Friday, September 7, 2012


Stead Airport, Reno, NV. -  Now in its 14th year, the National Aviation Heritage Invitational gives vintage aircraft owners and restorers the opportunity to bring their brilliantly restored aircraft to the high desert of northern Nevada to participate in the National Aviation Heritage Invitational competition held concurrent with the National Championship Air Races and Air Show in Reno on September 12-16, 2012.

Ken Perich, Executive Director, National Aviation Heritage Invitational, stated: “on behalf of the NAHI Sponsors, Supporters, Judging staff and Volunteers, we are extremely proud to announce that The Neil A. Armstrong Aviation Heritage Trophy will be unveiled and presented to the Grand Champion of our 14th Annual National Aviation Heritage Invitational competition during the 2012 presentation ceremony which will be held on Sunday, September 16th at 10:30 AM.

This year over 30 skillfully restored aircraft are vying for the prestigious Neil A. Armstrong Aviation Heritage Trophy.  “The ramp will be full of beautiful restorations and we are thrilled this year to welcome Perform Air as our new Presenting Sponsor,” said Charlie Marks, Director of Operations.

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 1929 Fleet, a 1930 Stearman Speedmail,  a 1941 Vultee, a 1929 Ford Tri-Motor, a 1946 Piper J3C  and a 1951 Grumman Albatross 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 with aircraft that are 45 years and older -Antique (early aircraft pre-1945), Large Aircraft, Classic (post 1946) and Military and are judged by a five-member panel including a representative 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.
When not on display at the Invitational, the striking six-foot tall Neil A. Armstrong 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. 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 and each of the Class winners are presented with a keeper trophy.

The National Aviation Hall of Fame’s ‘People’s Choice Award” trophy is awarded to the owner of the aircraft which receives the most votes from the public reviewing the aircraft during the Invitational. Voting begins on Thursday morning, September 13th and ends September 15th at 5:00 p.m.

The awards ceremony will take place Sunday morning, September 16 where aviation legends including Patty Wagstaff, Herb Kelleher, Dick Rutan, Clarence ‘Bud’ Anderson, Clay Lacy, Bob Hoover and Sean D. Tucker will be assisting in the presentation of the awards. Past presenters include Neil Armstrong, Paul Tibbets and Jim Lovell.

Presenting sponsor Perform Air is joined by the National Aviation Hall of Fame and the Reno Air Racing Foundation in their dedication to the preservation of aviation history.  The Invitational is grateful for the continuing support from: Air Transport World Magazine, Reno Air Racing Association, Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, Air and Space Smithsonian Magazine, Airmail Greetings, Speed News, The Perich Group and Live AirShow TV.


For more information on The National Aviation Heritage Invitational, please contact Connie May at:

Phone:  775-530-2297

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