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8 Cool Facts About The Reno Air Races

The famous Reno Air Races start today - here are 8 cool facts about "the world's fastest motor sport."

1) 1964 was the first year of the Reno Air Races, which featured a 3 mile course for biplanes, and an 8 mile course for jets and unlimited category planes.

Reno Tahoe

2) The races took place at Sky Ranch Airfield, a 2,000 foot long dirt strip, until 1966. That year, Stead Air Force Base was turned over for public use, and it's been the home to the races ever since.

Airfields Freeman

3) The Reno Air Races have taken plane every year except 2001, when all aircraft in the US were grounded following the September 11th terror attacks.


4) Over 200,000 people attend the races each year.

Reno Tahoe

5) Unlimited class planes, which are typically WWII fighter planes, often exceed 400 MPH.

6) Dago Red, a P-51D Mustang, holds the all time unlimited class speed record of 507.105 MPH.


7) The jet speed record is 538 MPH, set by an L-29 in 2009.

8) This year's races feature 6 classes:

What's the common thread for each class? Every airplane is built to fly fast and turn left.

Colin Cutler

Colin is a Boldmethod co-founder, pilot and graphic artist. He's been a flight instructor at the University of North Dakota, an airline pilot on the CRJ-200, and has directed development of numerous commercial and military training systems. You can reach him at

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