The Classic has pilots that range in age from 17 to 90. Race teams, consisting of at least two women pilots, must fly VFR during daylight hours only and are given four days to make flybys at each en route timing point and then land at the terminus. Click here for the live tracker of planes as they fly the route.
“The race routes change each year and are about 2,400 statute miles in length,“ according to race organizers literature. “Each plane is flown in race configuration to determine its handicap speed – and the challenge for each race team is to achieve actual ground speeds as far over the handicap speed as possible. The pilots strategize to play the elements, holding out for better weather, winds, etc. The official standings are not known until the final entrant has crossed the finish line.
“Entrant aircrafts are stock or minimally modified airplanes, certified in normal or utility category with normally aspirated engines of not less than 100 horsepower nor more than 600 horsepower, rated for continuous maximum operation and handicapped accordingly.”
Prizes of medallions, trophies and cash awards for the Classic are valued at more than $16,500.
The Air Race Classic traces its beginnings to the 1929 Women’s air Derby in which Amelia Earhart and 19 other daring female pilots flew from Santa Monica, California to Cleveland, Ohio.
The Air Race Classic is a nonprofit organization dedicated to encouraging and educating current and future women pilots; increasing public awareness of general aviation; demonstrating women’s roles in aviation; and presenting and promoting the tradition of pioneering women in aviation.