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World War II Naval Trainer Wins Rolls-Royce National Aviation Heritage Trophy

Stead Airport, Nev. - A broad and impressive assemblage of aircraft dazzled thousands of air show fans this week at the National Aviation Heritage Invitational. Living legends of aviation helped celebrate the dedication of owners and restorers by assisting in the presentation of the trophies on September 20, 2009. The National Aviation Heritage Invitational is held each year in conjunction with the Reno National Championship Air Races in Reno, Nevada.

The 2009 Grand Champion and recipient of the Rolls-Royce National Aviation Heritage Trophy is the 1944 North American SNJ-5C owned and restored by Chuck Wahl of Cameron Park, Calif. Mr. Wahl will have his name engraved on the trophy, which is displayed at the National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center near Washington Dulles International Airport in Virginia.

Winners in other categories are:

Antique Category (Orville and Wilbur Wright Trophy): 1934 Waco YMF-3 - owned and restored by Robert Juranich of Des Moines, Wa.

Classic Category (Paul E. Garber Trophy): 1937 Stinson SR-9F – owned by Richard Rezabek of Santa Clarita, Calif. and restored by Dr. David Stark. The black and red Stinson also was a favorite of the air show fans as it garnered the most votes for the for the National Aviation Hall of Fame People’s Choice award.

Warbird Category:  (Henry ‘Hap’ Arnold Trophy): 1940 Ryan STM-2 – owned by William and Claudia Allen of El Cajon, Calif. and restored by Ragtime Aero; engine by Brad Ball.

Assisting in the presentations were National Aviation Heritage Invitational Ambassador, Robert ‘Hoot’ Gibson; renown aerobatic pilot, Patty Wagstaff; World War II fighter pilot, Bud Anderson; former air show and test pilot, Bob Hoover; founder of Southwest Airlines, Herb Kelleher; and record-setting test pilot, Dick Rutan. Joining them were Ron Kaplan, Executive Director of the National Aviation Hall of Fame; Linda Shiner, editor of Smithsonian Air and Space magazine; Ken Perich, Executive Director of the National Aviation Heritage Invitational; Ginny Person, Director of Corporate Communication for Rolls-Royce; Delray Dobbins and Bob Sciabica of Rolls-Royce North America; Bill Freeman, publisher of Air Transport World; Katie Pribyl, Director of Communications for GAMA; Gates Scott, publisher of PilotMag; Ray Berg, Vice President of Perform Air, Mark Davis, Vice-President of Perform Air; Mike Houghton, CEO of the Reno Air Racing Foundation and Tom Gadd, Chairman of the Reno Air Racing Association.

The National Aviation Heritage Invitational encourages preservation of aviation history through the restoration of aircraft to original flying condition. The Invitational is a joint effort under the partnership of Rolls-Royce North America, the National Aviation Hall of Fame, the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum and the Reno Air Racing Foundation and was founded in 1998. A five-member panel, including representatives of the National Air and Space Museum, judges each aircraft 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. More information can be found at www.heritagetrophy.org



Ken Perich –Executive Director
National Aviation Heritage Invitational

Connie Pardew
Media Coordinator
National Aviation Heritage Invitational





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