Reno 2002 Image Gallery, Part One

Because of the events of September 2001, the Air Races in Reno last year fell silent. Things were much different this year as the September classic roared back to Northern Nevada with renewed enthusiasm.


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The mass balloon launch at the start of the race on Sunday. The cow balloon is milking the wind for all it’s worth.

The P-51 “Merlin’s Magic” makes an arrival pass above the runway at Reno. Arriving aircraft are usually allowed a pass just like you see in the movies, traffic pattern and operational considerations permitting

A pair of AT-6s who pass in formation in front of Reno upon arrival

iplane racers lined up in the hangar

Dago Red, four-time winner of the Unlimited Gold

Tim Bovee’s crew put the finishing touches on Formula One “Purty Pony”

An AT-6 class racer taxis into the pit area after arrival. The workhorse World War Two trainer is likely the loudest aircraft on the course

A Formula 1 aircraft waits in line waiting for its slot in the qualifying round. These lightweight aircraft can be hand pulled and moved very easily by one person. Custom aircraft tow carts abound on the flight line for these aircraft

Rick Shanholtzer safety wires the camshaft after removing it on the race engine for “Miss America.” Miss America uses a stock Rolls-Royce “Merlin” engine for regular flying and a custom race engine. It will take them 12 to 14 hours to change out the engine on the aircraft

Darryl Greenamyer’s qualifying record Lancair

One of the L-39 Albatrosses flown in the jet races

Spirit of Texas, Riff Raff and Dago Red after the Saturday Gold heat

A pair of Mustangs fly on the backside of the course. A plane must always pass on the outside and above the inner aircraft on the course. This allows the lower aircraft to see the outside aircraft at all times

A Hawker “Sea Fury” looks ahead for the next pylon. These fighters were built to land on British carriers making these aircraft both tough and fast

Reno brings many different aircarft for both racing and the restoration competition. This Messerschmitt ME-109G6 is at Reno this year along with a B-25 Mitchell, P-63 King Cobra, PT-17, and many other aircraft that are on static display

The heart of the Mustang.

Stu Eberhardt’s surprising Mustang

What Reno is all about

“Czech Mate” just before his “dead stick” touchdown. “Czech Mate” had a prop governor problem and had to dead stick the aircraft onto the runway Monday. He got it down with no problems. They will have to test start the engine later in the week to find out if they can fly it

“Risky Business” does a standard Mustang two wheel landing. The primary runway slopes up to the east. This means planes usually take off and land uphill into the prevailing wind at Stead airport

The highly modified Mustang “Precious Metal” with contra-rotating props powered by a Rolls-Royce “Griffon” engine taxis into take-off position. No stock Mustang can win the Gold Race so many owners have taken the basic Mustang airframe and made significant modifications to it, the engines or both in order to win Gold

Reno’s hard-luck racer

Mike Brown’s Sea Fury posted the third-fasted qualifying time

Reno is heaven for aviation photographers

A P40E and a P51 stand side-by-side in the static display area. The P-40 was the top U.S. plane at the start of the war and the P-51 can be said to be the top U.S. plane at the end

A radial engine out in the open with an A&P mechaninc hard at work on it

Racing is also a lot of fun for all those involved. Here a member of the “Lickety Split” crew puts in the standby pilot into the cockpit

With borrowed engine parts, Strega is in the hunt

Someone has to hold down those wings

Bob Button’s Voodoo

Return to AVweb’s exclusive Coverage of the Reno Air Races.