Monday, February 19, 2018

Reno Air Racing Association Announces Fred Telling as CEO

The Reno Air Racing Association (RARA) is pleased to announce that Fred Telling, Chairman of the Board of Directors of RARA, has also been named CEO of the organization, effective immediately. Joey Scolari, a member of the RARA Board of Directors who had stepped into the role of Interim CEO when former CEO Mike Crowell left the organization, made the announcement. Tony Logoteta, Chief Operating Officer of RARA, will continue in his role of overseeing the day-to-day operations.
Telling’s experience with RARA is extensive, having been a participant in the National Championship Air races racing T6’s since 2001 and has served as the T6 class president for the last ten years. He has been a member of the Board of Directors since 2016 and assumed the role of Chairman of the Board after the 2017 event.
“Fred’s passion and vast knowledge for the sport of air racing, as well as his corporate and non-profit board experience, will greatly benefit the organization and the future of the National Championship Air Races,” said Joey Scolari, head of the search committee on behalf of RARA’s Board of Directors. “While there were several qualified candidates we interviewed, we knew that Fred’s involvement and intimate knowledge of our organization and event made him the best candidate in the end. In addition, Fred will be volunteering his time in this new role which will be a huge benefit to the organization and this year’s races.”
“I love air racing, and I love the National Championship Air Races. I am very excited and feel very fortunate to be able to offer my time to be even more involved with this organization for which I hold so much passion,” remarked Fred Telling, RARA CEO and Chairman of the Board. “I am looking forward to the opportunity of helping take the National Championship Air Races and RARA to the next level.”
Tickets are on sale for the 55th Annual National Championship Air Races, scheduled September 12-16, 2018 at Reno Stead Airport. For more information or to volunteer visit

Monday, January 29, 2018

Winter Updates - Air Racing

Things are moving along in the Air Racing world. Here’s a recap of what’s coming up in 2018.

Pylon Racing Seminar for 2018

Originally, we were unsure if PRS (Pylon Racing Seminar AKA Rookie School) would take place in 2018 due to runway construction at Reno/Stead Airport. However, a compromise was reached and while we would normally be flying during the week, the weekend will see most of the flying sessions, so the runway construction can go on as scheduled. This is a great thing for Rookies trying to get certified before the Air Races in 2018.

Speaking of the Races in 2018, they are schedule for September 12-16th this year. Tickets are already on sale, so let’s start making those travel arrangements!

And the Performers have been announced. This is a nice mix of Civilian and Military shows to intermingle with the great racing you will see this year.

The Patriots Jet Team will be back to show their unique aerobatic performance involving 6 L-39s – the largest civilian jet team in the Western Hemisphere.

Also returning is the “Screamin’ Sasquatch” Jet Waco from John Klatt Air Shows. Another unique performance and a true crowd pleaser!

The Smoke and Thunder Jet Truck will be back. This is a great ground based show and allows for launching and recovering race aircraft – which is a great help to the Air Boss at Reno!

For Military Performers, we are lucky enough to have the F-35 Heritage Flight and the F-16 Viper Demonstration Team. I’m hoping at least one of these powerful jets will be able to take the pylons!

Ely and Other Locations

It looks like a race will be held in Ely, NV right after PRS from June 11th through the 16th. The Ely Race will likely be a two-class event. The airport was built for Air Racing – a enormous flat plateau. The course design is underway.

Other locations are also being discussed from the East Coast of the USA to the West Coast of Canada. There are also races schedule in Europe – including the fourth race in Portugal featuring three classes of Sport Racers.

While naysayers have been telling us that Air Racing is a dying sport – we say - HA!

NBC Sports Special

Circle March 31st on your calendar. NBC Sports will be airing the three-part series of the 2017 Air Races featuring all three classes starting on that date. The other 2 episodes will be scheduled afterwards. AND – will be re-aired some time over the Summer months. Call your friends, alert everyone – we need more people to see this amazing event – so we can get more fans in the seats!

A Big THANK YOU to Stihl for their Sponsorship
Credit: Anthony D. Taylor

Speaking of Fans…

How do we reach out to the younger generation?

I belong to several aviation organizations and a common theme in the last few months has been – how do we increase interest in Aviation – in a Xbox World? How do we introduce today’s youth to mechanical things? How do we get them to come to the hangar early on a Saturday morning to learn how an engine works and how to pack bearings or rivet a fuselage?

The Reno Air Races have tried Drone Races (pssst – they’ll be back in 2018) and Motorcross demonstrations. We have also seen the Saab Demo Team (I loved that!). And after hours musical events – which was great for those of us who stay late.

We really need to reach out to NEW fans – not just keep the old ones. We need to share with them the exciting things that happen in the High Desert in mid-September every year.

If you have ideas on how to make that happen – let me know! I’m always open to ideas.


Another area we need to focus on these days is increasing the number of Sponsors we have for the Races and for individual Racers.

Each one of you who are reading these words may know someone who knows someone who either owns a company or works for a company who may be a great sponsor for Air Racing. Think about it – who would benefit by telling their story to the fans of Air Racing. Look at Stihl. Before they started sponsoring Andrew Findlay in the Sport Class – had you heard of them? Had you seen NATIONAL advertisement for their brand? Probably not. But someone on their Marketing Team said – this might be a great place for us to build awareness of our products.

There are other Stihl companies out there who could also build on their brand by sharing their products with the Air Racing Fans.

Again – any ideas? Let me know!

Justin Philipson in No Strings Attached
Credit: Anthony D. Taylor

Lots of exciting things are coming along and as they firm up – I will be sure to share this information.

Happy 2018 and let’s go Flying! 

Monday, January 22, 2018

Reno Air Racing Association Announces Aerobatics Performers

RENO, Nev. – The Reno Air Racing Association (RARA) is excited to release the initial list of performers for the 2018 National Championship Air Races, scheduled September 12 – 16, 2018 at the Reno-Stead Airport.

The Patriots Jet Team will headline this year’s performers. The Screamin’ Sasquatch Jet Waco from John Klatt Air Shows will perform aerobatics, along with the Smoke ‘n Thunder Jet Truck. Demonstrations will also include the F-16 Fighting Falcon as well as an F-35 leading the Heritage Flight.

“The National Championship Air Races are very excited that the Patriots will be returning to Reno this year,” RARA COO Tony Logoteta said. “We’re also thrilled to welcome back the John Klatt and Smoke ‘n Thunder Teams as well as our military demonstrations. I hope that race fans, visitors, and spectators will be as excited about this year’s lineup as I am.”

The Patriots Jet Team is very excited to be back this year to perform at the Reno Air Races,” said Ginette Huot, Events and Operations of the Patriots Jet Team. “We love the spectators, and we love the races.”

Tickets are on sale for the 55th Annual National Championship Air Races, scheduled September 12-16, 2018 at Reno Stead Airport. For more information or to volunteer visit

Performer Descriptions

Patriots Jet Team: The story of the Patriots Jet Team, the largest civilian-owned aerobatic jet team in the western hemisphere, began with the vision of one person, Randy Howell. Fueled by a passion for aviation since childhood, it became Howell’s mission to create a six-jet aerobatic demonstration team that could entertain, inspire and educate today’s youth.

The talented group of pilots was first assembled in 2002 by Howell. Based in Byron, CA, the Patriots Jet Team features pilots who were formerly part of the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds and U.S. Navy Blue Angels. The volunteer pilots all share the same genuine passion for entertaining audiences at air shows and other events, while also encouraging the nation’s youth toward careers in the aviation and aerospace fields.

The Patriots Jet Team, unique in its kind, represents an all-encompassing blend of passion, inspiration, integrity, and professionalism, and captivates audiences from all over North America with their exhilarating aerobatic performances.

“The "Screamin’ Sasquatch" Jet Waco from John Klatt Air Shows: Starting life as a classic 1929 Taperwing Waco, this was once the aircraft of choice for barnstormers in the 1930’s and 1940’s. The Screamin’ Sasquatch has been completely redesigned and structurally reinforced using modern day engineering and materials, along with state-of-the-art technology to allow the addition of a jet engine to the aircraft. The Jack Link’s Jet Waco Screamin’ Sasquatch is powered by dual power plants: a Pratt & Whitney 985 radial engine and a General Electric CJ610 (J85) jet engine with 3,000 lbs. of thrust. Total thrust of the combined engines is rated at 4,500 lbs. A three-bladed Hartzell propeller is used to harness the power of the 985 radial.

This system allows the plane to achieve feats other stunt planes are unable to do, along with reaching speeds up to 250 mph. Snap rolls, spins, barrel rolls and the hover are among the list of maneuvers this aircraft can perform. The plane has a thrust ratio of greater than 1 to 1, which allows it to accelerate going straight up.

Smoke ‘n Thunder Jet Truck: The Hot Streak II is a twin jet engine 57 Chevy Pickup capable of speeds of 350+mph that has been entertaining fans across the country for over 20 years and is currently driven by Hayden Proffitt II.

It has two 2-Westinghouse turbine engines, reused from a Navy T-2A Buckeye Airplane with 25,000 horsepower. It delivers a ground shaking, heart-pounding performance equipped with an afterburner that fires 20-foot flames and produces billowing smoke and mini sonic booms.

F-35 Heritage Flight: The heritage flight program, of which the F-35 is a part, teams up current Air Force fighters with planes from the World War II, Korean and Vietnam eras in a dynamic display of our nation's airpower history.

The F-35 is the U.S. Air Force’s latest fifth-generation fighter. It will replace the F-16 Fighting Falcons and A-10 Thunderbolt II’s, which have been the primary fighter aircraft for more than 20 years, and bring with it an enhanced capability to survive in the advanced threat environment in which it was designed to operate. With its aerodynamic performance and advanced integrated avionics, the F-35 will provide next-generation stealth, enhanced situational awareness and reduced vulnerability for the United States and allied nations.

F-16: The Air Combat Command F-16 Viper Demonstration Team performs precision aerial maneuvers to demonstrate the unique capabilities of one of the Air Force’s premier aerial multi-role fighters, the F-16 Fighting Falcon.

The F-16 Fighting Falcon is a single-seat, multi-mission fighter with the ability to switch from an air-to-ground to an air-to-air role at the touch of a button. With its lightweight airframe and powerful General Electric engine generating 31,000 pounds of thrust, the F-16 can fly at speeds in excess of Mach 2.

 About the Reno Air Racing Association: The Reno Air Racing Association (RARA), a 501(c)(3), holds the National Championship Air Races every September just north of Reno. The Reno Air Races have become an institution for northern Nevada and aviation enthusiasts from around the world. Independent economic impact studies have shown that our event generates as much as $91.7 million annually for our local economy. The event features six racing classes, a large display of static aircraft and several military and civil flight demonstrations. For more information on the National Championship Air Races, to obtain media credentials, volunteer or purchase tickets for this year’s event, visit

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Air Race 1 – Thailand 2017

Another amazing race put on by Air Race 1, this time in Thailand; where sixteen racers from all over the world met at U-Tapao Naval Air Base to continue the competition from the Reno Air Races in September for the World Championship.
Jeff Zaltman has been putting on these races for several years now and believes this was the largest crowd to watch a Formula 1 Race – ever. Estimates of over 40,000 spectators have been quoted. We certainly don’t get 40,000 spectators for our early races at Reno!

Tim Cone Overtakes Phil Goforth for the Lead

Tim Cone won and is now the Air Race 1 World Cup Champion. He had some hiccups earlier in the week, but in the Gold Final, he shot passed the competition. The Gold Podium included Justin Phillipson,” No Strings Attached” in Third Place and Philip Goforth of Texas in “Knotty Girl” in Second Place.
Cone’s airplane, a highly modified Cassutt named “What Airplane, Honey”, was named when his wife only realizing he owned the plane when she saw him flying it on TV during the NBC Sports airing of the Reno Air Races. Nice try, Tim!

Justin Phillipson in No Strings Attached

Behind the leaders were 2015 Air Race 1 World Cup winner Thom Richard in “Outrageous” who settled for fourth place and Team Siam Air Racing “Hysteria” flown by Bangkok-based Frenchman, Lionel Mougel finished fifth.
Steve Temple in “Quadnickel”, Ryszard Zadow in “Last Lap Player” and Jerry Marshall rounded out the Gold Final.
Pilots at the Opening Ceremonies

Silver Race
Earlier in the afternoon, Swaid Rahn flying “Heatstroke” was the winner of the Silver Final, finishing ahead of Chip Maples in “Miss USA”. Swaid led the entire race from start to finish.
Afterwards he was quoted as saying, “Thailand has been an awesome experience and we would love to come back.”
Canadian Scott Holmes finished third in ‘Outlaw’, just ahead of Paul Newman in fourth and Kent Jackson in fifth. Trevor Jarvis finished sixth and Des Hart from Scotland, continued his difficult week, with a DNF. Steve Tumlin in his first Thailand Race received a DNS.

More close racing action in Thailand

Other locations?
Discussion has started to have another Air Race 1 event in Ely, Nevada. We were lucky enough to stop by their local airport and discuss how the planning was coming along.
While Ely is far from major cities, they do know how to put on a World Class event. They host the Silver State Classic and Nevada Open Road Challenge each year. For this event the entire town comes out to volunteer or to spectate.  
They are blessed with a beautiful airport – with plenty of flat land for racing and pylons. Multiple runways give pilots lots of options.
More on the Ely Race as we get closer. But, I believe 2018 will be a great year for Air Racing – across the globe!
Special THANKS to Naomi Dschaak, who was lucky enough to go to Thailand and was kind enough to let us use her photos for this month’s column!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Red Bull Air Racing 2018 Preview

Great Britain’s Ben Murphy – a former leader of the renowned Royal Air Force aerobatic team “The Red Arrows” – has secured a spot to compete for the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in 2018. Bringing two years of experience as a Challenger Class contender, Murphy will be joining an elite international field in the Master Class, including six overall podium finishers with four season titles among them.

Salzburg, Austria - Highlighting the 14-pilot lineup for the new season that kicks off in Abu Dhabi this February are all the top competitors from 2017. Chief among them, four pilots will be looking to reignite the rivalry that they took all the way to the season finale: first-time World Champion Yoshihide Muroya of Japan; the standouts in second and third overall, Martin Šonka of the Czech Republic and Pete McLeod of Canada; and former double titleholder Kirby Chambliss of the USA, who finished fourth. Meanwhile, 2016 World Champion Matthias Dolderer of Germany is determined to return to dominance, and two-time overall runner-up Matt Hall from Australia is back in top form after getting a new raceplane and team members up to speed.

Great Britain, however, has the best record in the World Championship. Across 10 previous seasons, 40 percent of the overall wins have been claimed by British pilots Paul Bonhomme (2009, 2010, 2015) and Nigel Lamb (2014). After the two legends retired, fans of the Union Jack were left without a home hero last year – but that will change the moment Murphy takes off. 

“It’s a huge honor to be moving up to the Master Class in 2018. It will be great to have the British colors flying again and to follow in the footsteps of fellow British pilots Paul Bonhomme and Nigel Lamb,” says Murphy, who will spend the off-season securing a raceplane and assembling his Blades Racing Team. “Both have been an inspiration to me, and this move marks the next major step in the campaign to battle to the top and match their World Championship successes. Those are big shoes to fill, though!”

Bonhomme, who retired in 2015 and is now an expert analyst for the Red Bull Air Race live broadcast, notes, “It’s fantastic that the UK fans will have a pilot to follow in 2018. It’s a steep learning curve, however, and they should be patient for podiums and wins. Having said that, Ben has the skills, background and support available to do well.”

Including Murphy, the Challenger Class – a component of the Red Bull Air Race launched in 2014 to give talented aviators a chance to build their racing skills – has produced seven Master Class pilots, who quickly became forces to be reckoned with. Their technical innovations and podium finishes have made the World Championship even more exciting and unpredictable than ever. 

“The World Championship in 2017 gave us a taste of things to come. No one dominated for the entire season, and I reckon we’ll see similar next year,” Bonhomme assesses. “Having said that, there are some very hungry pilots out there. The first two to three races will give us a clue to see if anyone can pull ahead.

Ben Murphy will make his Red Bull Air Race World Championship debut at the 11th consecutive season opener in Abu Dhabi, UAE on 2-3 February 2018.

2018 Master Class Pilots
Cristian Bolton (CHI)
Mikaël Brageot (FRA)
Kirby Chambliss (USA)
Matthias Dolderer (GER)
Michael Goulian (USA)
Matt Hall (AUS)
Nicolas Ivanoff (FRA)
Petr Kopfstein (CZE)
François Le Vot (FRA)
Pete McLeod (CAN)
Yoshihide Muroya (JPN)
Ben Murphy (GBR)
Martin Šonka (CZE)
Juan Velarde (ESP) 

Be there! Tickets for the 2018 Red Bull Air Race World Championship are now available. For all the latest news and information, including tickets, visit


2-3 February: Abu Dhabi, UAE
21-22 April: Cannes, France
26-27 May: Europe, location TBA
23-24 June: Budapest, Hungary
4-5 August: Asia, location TBA
25-26 August: Kazan, Russia
6-7 October: Indianapolis, USA
November: Asia, location TBA 

Created in 2003, the Red Bull Air Race World Championship has held more than 80 races around the world. The Red Bull Air Race World Championship features the world’s best race pilots in a pure motorsport competition that combines speed, precision and skill. Using the fastest, most agile, lightweight racing planes, pilots hit speeds of 370kmh while enduring forces of up to 10G as they navigate a low-level slalom track marked by 25-meter-high, air-filled pylons. In 2014, the Challenger Cup was conceived to help the next generation of pilots develop the skills needed for potential advancement to the Master Class that vies for the World Championship. 

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Red Bull Air Race 2018 calendar

Red Bull Air Race 2018 calendar to include
first-ever stop in France

In 2018, the Red Bull Air Race World Championship will make eight stops around the globe, featuring classic series destinations and exciting surprises like a premiere in Cannes – the first French race in the history of the sport. Here’s a preview.
Cannes, France – On 2-3 February, the campaign for the 2018 World Championship will take flight with a record 11th consecutive season opener in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Next: Cannes rolls out the red carpet for the series’ long-awaited debut in France on 21-22 April. With French pilots in both the Master Class and the Challenger Class – including the first woman to compete in the series, Mélanie Astles – the 370kmh action over the Riviera will undoubtedly mark one of the high points of the season.
In May, the towering 25-meter Air Gates will rise at another European location, still under wraps, for the third stop of the season; while the midpoint will be celebrated as the raceplanes once again speed under the iconic Chain Bridge in Budapest, Hungary on 23-24 June.
The 2017 World Champion Yoshihide Muroya of Japan – the first Asian pilot ever to claim the overall title – is sure to be the center of attention when the second half of the calendar kicks off with a race in Asia slated for August at a location to be announced. Then on 25-26 August it’s a return to Kazan, Russia, where the World Championship ignited the passion of the country’s motorsport fans with a maiden race in 2017.
The final two stops will criss-cross the globe, with a showdown on 6-7 October at the USA’s famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the third year in a row, followed by the high drama of a November season finale, which will make history as the first to be held in Asia (location TBA).

“The 2017 title went down to the wire, keeping the world in suspense up until the final run of the final race, and now the teams are using the off-season to make their raceplanes even faster,” says Erich Wolf, General Manager of Red Bull Air Race GmbH. “The best pilots in the world just keep getting better, and the destinations that will welcome them next year are spectacular. I can’t predict who will win the 2018 season, but I guarantee it’ll be one to watch.”
Ticketing for the 2018 Red Bull Air Race World Championship is underway. For all the latest news and information, including tickets, visit

Red Bull Air Race 2018 Calendar
2-3 February: Abu Dhabi, UAE
21-22 April: Cannes, France
26-27 May: Europe, location TBA
23-24 June: Budapest, Hungary
4-5 August: Asia, location TBA
25-26 August: Kazan, Russia
6-7 October: Indianapolis, USA
November: Asia, location TBA 

Created in 2003, the Red Bull Air Race World Championship has held more than 80 races around the world. The Red Bull Air Race World Championship features the world’s best race pilots in a pure motorsport competition that combines speed, precision and skill. Using the fastest, most agile, lightweight racing planes, pilots hit speeds of 370kmh while enduring forces of up to 10G as they navigate a low-level slalom track marked by 25-meter-high, air-filled pylons. In 2014, the Challenger Cup was conceived to help the next generation of pilots develop the skills needed for potential advancement to the Master Class that vies for the World Championship.

The Red Bull Air Race Newsroom is a free media service providing news, stories, high-resolution photography, audio, footage for TV and web, as well as race results and background information about the Red Bull Air Race World Championship. 

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Muroya wins 2017 Red Bull Air Race World Championship

Yoshihide Muroya’s race went from disaster to delirium on Sunday, when after facing elimination in his opening heat, the Japanese pilot finished as the 2017 Red Bull Air Race World Champion. In the season finale at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Martin Šonka of the Czech Republic earned second overall and Pete McLeod of Canada took third.

Indianapolis (USA) – The season finale was heartstopping from the very beginning, with Šonka and Muroya, ranked one and two in the standings, going head to head in the Round of 14. Flying first, Muroya’s championship hopes seemed to be over when he incurred a two-second penalty – but in strong winds Šonka hit a pylon for a three-second penalty that advanced Japan’s hero to the Round of 8. The other two pilots with a chance for the championship, Pete McLeod (Canada) and Kirby Chambliss (USA) also stumbled in the opening round, but Muroya still couldn’t rest, because Šonka ended up advancing after all as the round’s fastest loser. When the title contenders both won their Round of 8 heats, it all came down to the Final 4. 

There, going first with everything on the line, Muroya was fearless, flying to a new track record of 1:03.026 that 2016 World Champion Matthias Dolderer of Germany and Spain’s Juan Velarde couldn’t match. The pressure all was on Šonka. The Czech pilot flew cleanly, but with a technical issue plus a wing stall in the Vertical Turning Maneuver, he could manage only 1:07.280, and both the race win and Asia’s first Red Bull Air Race World Championship belonged to Muroya.

As the race awards were handed out in the iconic infield of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Muroya was joined on the podium by Dolderer in second and Velarde in third. Then, when the World Championship trophy was presented, Muroya was sprayed with champagne by Šonka and McLeod, who stood on the overall podium for the first time themselves with second and third place overall, respectively.  

“This is an amazing chapter for motorsports to win a race here. It was the tightest championship ever with the four of us close right up until the end. We were behind at the start of the season, so it was the long way and the hard way, but we made it,” said Muroya as he held back tears. “I thought the timing was broken when I saw my time in the Final 4, and before the race our computer would have said it wasn’t possible, so something was pushing me quite a lot. That was the fans, my family and my team, so thanks to them for making it happen.”

Clinching Japan’s first World Championship at Indianapolis Motor Speedway also marked a remarkable new milestone in the history of the century-old racetrack, where just this year Takuma Sato – who was on site all weekend to cheer Muroya – became the first Japanese racecar driver to win the famed Indianapolis 500. 

Results Master Class race Indianapolis 2017: 
1. Yoshihide Muroya (JPN), 2. Matthias Dolderer (GER), 3. Juan Velarde (ESP), 4. Martin Šonka (CZE), 5. Petr Kopfstein(CZE), 6. Mikaël Brageot (FRA), 7. Michael Goulian (USA), 8. Matt Hall (AUS), 9. Cristian Bolton (CHI), 10. Kirby Chambliss(USA), 11. Pete McLeod (CAN), 12. François Le Vot (FRA), 13. Nicolas Ivanoff (FRA), 14. Peter Podlunšek (SLO)

Final standings, 2017 Red Bull Air Race World Championship: 1. Yoshihide Muroya (JPN) 74 pts,   2. Martin Šonka(CZE) 70 points, 3. Pete McLeod (CAN) 56 pts, 4. Kirby Chambliss (USA) 53 pts, 5. Petr Kopfstein (CZE) 43 pts, 6. Matt Hall (AUS) 40 pts, 7. Matthias Dolderer (GER) 39 pts, 8. Juan Velarde (ESP) 37 pts, 9. Michael Goulian (USA) 28 pts, 10. Mikaël Brageot (FRA) 24 pts, 11. Nicolas Ivanoff (FRA) 16 pts, 12. Peter Podlunšek (SLO) 14 pts, 13. Cristian Bolton (CHI) 9 pts, 14. François Le Vot (FRA) 9 pts