Reno Races IMAX Film Coming To U.S.

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Air Racers 3D, a 40-minute-long IMAX film about the Reno National Championship Air Races, will be coming to U.S. theaters in April, the filmmakers said recently. It's the first film about the races ever shot completely in 3D, and "unprecedented access" to the course was granted, according to the filmmakers. The film will be shown at the National Infantry Museum in Columbus, Ga., and the Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, Fla., starting April 5, with other theaters to follow. The Reno footage was shot in 2009 and 2010, and has been in production for two years. The film also features many airshow performers, including Canada's Snowbirds, the late Greg Poe flying his MX2, and Kent Pietsch, known for landing his Interstate Cadet on top of a moving truck (Click here for an exclusive AVweb video of this stunt.)

The filmmakers used new stereoscopic technologies, including  a helicopter-mounted gyro-stabilized aerial 3D camera rig, a custom wing-mounted camera and 3D cameras placed inside the cockpit. All six classes of racing aircraft -- Biplane, Formula One, Sport, T-6, Jet Class and Unlimited -- are featured in the film, which cost about $5 million to produce. Appearing in the film are Bill Destefani's 1944 North American P-51D Mustang, "Strega" (pilot: Steve Hinton Jr.); Rod Lewis's Grumman Tigercat F7F-3, "Here Kitty Kitty" (pilot: Stewart Dawson); "Rare Bear," a Grumman F8F Bearcat (pilot: John Penney); Raju Mann's 1969 Aerovodochody L-29 Delfin, "Raju Grace" (pilot: Heather Penney); Marilyn Dash's 1974 Aerotek Pitts Special S-1S, "Ruby" (pilot: Marilyn Dash); and many others.