Vintage Aircraft Competition Returns To Reno Air Races

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Image: Ron Kaplan

Image: Ron Kaplan

The Reno Air Racing Association (RARA) and National Aviation Heritage Invitational (NAHI) LLC have announced that the NAHI competition for vintage aircraft will be returning to the National Championship Air Races. The competition hasn’t been held in Reno since 2015. To celebrate its return, the organizations plan to host a vintage aircraft display at the 2018 STIHL National Championship Air Races. The next full vintage aircraft competition is scheduled to take place in 2019.

Competing aircraft are judged in five categories—Antique, Classic, Contemporary, Military, and Large Aircraft—with the aircraft judged best of all categories receiving the Neil A. Armstrong Aviation Heritage Trophy. “The judging criteria was created by representatives of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, and emphasizes authenticity and attention to detail,” said Chief of Restorations for the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum Nelson Blankenship. “The Smithsonian is actively involved in NAHI and representatives from our restoration staff serve annually on the judging team.” Aircraft must be at least 45 years old and restored to airworthy condition to enter.

NAHI was founded by Rolls-Royce, the Reno Air Racing Association, the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum and the National Aviation Hall of Fame in 1998. Its stated goals include maintaining aviation history by encouraging vintage aircraft restoration and inspiring students to pursue careers in the aviation and aerospace industry. The first NAHI competition was held at the National Championship Air Races in 1999.

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