The Reno Air Races: STIHL National Championship Air Races will bring hundreds of aircraft, their pilots and crews to the high desert north of Reno from Sept. 11–15, 2019.

The annual event is an institution for Northern Nevada and aviation enthusiasts worldwide. With six racing classes, a large display of static aircraft and several military and civilian flight demonstrations, there is an experience for everyone at the Reno Air Races.

Reno Air Races Performance Lineup

Photo Courtesy Reno Air Races: STIHL National Championship Air Races / Jeff Loewe

The core of the event is the six racing classes competing head-to-head at speeds exceeding 500 mph. The performance lineup includes:

STOL Drag Racing Demonstration
STOL stands for short take-off and landing. The STOL Drag Racing Demonstration is the world’s largest backcountry fly-in. Pilots fly a 3/4 mile straightaway down and back side-by-side, land on a marker and completely stop before turning around. The first pilot to completely stop wins.

F-18 Legacy Flight
The VFA-122 Demonstration Team will perform the F-18 Legacy Flight with two FA-18E/F Super Hornet aircraft. The Strike Fighter Squadron 122 (VFA-122) also known as the “Flying Eagles” is a United States Navy F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and F/A-18 Hornet Fleet Replacement Squadron. A historical Navy aircraft will join the F-18.

Michael Wiskus and the Lucas Oil Airshow
See world-class aerobatics with Michael Wiskus in the Lucas Oil Airshows Pitts Biplane. Wiskus will perform double hammerhead rolls to slowing the airplane down to zero airspeed. Wiskus bought the Lucas Oil Pitts S-1-11B in 2000 on eBay as a wreck. With the help of Tom Kerns, he rebuilt it and extremely modified its original build.

Commemorative Air Force
Watch an aerial demonstration of World War II aircraft by the Commemorative Air Force. CAF restores and preserves aircraft in flying condition from World War II and other military conflicts. It is one of the most significant air forces in the world with 13,000 members and a fleet of more than 175 aircraft.

Rob Holland
For the first time in Reno, world-renowned aerobatic pilot and airshow performer Rob Holland will perform his “Ultimate Airshow” at the STIHL National Championship Air Races. Holland is an eight-time U.S. National Aerobatic Champion, four-time world freestyle champion and 24-time international media holder.

U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds
As an official air demonstration squadron, The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds serve our country and give air shows across the world. The American Airmen will perform an hour-long demonstration showcasing excellence and celebrating America. Attendees on Friday, Sept. 13 can see their practice show.

For the most updated schedule, visit

Reno Air Races STEM Zone

Photo Courtesy Reno Air Races: STIHL National Championship Air Races / Brian Oakden

The Reno Air Races hosts one of the largest science, technology, engineering, and math education discovery zones in the country. In 2018, more than 6,000 school-aged children explored the wonder of aviation through this unique, interactive display.

Now in its fifth year, the GRADD-NVBAA STEM Education Discovery Zone will feature 12 activities, including:

  • An outdoor netted Drone Zone for drone demonstrations and workshops
  • Eight drones of different sizes on display and for flight demonstrations
  • Sixteen flight simulators
  • Twenty ground robots of various sizes in the Robot tent
  • 3D printing display area
  • Table-top aviation museum
  • Robotic arms to demonstrate hydraulics
  • Aviation and rocket picture booth
  • Reno Air Races table-top mural
  • Three PACMAN games in vintage Samsonite briefcases
  • Five mini Tesla coils to showcase wireless transfer of electricity
  • Five programmed electronic guitars

These projects aim to inspire children to engage with each of the STEM categories and encourage them to pursue careers in aviation. Children who take part in the STEM Discovery Zone will earn free access to the races for the rest of the week.

Military Static Display at the Reno Air Races

Photo Courtesy Reno Air Races: STIHL National Championship Air Races / Anthony Taylor

A longtime favorite of racing fans, this event showcases America’s military and air power. Dozens of active military aircraft on display will include F/16s to Black Hawk and Chinook choppers to the always-impressive Nevada Air National Guard C-130. Attendees can also chat with pilots and explore the inner workings of the military craft, as available. This display takes place every day of the races, but the lineup is subject to change at all times as many of these planes are working military aircraft.

For more information and to buy tickets, visit

Posted by Jeff Sallan on
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