Welcome to the home of the National Aviation Heritage Invitational

We invite owners and restorers of our nation's aviation treasures to apply to become part of our next National Aviation Heritage Invitational competition. All aircraft applications are reviewed by the five member judging team and those accepted will be judged in five categories: Antique, Classic, Contemporary, Military and Large Aircraft. All aircraft must be at least 45 years old and restored to airworthy condition.

The National Aviation Heritage Invitational shares it's home and mission with the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center.

Apply Now... We invite all those who own an aircraft that fit the Invitational Judging Criteria to apply.

Come share your own piece of aviation history with us at Reno and compete to be enshrined in the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum!

"There is little value in insuring the survival of our nation if our traditions do not survive with it."

- John F. Kennedy

2017 Winners Circle
Neil A. Armstrong Aviation Heritage Trophy - 1954 Grumman Albatros by Joseph Duke
On the NAHI Ramp
One of the beautifully restored DC-3s entered into the 2017 NAHI.
1/2/2017 California Capital Airshow new home for NAHI
The California Capital Airshow (CCA) will be the new Host Event for the National Aviation Heritage Invitational (NAHI) beginning in 2017. NAHI will add yet another dimension to the outstanding airshow which CCA has developed over the past 12 years.
The National Aviation Heritage Invitational has held annual competitions since 1999 and has been privileged to have on display some of the finest restored vintage aircraft in the country. In addition, we have been honored to have hosted many enshrinees of the National Aviation Hall of Fame who have presented trophies to the winners each year. NAHI has a wealth of great photos, stories and information we would like to share with the aviation community. Our new web site, created by Joe Jones and his design team, will become the repository for information on vintage aircraft and a great way to visually walk through the time line of our rich aviation history.
Dedicated to the Preservation of our Nation's Aviation Heritage

The concept for the National Aviation Heritage Invitational arose in the 1990's at the Reno Air Races when representatives from Rolls-Royce, The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, The National Aviation Hall of Fame and the Reno Air Racing Foundation got together to discuss the future of aviation in our country. We all agreed that one of the key factors in encouraging future generations to appreciate and select aviation as a career path was to educate and enlighten them about our rich aviation history.

We knew not everyone can travel to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC to see their outstanding collection of preserved vintage aircraft, and we were looking for an alternative solution. We collectively decided to create a "Traveling Aviation Museum" which would bring World Class restorations to tens of thousands of individuals in the USA. This Traveling Aviation Museum ultimately became the National Aviation Heritage Invitational (NAHI).

Right from the beginning, the NAHI team set the bar extremely high. We all believed that "beauty is more than skin deep", so we decided each aircraft would be judged by the strict standards established by representatives of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. We also agreed that this competition would be held to such a high standard that the winners deserved to be honored in a very special way. The National Aviation Hall of Fame agreed to bring Hall of Fame Enshrinees each year to help present trophies to the category winners and the Grand Champion. Enshrinees such as Neil Armstrong, Bob Hoover, Jim Lovell, Gene Cernan, Dick Rutan, Bud Anderson, Herb Kelleher, and many others have shown their appreciation and respect for the restorers of these fine aircraft by personally participating in the trophy presentations.

To date, NAHI has hosted over 20 vintage aircraft competitions at both the Dayton Airshow and the Reno Air Races. Over this period, several hundred thousand fans and guests have viewed these great aviation treasures first hand.

Starting in 2017, the California Capital Airshow will become the new home for this competition and showcase of fine vintage aircraft.

The National Aviation Heritage Invitational is more than a vintage aircraft restoration competition; it is about Honoring Our Past and Inspiring Our Future.

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