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Sen. Reid Joins the National Championship Air Races as They Announce 2011 Event Theme and Entertainment



2011 theme ‘No Limits’ sets the standard for an exciting 48th year

Today, in a joint press conference with Sen. Harry Reid, the National Championship Air Races announced that military fighter aircraft, the F-22 Raptor and the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, will be the headline entertainment for the 2011 event. The Air Races also publicly recognized the U.S. military as well as congressional leaders in Washington, most notably Sen. Reid for the continued support and help in making the event a success. In addition, the Air Races announced they will welcome the L-39 Patriot Jets Team, Navy Leap Frog Parachute Team and three aerobatic entertainers throughout the event.  The 2011 theme, ‘No Limits,’ recognizes the record-breaking speeds, innovative flight technology and the ever-changing world of aviation. The 48th annual event will be held at the Reno-Stead Airport September 14-18.

“Each year, we attract the most talented pilots, most entertaining performers and the most innovative aircraft in all of aviation and we are beyond thrilled to have the F-22 Raptor to Reno to entertain and amaze the more than 200,000 fans who attend our event,” said Mike Houghton, President and CEO of the Reno Air Racing Association. “This event, like many others in the region, is a staple to the community and we are fortunate to have the support of our congressional leadership, like Senator Reid, that recognizes the importance of our success.”

The F-22 Raptor will roar through the skies in Reno when they arrive to the Air Races this September.  The Lockheed Martin aircraft were built specifically for the U.S. Air Force and were put into action in 2005. Today, this unique aircraft, originally conceived in the early 1980s to confront and defeat the Soviet Air Force during the height of the Cold War, is the most powerful and deadly airborne weapon in the world. The pilots of these remarkable aircraft are known for their incredible precision and stunning maneuvers including the power loop, split and tail slide. This awe-inspiring demonstration team performs high speed maneuvers and tight turns, demonstrating extraordinary speed and agility.

The Air Races also welcome back the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds. The U.S. Thunderbirds have wowed audiences with their remarkable demonstrations since 1953, and they continue pushing the limits of their own abilities and the aircrafts they fly. The Thunderbirds will make their arrival to the Air Races on Wednesday, Sept. 14, perform on Thursday Sept. 15, and salute audiences as they depart on Friday, Sept. 16.

The National Championship Air Races is not only an integral component to the region’s high quality of life but also has a major impact on northern Nevada’s economy. Each year, the event draws 200,000 visitors to the Reno-Stead Airport, attracting more than 86,000 unique fans. Over 50,000of the event’s attendees are visitors to the region with 30 percent of total visitors coming from northern California, resulting in more than 80,000 room nights and an estimated impact of nearly $80 million.

“Special events are critical to northern Nevada’s economy, providing an enhanced quality of life as well as driving tourism to the region,” said U.S. Sen. Harry Reid. “The Reno Air Races works hard as an organization and we appreciate the efforts they put forth each year to put on such an incredible event.”

In addition to the F-22 Raptor and U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, entertainment will include the L-39 Patriot Jets team and Navy Leap Frog Parachute Team.  The L-39 Patriot Jets team is best known for their computerized red, white and blue smoke system as well as the infamous “Tail Slide” where the aircraft actually slides backwards toward the ground. The Navy Leap Frog Parachute Team features fourteen jumpers that leap out of aircrafts at an altitude of more than 12,000 feet, free falling at speeds up to 180 mph while creating amazing canopy formations with their signature blue and gold parachutes.

Also there to excite the crowds with their uninhibited, high-speed performances will be aerobatic performers Eddie Andreini, David Martin and Jim Pietz. Eddie Andreini will awe spectators with his fast-paced 15-minute show  that begins with a thunderous charging take-off followed by a series of double roll grabs and a special “I HUGE!” spectacular. He will also be performing a unique aerobatic act in Bob Love’s P-51 Mustang. David Martin, known for his ability to tumble his plane with unparalleled style, will perform gyroscopic maneuvers no others have tried to duplicate.  Lastly, Jim Pietz will fly his Beechcraft F33C Bonanza to its limit with dazzling, low-level maneuvers and unexpected thrills.

The 48th annual National Championship Air Races is the premier air racing event in the world.  The air races take-off on Wednesday, Sept. 14 through Sunday, Sept.18, 2010 at the Reno Stead Airport.  For more information, please visit www.airrace.org or call 775.972.6663

About the National Championship Air Races
Held every September just north of Reno, the National Championship Air Races have become an institution for northern Nevada and aviation enthusiasts from around the world.  In the past ten years, the event has attracted more than 200,000 spectators per year and has generated more than $80 million a year for the region’s economy.  The event features six racing classes, a large display of static aircraft and several military and civil flight demonstrations.  For more information on the National Championship Air Races, obtain media credentials or purchase tickets for next year’s event, visit www.airrace.org.

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