Aeroplane Meets...Stewart Dawson

One of the USA’s most experienced warbird pilots has been the ‘go-to guy’ for all kinds of historic aeroplanes, and a Reno racer to boot

In every sense, the Unlimited class of the National Championship Air Races at Reno represents the ultimate when it comes to piston-engined warbird flying. The outright performance of the most modified Grumman F8F Bearcats, Hawker Sea Furies and North American P-51 Mustangs places these monsters in a league of their own, average winning speeds routinely exceeding the 400mph mark. With this brutal pace come some significant engineering and handling challenges, and a level of competition that’s not for the faint-hearted. Even now, after what some might consider to have been the end of Reno’s greatest days, winning the Unlimited Gold race truly means something.

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