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F-22 Raptor Climbout / Reno Air Race and Airshow 2008

F-22 Raptor Climbout / Reno Air Race and Airshow 2008

Major "Max" Moga climbs the F-22 Raptor to join up with the P-51 for the Heritage flight.
The 2008 Reno National Championship Air races and Air Show was marked with the celebration of 45 years of air racing. The week of qualifying and racing was under perfect weather conditions which helped not only the teams, but drew the fans as well. Most of the people and families that come to enjoy the thrill of racing will find the bleachers a great view. The other great experience is being in the pits while crews work on the planes between heats. The pits can be a bee hive of activity when the crews are going over every nut and bolt, checking fluids, and cleaning the plane up for the next race . One minute you are 6 feet from the mechanics as they prepare the aircraft, the next minute you are 2 inches from another aircraft being towed right past you.
The 45th anniversary show was incredible. Besides all the different classes of air racing, the aerobatic performances kept the crowd well entertained. Leading the list of jet performances were the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds and the U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor. John Klatt's Air National Guard(ANG) Staudacher S-300D and David Martin's Breitling Extra 330 provided intense aerobatic flying displays. David and John performed both solo and dual acts between all the air racing action. The parachute team was from the Air National Guard base in Kulis, Alaska. Their jumps with the large American and Alaskan flag were spectacular. The Pace Plane this year was Steve Hinton's Lockheed T-33 sponsored by
The Air Racing action culminated in the Unlimited Gold Race being won by Bill (Tiger) Destefani flying the P-51 #7 Strega with a top speed of 483.062 mph.