MEMBER ALERT: AOPA will close at 2:30 p.m. Eastern time for a company-wide activity and will reopen July 23 at 8:30 a.m.We apologize for the inconvenience.
September 12, 2013
By Jim Moore
Reigning champion Steven Hinton has a new ride, and the smoke from the California wildfire raging in Yosemite cleared just in time to give him a chance to practice a little Voodoo, pushing the P-51 by that name to 492 mph in qualifying at the National Championship Air Races in Reno, Nev.
The fiftieth edition of the event is expected to draw a crowd of 200,000 or more during the week, which will feature both the fastest pistons on the planet, and appearances by a jet-powered daredevil: Yves Rossy, the Jetman follows up his crowd-pleasing appearance at EAA AirVenture with several flights scheduled during race week, tumbling from a helicopter to fly with tiny turbine engines and a wing strapped to his back.
As for the racing, Hinton posted the fastest qualifying time in Voodoo, but may have more speed in store. The crew set to work installing a different engine after the qualifying heats, and more speed is expected. Hinton won last year’s race flying another P-51, Strega, which has dominated in recent years and now competes with Matt Jackson at the controls.
Racing will continue through Sept. 15, and the FAA has issued a temporary flight restriction to keep traffic clear of Reno/Stead Airport during the event.
Smoke from the raging wildfire that has scorched a large swath of Yosemite National Park had blanketed portions of Nevada in recent weeks, cutting visibility in Reno to just more than a mile at times. A high-pressure system shifted the winds from south to west, clearing the air just in time for pilots to practice for the event.
AOPA members can get a prime view of the action during the afternoon airshows at EAA AirVenture from the association’s new location on the flight line.
Airbus Group plans to certify production versions of its E-Fan electric twin and has a goal of late 2017 entry into service for the two-seater, the company said in a video from Farnborough International Airshow July 14.
Experimental kit aircraft maker Sonex announced completing “a very successful series of initial flight tests” of the SubSonex JSX-2 personal jet.
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