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Monday
Oct202014

The Pylon Place: 2014 NCAR Review

Part 1

By Marilyn Dash

The 2014 National Championship Air Races (NCAR) will be remembered for several record-breaking moments. Let’s get started in Part 1 of our two-part review

International Formula 1

Steve Senegal in his Record Setting Racer, Endeavor (Anthony Taylor)IF1 already had a great year. They were able to add a race in Spain earlier this summer with a handful of our racers heading over there to race and monitor the event. It seems there will be even more races for them in 2015. That is great news for a truly competitive class with a reasonable financial entry point. (Hint–to all those wannabe racers out there!)

This year at NCAR, the racing was amazing as always. So many of these race planes are evenly matched, which creates close, competitive racing.

Steve Senegal in Endeavor set a course record with 267.289 mph, beating Jon Sharp’s old record of 263.188 set in 1999. Senegal also took the Gold on Sunday for his fifth win. Congrats to Steve and Team Endeavor!

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Wednesday
Jul092014

The Pylon Place: Pylon Racing Seminar 2014

By Marilyn Dash

The 2014 PRS Graduating Class. (Anthony Taylor/Warbird Fotos)A record number of attendees joined forces at Stead Field outside of Reno, Nev. to qualify and practice for the 51st National Championship Air Races to be held Sept. 10-14th.

International Formula 1 continues to earn its name – by the addition of Frenchman, Christophe Delbos flying Spaniard, Bill Paradi’s aircraft, N-A-Rush. Bill and his new wife are expecting a baby around the same time as the races, so Bill asked Bobos to fly his plane for him. (This is very bad timing, Bill!).

Some of you may remember Christophe (aka Bobos) from the Big Frog Racing Team in the Sport Class. The Diesel-powered NXT flew only one year before the engine failed, and Bobos had an off-field landing, Strawberry Fields Forever.  He’ll be back in another sport racer in the future – but will be an IF1 racer this year.

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Monday
Jun162014

The Pylon Place - June 2014

The Mighty 8th at Planes of Fame

By Marilyn Dash

This year’s Planes of Fame Air Show focused around The Mighty 8th Air force. The 8AF was established in February 1944 by re-designation of the 8th Bomber Command.  Considered to be the Greatest Air Armada in History under the leadership of the likes of Jimmy Doolittle, at the height of WWII, there were more than 200,000 people assigned to the 8th with the ability to launch more than 2,000 four-engine bombers and over 1,000 fighters on a single mission. To honor this fine organization, Planes of Fame focused on their accomplishments.

One of the highlights of the show was the opportunity for the public to meet and honor our beloved Veterans. Christina Olds, author and daughter of famous Pilot Ace Robin Olds, moderated the Veteran’s Panel during the show. Hundreds of guests, friends, pilots and children were able to meet these fine gentlemen and shake hands with some of our heroes.

Nearly a dozen P-51s from A to D lined up ready to start the show. (Anthony Taylor/Warbird Fotos)Nearly a dozen P-51s from A to D lined up ready to start the show.

It was especially touching to see the F/A-22 pilots and crew shake hands with C.E. Bud Anderson, WWII Triple Ace and quite a character. It’s good to see the next generation appreciate the Greatest Generation.

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Tuesday
May202014

The Pylon Place - May 2014

It’s Airshow Season AGAIN!

By Marilyn Dash

Sea Fury Noses (Anthony Taylor/Warbird Fotos)Finally, the winter dreary is over and the sunscreen and cameras are coming out of the closet. It’s time to start making the trek each weekend to your local Airports to see the show.

One thing we’ve noticed is fly-ins making a comeback with several new events cropping up. I believe this is great for airport community relations and if joined with a visit from one of the bombers like the B17 from Liberty Foundation (http://www.libertyfoundation.org), or the fleet from Collings Foundation (http://www.collingsfoundation.org) – this makes it all the better.

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Wednesday
Apr162014

The Pylon Place - April 2014

Saving the Reno Air Races

By Marilyn Dash

T6s battling it out on the racecourse. (Bruce Croft/20 West)What can be done to save the Reno Air Races? This is the question posed to me by so many air-racing fans. We know changes are being made – but – are they enough? Are these changes coming too late? What are the signs we should be looking for to see if the changes are working?

RARA has made several announcements lately – including the dismissal of Michael Houghton, the President and the paring down of the paid staff to six individuals. Recent news adds a reduction in the Board of Directors from more than 20 members to a total of seven.

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