The 2018 National Championship Air Races & Air Show took place on September 12-16 at the Reno-Stead Airport. The races featured a variety of aircraft within the different classes as well as an airshow which featured performers including the F-16 Viper Demo Team and Patriots Jet Team.
Gates officially opened to the public at 8:00 am with air races going on throughout the entire day. The ground displays included multiple static aircraft and tents.
The airshow portion of the races started at noon with the opening ceremonies and singing of the National Anthem. Shortly after, a C-130 Hercules from the Nevada ANG locally based out of Reno-Tahoe Airport performed a simulated demo in which the aircraft dropped luggage for troops in a battlefield area.
Other performers included John Klatt who flew in the jet powered Waco known as the Screamin’ Sasquatch sponsored by Jack Link’s, a demonstration by the Honda jet, Gene McNeely in the T-6 Texan known as “Undecided,” and the Commemorative Air Force SoCal Wing with their P-51 Mustang, F6F Hellcat, F8F Bearcat, A6M Zero, and PBJ Mitchell.
One of the major highlights was the Patriots Jet Team making their return to Reno for the first time since 2014. The team consists of six black painted L-39 Albatross trainer jets that includes pilots who have previously flown with the Thunderbirds, Blue Angels, and Snowbirds.
Concluding the airshow portion of the races was the United States Air Force F-16 Viper Demo Team based out of Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina. Piloting the F-16 was Major John “Rain” Waters who demonstrated the many tactical capabilities of the aircraft. After his solo performance, Rain paired up with a P-51 Mustang for the Heritage Flight, which is a rare formation consisting of Air Force aircraft from past and present.
After the conclusion of all flying activities, spectators were able to visit the various static aircraft and other booths offered on the ground. Gates officially closed to the public at 6:00 pm all five days. Special thanks to the performers, racers, organizers, volunteers, sponsors, and attendees for making the 2018 Reno Air Races a success!
F-16 Viper Demo Team & Heritage Flight w/ P-51
Patriots Jet Team
Nevada ANG C-130 Hercules Drop Demo
Commemorative Air Force: P-51, A6M, F6F, F8F, PBJ
Honda Jet Demo
Gene McNeely T-6 80th Anniversary
John Klatt Screamin’ Sasquatch