F-22 Raptor and top female aerobatic pilot headline 2014 Air Races

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Updated: 7/16/2014 2:33 pm
RENO, Nev. (MyNews4.com & KRNV) -- On the heels of a record-setting Pylon Racing Seminar, the National Championship Air Races has released the full entertainment lineup for it's 51st event at the Reno Stead Airfield.

In addition to showcasing elite race pilots, military demonstration teams and several of the world’s top aviation performers will ‘race on’ in front the expected thousands of aviation enthusiasts. This year, in addition to the already announced line-up, this year’s event will also mark the return of the wildly-popular car drop, where a car is actually dropped from a helicopter flying high above the race course.

“With less than three months until our 51st event takes flight, we are preparing for a fun, exciting lineup of entertainment that our more than 200,000 fans will truly enjoy,” said Mike Major, chairman of the Reno Air Racing Association (RARA). “Each year we work to bring in some of the most talented aerobatic performers and this year is no different, with the return of some old favorites and the debut of some outstanding new faces.”

The F-22 Raptor employs a state-of-the-art thrust system that allows the aircraft to pivot 360 degrees in all directions at nearly any speed, seemingly defying the fundamental principles and forces that govern flight, according to a press release sent by Air Race spokesperson Tara Trovato. The Raptor is a fifth-generation combination of stealth and sheer power and will be making its third appearance at the races this September.

Making her first appearance the National Championship Air Races, 30-year-old Pemberton has quickly established herself as one of the country’s best young pilots, winning several regional aerobatic competitions and earning the title of Collegiate Aerobatic Champion in 2004 and 2006 and Third Place Overall in Intermediate at the 2004 U.S. National Championships. She was a member of the “Stars of Tomorrow 2005,” sponsored by legendary aerobatic pilots Sean Tucker and Michael Goulian, doing solo and formation aerobatic demonstrations at major airshows throughout the country.

The L-39 Patriot Team, made up of former U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, Canadian Snowbirds demonstration teams, and members of the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, is one of the most sought-after performance teams in the country. Known for its unique maneuvers and signature “Tail Slide,” the Patriot Jet Team also paints the skies with computerized red, white and blue smoke system.

Lastly, “The Screamin’ Sasquatch,” a highly-modified 1929 Taperwing Waco, has more than 4,500 pounds of thrust and a deafening roar.

“We expect a huge event this year and we are looking forward to race fans and aviation enthusiasts from all over the world coming out to join us,” said Major. “This event is truly unlike any other and we are proud to put on such an incredible event year-after-year.”

The 51st annual National Championship Air Races kick off Wednesday, Sept. 10, and will continue through Sunday, Sept. 14, at the Reno-Stead Airport. Tickets for the show are available by phone at 775-972-6663 or online at Airrace.org.

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