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Tue, Aug 31, 2010

National Aviation Heritage Invitational Hosts Rare Restored Aircraft

Program Adding Large Aircraft Category In Its 12th Year

The National Aviation Heritage Invitational, LLC, held in conjunction with the National Championship Air Races, gives aircraft owners and restorers the opportunity to bring their brilliantly restored aircraft to the high desert of northern Nevada. There they compete for the prestigious Rolls-Royce Aviation Heritage Trophy.

Established in 1998, the event has been called the nation's premiere traveling aviation museum. Admission to view the Invitational is open to anyone attending the Reno Air Races. Throughout race week spectators can take a walk through aviation history as they view a wide array of beautifully restored airplanes including a 1941 Lockheed L-18, a 1937 Spartan Executive, a 1944 SNJ-5C, a Douglas A-26, along with many other living testaments to our rich aviation history.

The Invitational competition encourages the preservation and restoration of historic aircraft to airworthy condition and to the very highest standards of workmanship and historical accuracy. Participants compete in four categories, Antique (early aircraft pre-1935), Classic (post 1935), Warbird and Large Aircraft and are judged by a five-member panel including representatives from the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum.

Each aircraft is judged on its technical merit and how well it represents the aircraft early in its career.  Authenticity to the original manufacturer's condition is the "gold standard" for each plane.

2010 will mark the first year for the Large Aircraft Category - open to both civil and military aircraft 45 years old or older with wingspans greater than 45 feet. These aircraft can be single or multi-engine and must be restored to airworthy condition.  Sponsored by Air Transport World, the Large Aircraft trophy will be named the Howard Hughes Trophy.

"We are delighted to be here in our 12th year to celebrate and honor the beautiful aircraft and the tireless dedication of the owners and restorers," said Ken Perich, Executive Director of the National Aviation Heritage Invitational.  "We are excited to be adding the new Large Aircraft Category this year."
When not on display at the Invitational, the striking six-foot tall Rolls-Royce Aviation Heritage Trophy resides at the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center near Washington Dulles International Airport, where the winning aircraft owner's name and the name of the restoration facility is engraved on a plaque placed on the trophy. The overall winner is presented with a keeper trophy.

The National Aviation Hall of Fame's 'People's Choice' trophy is awarded to the owner of the aircraft which receives the most votes from the public reviewing the aircraft during the Invitational. Voting ends September 18 at 1700.



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