The National Championship Air Races has announced that its longtime sponsor, Breitling, has significantly increased its sponsorship over the next three years and will also be bringing the world famous Jetman to Reno this fall for a rare North American performance.
This is the largest sponsorship commitment in the Reno Air Race’s 49-year history, according to officials. The Air Races will commemorate its 50th year at this year’s races, slated at the Reno-Stead Airport Sept. 11-15.
“It is a huge accomplishment for the Air Races to reach the 50-year milestone, and, now, we have even more cause for celebration as we further our relationship with Breitling,” said Mike Houghton, president and CEO of the Reno Air Racing Association. “We are planning for our biggest event yet and are excited to highlight and commemorate 50 years of Air Racing and the sport of aviation as a whole.
Breitling, which last year opened just its third retail store in the country in Las Vegas, has also committed to including the Air Races in its worldwide marketing efforts, helping to gain exposure for the Air Races and northern Nevada.
“Between the Air Race sponsorship and the retail store in Las Vegas, Breitling has made a significant investment in Nevada,” said Houghton. “To have such a reputable and recognized brand as Breitling as an active partner and friend for the event has always been tremendously gratifying. We are absolutely ecstatic to make this announcement in advance of such a historic year for us, further solidifying Breitling’s commitment to our region for years to come.”
The theme for this year’s event, “Mavericks in the Sky,” highlights the progress and diversity of the sport, from the sheer speed required to compete in the races to the precision technique of the aerial stunts and the evolution of aeronautics over the past 50 years.
In addition to six classes in the “World’s Fastest Motorsport,” this year, attendees canexpect other entertainment including the L-39 Patriots Jet Team, Breitling “Jetman” and a bevy of individual performances from some of today’s most talented aerial stunt pilots. Entertainment will take place on land as well, with high-speed performances from the Smoke N’ Thunder Jet Car.
“Though the air races have grown considerably from the first event in 1964, it has remained one of the most exciting and unique events in northern Nevada and the world,” Houghton said. “This year we want to show everyone — returning audience members who have enjoyed the Air Races for many years and new visitors experiencing the event for the first time — how much we appreciate their spectatorship by giving them one of the most exhilarating events in our 50-year history.”
Premiering one of his first live shows in the United States, Yves “Jetman” Rossy, the world’s only jet-powered man, will take to the air. The Jetman uses a carbon-Kevlar jetwing with four engines to soar above the crowd, using his shoulders, body and legs to steer through the sky at speeds upward of 150 mph.
“The combination of the vintage fighters flying alongside state-of-the-art aviation demonstrates just how much aircraft have evolved over the generations,” said Houghton. “We couldn’t think of a better way to evoke the nostalgia of the Air Races’ previous events, while incorporating the new technology of today’s aeronautics and we look forward to announcing even more exciting entertainment as we approach our event this September.”
Each year, the Air Races pay tribute to the service men and women of the United States Armed Forces and, currently, the Reno Air Racing Association is working to secure vintage warbirds. Additionally, aerobatic pilots David Martin, Michael Goulian, Kent Pietsch and Jim Pietz are slated to perform.
For more information: AirRace.org