race".

#3x This is the newest generation of Sport Class Racers: the Nemesis NXT, a small series of production kit-airplanes. In the construction one main theme came clearly to the foreground: speed.
pilot Will Whiteside rolls with his Lancair 360 #16 to the start of the Bronze Sport Class race. The airline pilot takes a breath of fresh air in the cockpit, before closing the hood. After this the temperature rises very quickly.
#42 In the 2005 Sport Class races, two of the new Nemesis NXT took part. While Jon Sharp's #3x "Nemesis" fought during the entire week with technical problems, Kevin Eldredge with #42 "Relentless" flew 343.1 mph fast and took third place.
#16 253,7 mph was sufficient for second place in the Bronze Class. Between Will Whiteside and the overall winner of the Sport Class, Darryl Greenamyer, there is a speed difference of 100 mph.
Eldredge / Sharp Jon Sharp (right) and Kevin Eldredge in front of there NXT Racers. Jon Sharp, initiator and producer of the Nemesis NXT, became nine times in a row the winner of the Formula One Class from 1991-1999. His airplane at that time was called Nemesis.
#4 Many years Scott Germain stood as a photographer at the pylon, now he has fulfilled his dream. Even if his plane flies only 233 mph and is the red lantern, competing is enough for him...
#351 John Parker's "Thunder Mustang" looks and sounds like a genuine Mustang in a fast flyby with a 640 HP V-12 engine. When the Thunder Mustang kits were still being manufactured, the price (engine included) was US $ 285.000.
#4 Photo genetic were all Flyby's of Scott Germain and his Lancair 360 #4 "unleashed". He knows of course what his former colleagues want to see.
#351 356,7 Mph fast John Parker flew his Thunder Mustang #351 "Blue Thunder" around the Pylons and reached the second place.
#40 Airplanes without retractable landing gear like this Glassair II S TD hardly have a chance to participate in the Silver or Gold Class. With 267 mph Philip Earl Hibler became the winner of the Bronze Class with the #40.
#33 The winner in the Sport Gold Class was Darryl Greenamyer, just like in the preceding three years. With an unbelievable 364, 9 mph the living "Reno" legend flew the Lancair Legacy over the finish line.
#22 Also kit-airplanes of the type Harmon Rocket fly in the Bronze Class. Common in the USA, these fast two-seaters are in Europe almost unknown. Here Greg Nelson with the # 22.
#33 Reno living legend Darryl Greenamyer was already flying in the first edition of the races in the 60's - then still on the dusty Sky Ranch. In the Unlimited Class he won the title not less than seven times. In this picture he parks his Lancair Legacy after the race.
#95 Mark Sponsler, airline pilot from Sedona, Arizona, came in fifth in the Bronze Class with his Harmon Rocket II, at a speed of 248, 8 mph.
#5 Also a Lancair Legacy, at the controls: Lee Behel with the # 5. With 310, 6 mph it was more then 50 mph slower than the official Lancair of Greenamyer, and reached the fifth place.
#84 Just one mph faster was Mark Frederick and took with hiss #84 the fourth rank.
#19 Very aerodynamically clean this Glassair III with the #19. With 296, 7 mph Craig Sherman flew in the Gold Class also and took sixth place behind Lee Behel.
duel Mark Sponsler overtakes with his Harmon Rocket Klaus Savier with his Vari-Eze #111 "Delaminator".
duel Here you see a duel: two Lancair Legacy's in the Silver Race. Alair Scott with the #77 flies close to David Cronin with the # 1. Later the two take places two and three Silver Class.
taxiing Ernie Sutter in his Lancair Legacy #66 and Klaus Savier with his Var-Eze #111 on the runway.
duel David Cronin (# 1) overtakes Dave Morss (# 99) flying before him, also with a Lancair Legacy. Test pilot Morss, also flying in the Unlimited and jet Classes, came in fourth.
#45 Unfortunately he flew no more on Sunday: Dean Berry with his camouflage painted Harmon Rocket II # 45.
#25 Kirk Murphy from Prescott, Arizona, achieved last place in the Silver Group at the stick of this Glassair II RG with the #25.
Continue to   >>>Part 4


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