Williamsport, PA – October 3, 2006 – Lycoming Engines, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, proudly announces that Jon Sharp, a Lycoming-sponsored racer, has won the 2006 Reno Air Races in the Sport Class division on September 17, 2006.
It was an exciting finish to a week of competition at the 43rd National Championship Air Races in Reno, Nevada. Six different classes of aircraft competed, including the T-6 class, Jets, Unlimiteds, Bi-Planes, Formula One, and the Sport class. Each day three different racing heats (Bronze, Silver, and Gold) were held.
"It is the first time a Lycoming engine has won the Gold in the Sport class division at Reno," stated Ian Walsh, vice president and general manager, Lycoming Engines. "We are extremely pleased with the outcome of this race. Lycoming has supported Jon Sharp and Team Nemesis for the past three years and we are excited to see him win. What the Sharps are doing with innovative aircraft design aligns perfectly with what Lycoming is doing with its Advanced Technology Center and customized Thunderbolt engine work."
The Sport class, which has grown in popularity due to a variety of new aircraft designs, was founded in 1998. Jon Sharp's kit aircraft, the NemesisNXT, is a composite-design based on the engineering expertise of Jon and Patricia Sharp’s team. A Lycoming Thunderbolt TIO-540-NXT engine powers the NemesisNXT.
Reno Air Race Results
Jon competed in the Gold races each day. His goal was to push the engine to its full potential by the last day of competition. On the first day NemesisNXT came in third place in the Gold race with a speed of 329 mph. On the second day, due to the winds and turbulent weather, Sharp recorded a time of 319 mph. For the third race, NemesisNXT posted a time of 343 mph.
"The plane was so fast the entire week. We soared through the qualifying and heat races. In the ten days we were there, we flew ten flights," explained Jon Sharp.
By the final day of racing, the NemesisNXT engine was boosted to compete head-to-head with the others in the Gold heat. In the final race, Jon explained, "We were running in third place when the plane in the lead cut the course short (a penalty), I knew I had to pass one other plane to get into a position where we could win."
Jon continued, “When I made the pass on the last guy on the course, I knew we had won, but I was the only person on the airport who knew it. For 15 minutes we tried to keep quiet and hold in our excitement because the pylon judges were still discussing what had happened with the plane that had cut out the pylon. Because there is no videotape and judges stand on the ground looking up a telephone pole (the pylon), there was a chance they may have missed it."
Finally, Sharp received the confirmation of the "cut" pylon and he was declared the winner with an official time of 360.389 mph.
Lycoming Engines specializes in Engineering, Manufacture, Service and Support of piston aircraft engines. Headquartered in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, Lycoming piston engines power more than half of the world's general aviation fleet – both rotary-wing and fixed-wing. Lycoming Engines is a division of Avco Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Textron Inc. More information is available at www.lycoming.textron.com.
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