Reno Air Races flying with a new name
Reno Air Races
The 47th edition of the National Championship Air Races & Air Show, held at Reno/Stead Field, September 15-19, 2010 was greeted with sunny days and excited fans. All the week's Heat Races left the crowds wanting more on the build up to 'Gold Race Sunday'. Everything looked promising until Sunday when weather forced an unexpected change of events. High and gusting winds unfortunately caused cancellation of the Breitling Unlimited Gold race for the first time in the 47 year history of the Races. Steven Hinton of Bakersfield, CA, pilot of Race #7 "Strega" was declared champion of the Unlimited Class by qualifying position. The winds also forced stoppage of the T-6 Class Gold race and top qualifier, Dennis Buehn of Carson City, NV, received the T-6 trophy flying Midnight Miss III, Race #43.
Further race and air show details on the "World's Fastest Motor Sport" can be found at www.airrace.org
Brief and photos
By Ed Anderson
Summer 2008, Abbotsford, BC,
America's Ambassadors in Blue' brought speed, power, and thunder to the skies over Abbotsford, British Columbia on the weekend of August 8-10, with their six brightly coloured red, white, and blue F-16C "Fighting Falcons". An hour performance of narrated, thrilling smoke-on precision manoeuvre routines, demonstrating the capabilities of their first-line fighter aircraft left us all enthralled, entertained and a little better informed.
Snowbirds, Canada's Star PerformersOn the other hand, Canada's remarkable and beloved "Snowbirds" of Canadian Forces 431 (Air Demonstration) Squadron, presented a quieter composition with their eight/nine-ship team of the venerable CT-114 Tutor jets. In keeping tuned to the capabilities of their charges, pilots and crews focus their attention more to graceful ballet-style performances of breath-taking formations and synchronized manoeuvres, likewise enhanced by music and narration.
Other military performances included the F-15E Strike Eagle, flown by Capts. 'Ritz' Smith/"Wild" Colfer, a CF-18 Hornet with Capt. "Billy" Mitchell at the controls, and a USN F/A-18 Super Hornet guided by Lts. Patrick "Pigpen" Bernhard/Damon "Profile" Loveless. Headsets or earplugs mandatory!!!
Premier civilian acts that were exceptionally good with their aerobatics included the Red Eagle Air Sports-Talon Eagle (Dan McClung), Red Eagle (Buck Roetman), Kent & Warren Pietsch (Interstate Cadet/Clipped-Wing Taylorcraft), Bill Carter and his Pitts Special S2S.
Flypasts by Thunder Mustangs, vintage aircraft, and warbirds certainly captured attention of all spectators, particularly the B-25J Mitchell, and the A-1 Skyraider in the USAF Heritage Flight. Unforgettable sights and sounds.
Although an overcast sky on Saturday hampered activities somewhat and perhaps affected several no-shows, but as always the show goes on, to the delight of enthusiastic fans and participants.
Once again, hats off to all volunteers, and announcers; Roy Hafeli and the 40-year veteran Bob Singleton, without whom there would simply be no air show. Well Done!
Story and Photos
By Ed Anderson
Photo Captions in the above spread.
From top left page:
(1) Famous B-52 bomber, USAF
(2) Navy Flight 435
(3) Trio of Harvards
(4) H5 Skyraider Supup
(5) Stearman 2236
(6) T Mustang nose
(7) Skyhawks 229 (8) H5 CMF planes
9) Writer Photographer Ed Anderson
(9) F15 Mist (
10) Snowbirds cross
Ed Anderson has been covering the Abbotsford International Airshow and similar events for Air Highways Magazine since its launch in 1995.
For other events featuring photos and commentary by Mr. Anderson, visit www.airhighways.com/airshows.htm
What a show! Flying events include Bud Granley's Harvard and Fouga Jet, Manfred Radius' Sail Plane, Eric Beard's Russian Thunder Yak 54, Ken Fowler's Harmon Rocket, Julie Clark's Mopar T-34, Gene Soucy's Showcat Biplane, Teresa Stokes' Wingwalker, Jim Leroy's Bulldog-Pitts and Tom Wade's Edge 540. Demonstration teams feature the famous CAF Snowbirds. Military Aircraft in flight include CF-18 and A-10 demos, plus F-15, B1-B bomber and an F-18. Watch for further reports as the big show approaches.
The Abbotsford International Airshow was a three day spectacular set in the heart of the beautiful Fraser Valley with Mt Baker as a backdrop. It is one of the premier shows in North America in terms of attendance and aircraft presence. In the 1970's, Abbotsford was designated "Canada's National Airshow" by the Government of Canada. The average attendance of the three day event is 200,000+ in addition we host representatives from approximately 25 countries, including Ambassadors, Consuls General, and Military Attaches.
Most, if not all the major airshow performers and military demonstration teams have performed as part of the Abbotsford Airshow including the CAF Snowbirds, USAF Thunderbirds, USN Blue Angels, Patrouille de France, Frecci Tricilori (Italy) Chile, and the Russian Knights. Over the years, it has also become a tradition for the Abbotsford Airshow to showcase much of the latest aviation technology and new aircraft. In 1986, Abbotsford became the first North American show to host five world-class demonstration teams. In 1989 and 1993, we saw the first U.S.S.R. contingent to visit North America with MIG 29's, an IL-76 and the AN-225, along with in 1992, the only Canadian appearance of the "Russian Knights" SU-27 demonstration team.
Our 37th Airshow Performers included: Sean Tucker, Air Combat Canada, Bud Granley, Manfred Radius, Delmar Benjamin, Julie Clark, Donn Richardon, Greg Poe. We have two demonstration teams booked which of course includes the Canadian Air Forces Snowbirds and for the first time, the F-104 Starfighters. Our request for a large military presence has been positively received by the US and Canadian Air Force. These requests include an AV-8B Harrier Demonstration, F-14, F-16,CF-18m A-10,KC-135 Air Refueling Demonstration and more.
The show continued to grow in the 60's becoming a rather large event. At the close of the 1966 show it was decided that a special show would be planned for the 1967 centennial year. The Centennial Air Show Society was formed. Upon closing a successful 1967 show, members of the Centennial Air Show Society decided to continue on a more permanent basis. The Abbotsford International Air Show was born!
The Abbotsford International Airshow Society is a non profit society whose purpose is to produce a flying event that will be enjoyable entertainment for those that attend, promote aviation and operate financially so as to reproduce the event on an annual basis.
Each year hundreds of volunteers provide the talent and hard work while a variety of sponsors and donors provide the necessary funding for this special event. The volunteer contingent numbers some 1500. The volunteers are made up of many who volunteer directly to the Airshow organization and an additional 450 and up that come through the 30 or more service club organizations such as Rotary, Kiwanis, Salvation Army, Big Brothers, Scouts, Guides, Cadets, MSA Hospital and other community organizations. The Service Clubs over the last few years have received over $1,000,000.00 from the Abbotsford Airshow to distribute to the various causes that they support.
The Abbotsford International Airshow is a source of pride for Abbotsford and all of British Columbia and has been attended by of up to 250,000 people in a three day weekend. The Abbotsford Airshow will continue to enrich our community and thrill and inspire thousands of people each year.
Air Highways Magazine wants to thank MTU Maintenance Canada, division of Daimler-Chrysler Aerospace and ICC- International Cargo Carriers for their hospitality. It was our greatest airshow experience ever. The sky was filled with flying ACES, as participants joined hands with the Royal Canadian Airforce to celebrate its 75th DIAMOND Anniversary.
Tradex: Exhibition centre of Mighty Fraser Country.