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Reno 2011 Air Races

Video Dedicated to Jimmy Leeward, "The Galloping Ghost"

To all those affected by the 2011 tragedy, please accept our most sincere and deepest condolences.


Our thoughts and prayers are with all of those affected by the tragic 2011 accident. Words cannot adequately express the sympathy and sadness we feel for those who were lost or injured, for their families, and those who are grieving in our community and all around the world. We share your sorrow and pray for comfort and solace in this difficult time.


We also want to express our deep appreciation for the amazing efforts of emergency crews, first responders, servicemen and women, and selfless citizens who worked so valiantly to help those in need. Their courage and compassion in the face of adversity was truly extraordinary and nothing short of heroic.


While our hearts are heavy, we are planning to Race in 2012, and fully expect the Viper and Pipsqueak to return to the front of the pack. We will keep you posted.


Thank you for your continued support.

The DelawareWarBirds Racing Team




Race # 77 & Race # 2 - BANNED!



Delaware WarBirds extends its apology to its fans and sponsors for not competing in 2011. Events out of our control conspired to force the FAA to reconfirm the safety of the six Reno jets flying at 500+ mph.

Race #2

Events Leading Up To 2011



During the last several years both the Viper and Pipsqueak have amassed over 1000 laps each on the course, at race speeds, all incident free.


At the 2011 Pylon Racing School, a new Viper racer experienced an over G event, which caused minor damage to an original engine mount component.  The race pilot did not report the over G.  If she had, her aircraft would have been inspected and the damage quickly repaired.  Over several subsequent flights the damage progressed until it distorted a heat shield that caused an over temp. This raised questions the FAA wanted formally answered with an engineering study prior to allowing the Viper to race again.


Engineering study required by the race officials indicates the engine installation is fine as did tail off inspections.  Yet we were not able to obtain an approval to race. 


For reasons not fully clear, Pipsqueak was also included in the race ban, pending independent confirmation that its “Hot Rod” DV2 engine required no modifications to the original L-39’s engine mounts.  Pipsqueak has flown for years -hundreds of laps without incident.  As did the required full inspection of the Vipers.  However somehow this wasn't good enough for the race officials.

Reno 2011
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2011 Jet Class Results

The race officials got what they wanted: a nice slow Jet Race, with the gold first place finishing at 482 MPH, the first sub 500 MPH Jet Race since 2007.

Curt Brown was able to still manage a win in the Silver heat flying a stock L-39 C, Robin 1.




1st        Rick Vanuam       Race 5 "American Spirit" (L-39C).    482 MPH


2nd.     Phil Fogg.            Race 8 "Fast Company" (L-39C)      482 MPH


3rd.      Pierre Wildman   Race 67 "Vampire" (Vampire)          459 MPH


1st.       Curt Brown.         Race 54 "Robin 1" (L-39C)                425 MPH


2nd.     Scott Kraus         Race 17 "Predator" (ISKRA)               424 MPH


3rd.      Cliff Magee         Race 25 "Violated" (L-39C).              402 MPH



Just too fast? We know that RARA and the FAA are modifying the race course at least in part to accommodate the 500+ mph speeds of the Vipers and Pipsqueak for 2012. The tragic P-51 crash may also factor into the course modifications. It is too early to speculate much about 2012, except to say, if the races go on we intend to bring our team.


Thank you for your continued support.

The Delaware WarBirds Racing Team

YOU CAN AFFORD AN L-29 or an L-39!

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