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Reno Air Races 1970 Darryl Greenamyer And Conquest 1

I haven't been to the Reno Air Races in years - but I'll be there in 2009!

  Because my dad was both an airline pilot and an airplane nut, I had a bazillion awesome opportunities when I was a kid to see some amazing things in the world of aviation.  Like the 1970 Reno Air Races where a record 60,000 people attended!

 If you didn't know better, it would be easy to think the airplane in the picture is just another everyday F-8 Bearcat racer with a really big prop.  Well, it's a whole lot more than that! This is the fastest piston engine airplane in the world in 1970!  Darryl Greenamyer flew the big white Conquest 1 to a record setting speed of 483.041mph on August 16, 1969.

 He was the favored to win at Reno in 1970, especially since he had placed first from 1965-1969... but a very dramatic problem with one of the landing gear legs not fully retracting left him in last place.  I'm saving a complete story on that fabulous championship race for later.  I was blessed to not only be there at the races, but to have pit access too.  I couldn't believe I found the actual passes in a box a while back -wow that's cool!  So I scanned them in.

 1970 was an incredible time in the world, and the experience at Reno was, in some ways, on the leading edge of it all.  I'm so thankful for the opportunity to have been there, even if I was only 9 years old.  I still clearly remember seeing my fave racer of all time, Darryl Greenamyer. limping around the course with that gear leg hanging out.

 My story on the panoramic pics of the Udvar-Hazy Center is a nifty connection since you can see a little of Conquest 1 in this pic, just behind the original 707.  I'm really glad to know it's there with its modern yellow paint, but in my mind, the simple white paint with a blue prop made this airplane absolutely perfect!

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Reader Comments (3)

Yep, there they are!!

May 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChristian Bryan

I live in Cleveland, Ohio and would go to the airshow every year back then. Back in the late 60s we had air racing also. We didn't have unlimited class but had all the other classes. My next door neighbor would give us free box seat ticket for the show. That got us past security and we would wander around all the planes that came to the show. I remember watching the show sitting under the wing of a Corsair which was at show center stage. It was cool.

February 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNick Theodosion

I was there as well my Dad was President of OMNI Aviation managers inc. and we sponsored Clay Lacy in Reno & the California 1000, as well as sponsoring Howie Keefe in Miss America and a few others

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I hope the pic's come through there cool

March 31, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterRobert Woodard

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