Selected Reno Races 50th Anniversary Photos by Tatsuo “Ken” Sakurai

Here’s a quick Compilation of Awesome Photos by Ken Sakurai from the Reno Race’s 50th Anniversary.

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Virgin Galactic’s Supersonic Rocket-Powered Flight Takes Space Seriously!


On January 10, 2014, the WhiteKnightTwo, Virgin Galactic’s beautiful “Carrier Aircraft” deployed SpaceShipTwo, a reusable space vehicle, where at an altitude of 46,000 feet, its rocket engine fired for only 20 seconds and propelled  her to the intended altitude of 71,000 feet – ¼ the distance to outer space. Continue reading

Reno Nation Championship Air Race CEO & President Mike Houghton Dismissed!

Removed”…To Further Reduce Expenditures And Streamline Our Efforts…”

On the last day of 2013, the Reno Air Race Association provided a surprising press release which stated Mike Houghton, CEO & President of the Reno Air Race Association was relieved of his duties after 15 years of service.

The Reno Air Race Association stated that, “In its ongoing effort to revise and evolve its organizational structure and business model to ensure long-term sustainability, the Reno Air Racing Association (RARA) announced today the departure of its President & CEO Mike Houghton.  The recently restructured board of directors cited recent changes in the governance of the organization and input from stakeholders that emphasized a need to restructure the day-to-day operations in light of the financial challenges facing RARA as Reasons behind the departure.”

2013 President & CEO Mike Houghton

2013 President & CEO Mike Houghton Driving “Red 1” VW Bug

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Mark Mangold Interview at Reno Pylon Racing School – from National Air Race Podcast

I had a fun time interviewing Airline Pilot and Red Bull Racing Champion, Mark Mangold at the Reno Pylon Racing School (PRS) which is held each June prior to the official start of the Reno National Championship Air Races and Air Show held in September.

I spoke with Pilot Mike Mangold about the changes made to the race course which decreased in size from 8.4 miles to 8.1 miles but increased the safety radius margins.  Mike explains that another advantage of the course modification is seeing the pylons better.  With jet speeds close to 500mph, pilots need to look about 1000 feet ahead to establish their flight line; with the pylons more visible, the 1-1/2 seconds it takes to fly 1000 feet becomes slightly easier… ok now, that’s fast!

You can see part of my interview with Mike Mangold starting at 1:10 of the youtube video which has commentaries and interviews of other race pilots who participated in PRS:

See Dennis Buehn, Race 43 T-6, Midnight Miss III; Mark Pracy, Jet Class Pilot, Race 66; Pete Zaccagnino, Sport & Jet Racer/Instructor for Rookies; Rob Sandberg – Rookie Pilot, Race 42, Honest Entry, SNJ-4; Mike Mangold, – Jet Racer, Race 12, Euro Burner; David Sterling – Sport Racer, Race8, flying a Lancair Legacy; Kevin Eldridge – Sport Racer, Race 42, Relentless; Lee Behel – Sport Racer, Race 5, Breathless, John Parker – Pilot, Race 352, Blue Thunder II; and Terri Adams – Pilot and T-6 Rookie (look for my video short taken after the Sunday Races – this was one happy pilot!).

Many Legends, History Makers, Thrill Masters, Record Setters, and Aviation Preservationists in Attendance to Present the NAHI 2012 Awards at the Reno Races!

The Aviation Heritage awards were lively, fun and I’m sure exciting for the recipients of the prestigious awards, especially the inaugural recipient of the newly named Neil A. Armstrong National Aviation Heritage Invitational Trophy which was presented to Duncan Cameron of Lebanon TN for his, and Tom Westfall’s wonderful restoration of a 1944 OY-1 Consolidated Vultee Stinson.

It was a privilege and honor to speak with the many Aviation Legends and Enshrinees whose individual passion for aviation has changed history and created many wonderful things and events we enjoy. Such as the preservation of Vintage Aircraft; the Reno Races; the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum and Smithsonian Air & Space Magazine; the never-before-flown aircraft tested for design performance which ensured they could be flown safely by thousands of service men and women; the easy means by which we choose a flight, board and land at our destination in comfort; the airmen who flew dangerous missions to safeguard the lives our bombers, troops on the front lines, our country and engaged in air to air dog fights; those who have flown around the world without stopping, or refueling; those who make airplanes float in air, perform unimaginable maneuvers with grace, and thrill a crowd…

Here are just a few of the VIP’s in attendance who have changed the course of our aviation history and are, well, important, inspirational and legends – all of whom honored the man who first walked on the moon.

Kimberley West, WarBirdBabe