Reno: Air Racing Unlimited
By Nigel Moll
Publisher: Osprey 1983 128 Pages
PDF 18 MB
In a symphony of immense, furious power, seven Merlin V-12 piston engines scream at the desert floor brushing just feet beneath at 400 mph. It is a sound that courses through the spectator for the rest of his or her life. On the next 120 pages are the sights of the 1982 Reno Air Races, an outrageous annual event that has somehow survived fuel crises, a recession and the antiquity of the machines that participate. The National Air Races could happen only in America: racing a P-51 (or a or a Sea Fury or a Corsair) demands great wealth of the owners, an exceptionally cool approach of the pilots and a remote site that won't object to the din of 20,000 hp thundering overhead.
Hut Reno is more than the brute power of the Unlimiteds. AT-6s SNJs (Harvards) have a class of their own: although slower than the P-51S, the AT-6s make a fine spectacle as they battle around the pylons to the rasp of transonic prop tips. In contrast to the heavyweights, the sport and racing biplanes and the IFM/Formula One racers buzz around their own, tighter course like garish insects, but still pursued by the same desire to be first that drives the heavy metal. Meshing together all this frantic speed is an air show featuring the gamut from mock battles, formation jet aerobatics, wing-walking and warbirds.