AAFO.COM "Inside Air Racing Update
Santa Rosa Calif. June 11, 2000-

by:Wayne Sagar


In what was her first flight since 1997, a grand old Air Race competitor returned to the sky today at Santa Rosa California.

The R-4360 powered Hawker Sea Fury, "Race 15- Furias," flew a short test hop to check systems recently overhauled by members of the former Hamilton Racing Team. Preparations to get the airplane ready for the ferry flight to her new home at Everett, Washington's Paine Field, have been underway since the aircraft was sold to partners, Bill Rogers and Dale Stolzer in April of this year.

click here for larger view
The late Lloyd Hamilton shepherds his
mount around the pylons at Reno '86

We caught Race 15's new owner, Bill Rogers, "driving a truckfull of parts back to Seattle" today to check on details of the test hop.

"It test flew yesterday, [6-11] went on a 20 minute test flight with virtually no squawks. The crew did real good, they got it ready and it flew without a problem" Rogers told us in a cellular phone conversation this morning.

Eye witness reports recount a test flight run a various power settings that lasted about 23 minutes. The test pilot (at the team's request, we can not identify the pilot at this time) flew the big Red Sea Fury in formation with a P-51 Mustang, acting as chase plane. Verifying Rogers statement, no problems were reported by the witness to the flight.

Since the news of the sale of Furias to the Rogers-Stolzer partnership broke in April, of course, the big question has been: "Who will fly Race 15 at Reno 2000?" We can announce that a pilot has been chosen... However, we have been asked to not release this information until the team can make a formal announcement. The announcement is expected in a few days.

The airplane is slated to be flown to Everett "Probably sometime next week" Rogers told us... Though most of our coverage team will be on assignment at the Reno National Championship Air Race Association's "2000 Pylon Racing School" At Reno, AAFO.COM will have a reporter on scene at Paine Field as soon as possible. We will cover the progress of race preparations for Furias closely as Reno 2000 draws near...

And what about Reno 2000? From all reports received to date, The 2000 edition of the Reno National Championship Air Races and Air Show, is shaping up to be the best Reno yet.... More competitors, new competitors... The Blue Angels... and more...


-Reno 2000- September 14-17

For ticket and event information contact:
The Reno Air Racing Association


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