What do you get when you combine planes, pilots, and aerobatics? The Reno Air Races! This weekend I took a road-trip up to Reno, Nevada. I brought along 3 friends, 1 camera, and 0 knowledge about planes.

And I learned a lot. I got to spend time with the top pilots in the country and the best pit crews ’round. These folks work with massive pieces of machinery. They tinker, fix, and repair. Naturally, I’m going to tell you all about them. But before you get the full repair story, here are some teaser photographs of this year’s Reno Air Races—just a few of my favorite moments!

1. Hundreds of gorgeous airplanes–everywhere

2. Huge hangers filled with airplane goodies

3. Like this plane, with vintage posters around it

4. Planes with wings that fold like this….

5. Planes that are super shiny. I can see myself in them!

6. Things that aren’t even planes. Check out this excessively big, albeit effective, can-crusher.

7. The Patriots—an aerobatic team. They’re a combination six-diamond formation of retired members of the legendary Blue Angels and Thunderbirds.

8. The Patriots again.

9. And again…

10. Pilot Sherman Smoot lays next to his plane, the Czech Mate, imagining his flight patterns before a big race.

11. Races are beginning, so pit crews are making sure all the nuts and bolts are tight!

12. Anticipation! They are about to take off!

13. The winning plane, VooDoo, gleams even after a long day. The pilot, Steve “Steve-o” Hinton Jr., dedicates his race to his pilot father—Steve Hinton.

14. People can even look at the guts of planes! Look at all that stuff…whew, what a teardown.

15. I think somethin’ is getting repaired…

16. It’s lookin’ pretty good in my opinion!

17. And this cutie pie! She’s gonna fly us all home.

Bonus: 18. Me, excited to get back to the office later and write all about it!

@CaitEmmaScait@ifixit.com

 

Writer and Advocacy Outreach at iFixit.com

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