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"A Race To Remember"

The 39th Annual National Championship Air Races and Air Show, September 12-15, 2002

Part1 / Part 2 /Part 3 / Part 4 / Teil 5 / Teil 6 / Teil 7

Unlimited Racer in Action

This is where pictures say more than words. Unlimiteds - the ultimate class of the Reno Races where the fastest piston engined aircraft of the world meet. These are currently all former fighter aircraft built from 1940 to 1950. But even until today with all the latest technology no faster aircrafts equipped with a piston engine were built!!!

Sandsturm Sunday the 15th of Septembre - a sandstorm. It is still not sure if the finals will take place.
Unlimited Start The teams of the unlimited bronce class were lucky - their races started already at lunch time. The teams of the unlimited bronce class were lucky - they started their races already at lunch time.
Unlimited Start As the silver group was due for the start the light breeze had already become a storm.
Unlimited Start Against all hopes the storm grew stronger until the prospected start of the Gold Race. The race organizers left it to the teams to take part and after a meeting of all the pilots they decided to fly except one team. 
Unlimited Race "Hoot Gibson" with Riff Raff half a body lenght in front of Jim Eberhardt with Merlins Magic.
Unlimited Race A very close race in the Unlimited Bronce - Ole Yeller in a narrow lead.
Unlimited Race Start of the Unlimited Gold. A few moments before Steve Hinton in the T-33 "Chase Plane" has radioed the famous words "Gentlemen, You have a race".
Unlimited Race Wingtip on wingtip over the finish line and the crowd is cheering. 
Argonaut Dennis Sanders taxies with his Sea Fury Mk.11 "Argonaut" to the take off.
Argonaut As if you could touch it - Argonaut at Pylon #2. The race track is off limits for spectators but selected reporters are allowed to acces this area.
Miss America The living legend of air racing: "Miss America" now since some years owned by Dr. Brent Hisey from Oklahoma City. For the first time this year a Merlin engine tuned by engine professional Rick Shanholzer was used.
Miss America A fantastic moment - the first test flight with the new race engine. Copilot: Gerhard Schmid. The feeling: indescribable.
Miss America Above Stead Airfield. Engine test with up to  80 Inch Manifold Pressure on a secure altitude.
Merlins Magic

Merlins Magic

Jim Eberhardt taxies with his P-51D Mustang "Merlins Magic" to the runway to race a few minutes later in low level flight over the race track. This Mustang is slightly modified but on the exterior you will only notice the modified  wingtips. 
Miss America

Miss America

One day later: During the qualifying on the race course and 110 Inch Manifold Pressure the RR Merlin Engine bursts. A Mustang is no sail plane and quite fast the speed decreases and the plane stalls especially when you were flying only some feets over the desert ground. At the touch down "Miss America" bumped into a hole in the ground and the undercarriage broke so that the Mustang came to a stop on it`s body and some heavy  bruises.
At least Brent was lucky that he wasn`t injured at all. The lower picture shows the hole in the engine - here a childs head would easily fit in.
Risky Business "Risky Business", is the heavily modified P-51D Mustang of Bill Rheinschild. From its outward appearance it looks very close to the stock model but this is a wolf in a sheep`s clothing
Risky Business It`s name is bringing it to the point: it is surely not free of any risks to race over the course in such a low level with 700 km/h.
Miracle Maker Ike "Red" Enns is really part of the inventory at the Reno Races.
Miracle Maker Ike Enns during the race. He had to quit in round 5 of the Unlimited Silver with his "Miracle Maker" due to technical problems. 
Bad Attitude "Bad Attitude", Bill Rheinschild's second "race horse" is a Hawker Sea Fury, taxiing along the spectators to the take off point. 
Bad Attitude "Bad Attitude" showing the markings of the Canadian Air Force on the race course. A real bad attitude would surely not be the right prerequisite for a succesful race.
Critical Mass Of one of fastest unlimited racers is Tom Dwelle`s #10 "Critical Mass", a heavily modified Sea Fury.
Critical Mass After some promising training results Tom was caught by bad luck: while taxiing to the pits his undercarriage gave way and "Critical Mass" was seriously damaged and had to withdraw.
Spirit of Texas As a former airline pilot Stewart Dawson has for sure amassed some hours in his flight log. 
Spirit of Texas But it is very far from being a routine thing to fly a mighty Hawker Sea Fury in a race against 7 opponents .
Spirit of Texas "Spirit of Texas"coming back from the race. With an average speed of 400 mph Stewart finished on the 6th place in the Gold Class.
September Fury A home game for Michael Brown and his heavily modified Sea Fury "September Fury". His home town, Carson City, is only a few miles away.
September Fury In the second year now #232 in this undercoat colour scheme. It really IS undercoat!!!
September Fury With nearly 456 mph in the final Michael Brown finished 2nd in the Unlimited Gold.
Dago Red #4 "Dago Red" won for the 4th time in a row! Piloted again, as in the year 2000, by Skip Holm the "Hired Gun".
Dago Red Dago Red had a fairly easy task after all serious competitors failed to complete the training without having more or less severe problems or accidents. Average speed in the final: over 466 mph. 
September Pops Also from Carson City comes Randy Bailey with the Sea Fury "September Pops". You can recognize the trainer version by it`s longer canopy. 
September Pops Randy comes back with the #911 after a succesful race.
Flying Dutchman The P-51D Mustang "Flying Dutchman". This machine is an unmodified aircraft from the stock and takes part in the Unlimited Bronce Class. 
Flying Dutchman The flying dutchman on the race course. Piloted by Dan Martin it reached the 3rd place in it`s class.
Strega As in the year 2000 Bill "Tiger" Destefani with his #7 Strega had no luck: at top speed the lower cowling just fell off and parts of the engine were damaged.
Strega Also some nightshifts of the ambitious team couldn`t change luck - "Strega" had to withdraw. All the fans hope for a comeback in 2003.
Furias "Furias" is a thoroughbred racer. This Sea Fury was equipped with a R-4360 radial engine with 28 cylinders  and over 70l cubic capacity. To level the massive torque the rudder had to be enlarged. 
Furias Art Vance decided for securtiy reasons not to take part in the final. A sandstorm made the race more difficult for all the pilots on the Sunday afternoon. 
Voodoo With 435 mph Matt Jackson won a superb 3rd place in the Unlimited Gold. Everything went well this year for the Team "Voodoo". 
Voodoo #5 "Voodoo" during a race.
Precious Metal A very oustanding appearance is Ron Buccarelli`s P51 "Precious Metal". It is the only P-51 without a RR Merlin engine of all the competitors. Underneath it`s cowling works the mighty RR Griffon engine. 
Precious Metal Here you can clearly see the contrarotating double propellers of this extremly modified Mustang.
Precious Metal Back to earth. Ron finished with an average speed of 381 mph in the Unlimited Silver on the 3rd place.
Riff Raff "Riff Raff" was again this year flown by Robert "Hoot" Gibson.
Riff Raff Just a few years ago Hoot piloted the Space Shuttle and now he is an airline pilot. 
Riff Raff And after there breakdown in the year 2000 the team "Riff Raff" didn`t have to face any major problems this time..
Ole Yeller Who ever visited a US-Airshow some years ago knows the "Ole Yeller". Flying legend R.A. "Bob" Hoover perfomed finest aerobatics with it. Today this legendary Mustang is owned by John Bagley.
Miss Trinidad Here you see a russian Jak-11 taxiing to the take off. It is Thomas Camp with #27 "Miss Trinidad".
Cloud Dancer Low, close and fast - that is what Jimmy Leeward with his P-51D "Cloud Dancer" is known for. Jimmy finished 2nd in the Unlimited Bronce.
go on to    >>> Part 5




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