Schlagwort-Archive: air race

Uncertain yet hopeful future for Reno Air Races

Nearly three months have passed since the Reno Air Racing Association gave official notice that 2023 would be the last year of air racing at the Reno/Stead Airport in Nevada. Since then, we have heard very little regarding the future of the races and what is next for this storied aviation event.

“As a board, we have four principal objectives—making 2023 the best and most successful year ever, and our second most important objective is finding a new home that can host the National Championship Air Races well into the future,” said Reno Air Racing Association Chairman and CEO Fred Telling. “I’m just proud and excited to see this one through.”

Telling, a former racer, said preparations for this last year at Reno/Stead are “going extraordinarily well. Ticketing, given the unfortunate announcement that this is our last year at Stead, has obviously attracted a good number of people that have said, ‘Well this is on my bucket list for a long time I better get there if I want to see it in Reno.’”

Although several months remain until the races, 78 pilots will soon head to Reno/Stead from June 4 to 9 to qualify for the race in September. Among those 78 pilots, 42 have never raced before. Looking ahead to September, Telling said, “Attendees can look forward to exceptional racing with some very strong military participation and performances both static and in the air,” in addition to a potential one-off event commemorating the last year of national championships at Reno/Stead. However, no official decision has been made yet.

In addition to preparing for the final races at Reno/Stead, the Reno Air Racing Association site selection committee is working double time to determine a suitable location for the future. “The request for proposal was just finished with the committee,” said Telling. “A number of places have already expressed direct interest before it was even available. We are probably going to host a conference for seriously interested bidders late in June.”

Although Telling wasn’t able to disclose all potential locations, he did share one contender: Buckeye Municipal Airport in Buckeye, Arizona. “Buckeye understands they can’t host all of the races, they don’t have the space to handle the fastest course, but they are very interested in hosting T–6 and below,” said Telling. “We think one of the advantages that are going to come out of this process is we will probably identify a couple of locations which can handle T–6, biplane, formula, and the sports medallion at least. Many of these racers don’t have other places to race so we’d like to make that possible.”

“There are roughly five miles from the home pylon to the farthest out pylon on the Unlimited course and about four miles across, it’s not exactly 20 square miles but it’s a lot of land that we have to have cleared to run these races, not including a large ramp, city within an hour that can handle the kinds of crowds that we get,” said Telling. “It’s a challenging set of logistics but we’ve had easily four or five locations that I think all have the potential to meet it.”

While the excitement of a new location is on everyone’s mind, 60 years of racing history still pulls at Telling’s heart. “Reno isn’t our entire history, but the truth of the matter is unlimited air racing was reborn there,” said Telling. “If I have any huge disappointment, it’s that there is so much history and community support. We call it the ‘September family’—it always comes back together every year.”

“If we could find a place in 2024, that would be great, but I think that’s aggressive, so we have an agreement that we are allowed to host an airshow instead,” explained Telling. “We hope by then that we can announce the new location for the future home and that we will be set up there in 2025. Given that the new location site is undecided, it may not be held in September. If we go further south, it may creep into October. It has to be whatever works best for the weather and the winds, and other things that affect that community. “What’s life without challenges? This is a big one, but we are all happy to rise to it.” Source: ‚AOPA, Cayla McLeod Hunt‚.

1st Pulitzer Electric Aircraft Race

The NAA is planning a cross-country air race for electric propulsion aircraft!  The electric aircraft industry has been rapidly expanding in terms of technological readiness and the number of potential race contestants.  The air race will be a resumption of the Pulitzer air races first held in the early 1920s. The race winner will be awarded the Pulitzer Trophy (on display at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC) at a suitable NAA awards event. 

The first Pulitzer Electric Aircraft Race, planned for May 2023, will be a four-day, 1,000 nm cross-country event beginning in Omaha, NE and ending near Kitty Hawk, NC. The race will be open to piloted aerodynes of all types using zero-emission electric propulsion (e.g., fixed-wing aeroplanes, helicopters, or multi-rotor eVTOL Advanced Air Mobility [AAM] vehicles). Because many potential competitors may be in a research and development phase and using experimental aircraft, the race will be a day-only, Visual Flight Rules (VFR) event. The race winner will be the pilot/crew with the fastest speed calculated from the cumulative flight time, not including time on the ground for maintenance, charging, or overnight stays. The NAA Pulitzer Race Committee developed the specific race rules available here.

The cross-country format, rather than a closed-circuit speed event, was selected to emphasize electric aircraft range and reliability and speed in a realistic operating environment.  A cross-country race will require careful logistical planning from the race teams and highlight different electric propulsion technology choices and operational strategies such as rapid battery charging, whole battery changes, and solar power augmentation to extend range. As a long-distance, multi-day cross-country event open to all classes and types of electric aircraft, we have designed the Pulitzer Electric Aircraft Race to provide an open canvas for design innovations and be a flying expo for the electric aviation industry. 

The Pulitzer STEM Challenge!  The NAA will partner with nationally recognized Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) providers to leverage the Pulitzer Electric Aircraft Race as a STEM educational outreach opportunity.  Fifth and sixth-grade school science classes will explore electrical power systems and their application to aeronautical engineering in the semester leading up to the race. Students will follow their favourite competitors in real time along with the rest of the world via publicly available internet flight tracking on and here on the NAA Pulitzer Electric Aircraft Race website. 

Make History and Be Part of the Action!  With the help of our sponsors, partners, and contestants, the Pulitzer Electric Aircraft Race can become the premier venue and showcase for the advancement of practical electric propulsion aircraft in terms of speed, distance, and reliability, much like the National Air Races of the 1920s and 1930s helped promote technological advances of internal combustion airplanes at the beginning of aviation. Source: ‚National Aeronautic Association (USA). ‚Rules‚.