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National Championship Air Races 2006

Reno / Nevada

- by Gerhard Schmid, translation by Jurgen Binnemans -

The biplane Class offers a good opportunity to participate with an everyday life airplane in the Reno Air Races. With a standard Pitts Special, a Mong Sport or a Smith Miniplane you can fly with lots of fun around the pylons.

These fast double-deckers reach over 200 mph on the 3.18 miles long race course. Modifications of the airplanes are permitted within certain limits, basic rules like a maximum engine size (360 cubic inches), fixed pitch propeller, surface of the wings to each other; fixed undercarriage etc. enable equal chances and provide more security. The differences are nevertheless enormous - between the first and the last place there is a difference of 100 mph…

And if you did not make it to Reno in 2006 - here is our   >>>Book-tip

start The first days of the racing week are for training and qualifying. In the morning a time window is reserved for the biplanes. Here the participants wait for the departure on Runway 08.
#13 Jeffrey Lo taxies to Runway 26 with his fast Pitts LR-1 “Miss Gianna”. 26 is used when de wind comes from the west. This year Jeffrey finished second in the Biplane Gold - with 231,685 mph.
start Processions of biplanes to Runway 26, where this year due to the quite strong and cold west wind, some races were started.
#16 Frank Jerant flies a modified Mong Sport with the #16. With a speed of 178,558 mph Frank reached sixth place in Biplane Gold.
start Jim Smith with the red Pitts S-1C #50 and Richard Beardsley with his blue-yellow Smith Miniplane DSA-1 #77 prepare for the race.
#17 Jeff Watkins with his Pitts S-1S #17 “Devil In Da Skies”. 173,755 mph was sufficient for the seventh place in Biplane Gold.
#18 #00 Larry Teuber with the #18 “Wiley Cock” and Stephen Brown with #00 “Tonopah Low II”. Stephen Brown was able to finish in front of Larry Teuber.
#2 The Pitts with the smiling face: Jonathan Gourley was 170.345 mph fast in the last race and finished third in the Biplane Bronze.
#21 The Pitts S-1S #21 “Son of Galloping Goat”, flown by J.P. Thibodeau.  J.P. was 189,200 Mph fast and reached thereby place four in Biplane Gold.
#38 Dan O'Marro flew the red lantern in the biplane Class this year. After five years abstinence he participated with his Smith Miniplane in the races. 142,426 mph was Dan’s speed.
#4 Marilyn Dash with her Pitts S-1S #4 “Ruby” doing an engine test. A crew member holds the tail.
#44 “Bottoms Up” is for this airplane a fitting name, Michael Langston's Pitts S-1S with the #4. Michael participated for the first time and reached with 179,126 mph place 2 in Biplane Bronze.
#4 Last year Marilyn finished last in the Biplane Class. This year with 155,282 Mph she came in second last in the Bronze Class with her #4 “Ruby”.
#50 Jim Smith already participated many times in the Air Races. This year he could secure the fifth place in the Gold Group with his Pitts S-1C #50 “Humm baby”. He was 181.612 mph fast.
#62 The winner of this year was Tom Aberle with the extremely modified Mong Sport #62 “Phantom”. Tom brought the fast Racer again to victory lane with 251,958 Mph.
#69 Jason Somes, who participates beside the Biplane Class also in the Formula One and in the T-6 Class, won the Bronze Class with 183,175 mph.
#62 This picture clearly shows the partial extreme modifications. Remarkably is the chassis construction, the fuselage form and the four-bladed propeller.
#7x Kirk Murphy is a racing pilot since 2004 and tried three different racing classes. This year he became eight in Biplane Gold with his Pitts S-1S #7X “Lady Luck”. This was with a speed of 173,689 mph.

Mark Barbers Pitts S-1S #86 “Shortcut” carries a racing design instead of the classical red aerobatics Pitts design. For Mark it was his third year of participation and 165.310 Mph brought him into place 5 in the Bronze Group.

#9 2006 was Erica Hoaglands rookie year. With her blue Pitts S-1C #9 “Bittersweet” she flew 167.285 mph fast and landed thereby at place four in Biplane Bronze.
#17 #16 Frank Jerant with the #16 “Mongstrosity” overtakes Jeff Watkins with #17 “Devil In Da Skies”.
#00 Since 1990 Stephen Brown participated each year with his Pitts #00 “Tonopah Low”. 212,237 mph was sufficient in this year’s race for place three behind Tom Aberle and Jeffrey Lo.
#10 It was the women year in the Biplane Class. In the cockpit of the Pitts S-1S #10 “Blue Skies”, Leah Sommer flew her first race and finished at place 6 in the Bronze Group with 165,178 mph.
Proceed to >>>Part 3 (german)


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