Jet Team Sets Record at Reno Air Races

On September 24, 2015, Posted by , In 51st Annual National Championship Air Races, With Comments Off on Jet Team Sets Record at Reno Air Races

Only Closed Course Air Race Awards Winner

Reno, Nevada (September 20, 2015) — After three days of competition the jet competitor Darkstar Air Racing, led by Dianna Stanger, raced to the top completing the race in the top five for the first-time team. The team qualified with a speed of 469.8 MPH. The jet class completes eight-mile laps fifty feet above the ground; the only closed course air race in the world. The race with a fifty-one year tradition, is held at the Stead Airport in Reno, Nevada.

This year marked a new record in race’s history; the team was the only female owned and piloted aircraft in the history of the event. Another first for the team is the aircraft flown, an Aero Vodochody L-139 is a prototype and the only one in existence. The jet placed fifth in the championship Gold Class, competing against jets with speeds not to exceed 515 MPH. Vicky Benzing of Hollister, California piloted the jet in the event.

Vladimir Silchuk, crew; Vicky Benzing, pilot; Kathy Minh, crew and Dianna Stanger, owner. (left to right)

Vladimir Silchuk, crew; Vicky Benzing, pilot; Kathy Minh, crew and Dianna Stanger, owner. (left to right)

The Albatros L-139 is owned by Dianna Stanger of Port Lavaca who has been a long time fan of the Reno Air Races. “I had never expected to be a competitor in this extreme air race. The challenge was to use technique over speed which showcased Vicky’s skill”. Explaining that the jet was not in race configuration as it was 800 pounds heavier than the competitors, contributing to a speed disadvantage.

Stanger explained that placing among the top validates the superiority of the aircraft and supports the decision to continue to race the jet.

“Next year will be a bit different” says Stanger. “This year we were test pilots not knowing what the aircraft could do, next year the jet will be streamlined and put into race configuration with speeds around the 500 MPH mark.”

For further information:
Vicky Benzing http://www.vbaerosports.com/

Reno Air Races http://airrace.org/

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