This July, fast airplanes, race pilots, and aviation enthusiasts will once again be descending upon Mitchell, South Dakota, (KMHE) in advance of the 17th annual EAA AirVenture Cup. This year’s race is planned to start from KMHE and have a mandatory turn point over Mankato, Minnesota (KMKT). Pilots then set course, throttle wide open, to the finish line in Wausau, Wisconsin (KAUW) for a total of just over 400 statute miles.
The EAA AirVenture Cup Race provides builders and pilots an opportunity to race their aircraft in a safe and fun environment, all while promoting aviation in and over the communities where the races are held, according to organizers.
This year marks the race’s 17th year, with past flying courses that ranged anywhere from 400 miles to 750 miles cross country towards Oshkosh in advance of EAA AirVenture.
The first race in 1998 started in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, with 10 aircraft. Several of them have participated in the EAA AirVenture Cup Race ever since.
This year, race airplanes and pilots start arriving Friday, July 25, and will continue arriving through Saturday afternoon.
Saturday, July 26, the AirVenture Cup Race staff and participants, in cooperation with the airport operator, Wright Brothers Aviation, will host an airport open house.
“Having nearly 100 unique airplanes and pilots in Mitchell gives us the opportunity to invite the local community to come out to the airport for the day. The race pits are open to the public and spectators can come and talk to the airplane builders and pilots. In addition kids between the ages of 7 and 17 can get free airplane rides through the EAA Young Eagles program,” said Eric Whyte, Race Chairman.
Race launch is scheduled for Sunday, July 27, at 9:30 a.m., weather permitting. Once on the race course, the AirVenture Cup is a timed race. Participants are competing against the clock and are divided into categories based on their certification, landing gear configuration, and engine size. Each class has a first, second and third place awards.
The application window will close July 1. All applications need to be complete and approved by this date. The volunteer staff for the AirVenture cup requests any interested parties submit their application as soon as possible. Applications for participation are now available online on the AirVenture Cup website