Fifty-two teams of women will take off for the 41st Air Race Classic from Frederick, Maryland, on Tuesday, June 20, 2017, for a 2,648-mile sprint across the United States that ends in Santa Fe, New Mexico, on Friday, June 23, 2017.
This year, Women in Aviation International is participating in an Air Race Classic kick-off event held on the afternoon of Saturday, June 17, 2017, at the Aviation Children’s Educational Summit held at the National Aviation Community Center in Frederick, Maryland. More than 200 children are expected to attend to visit different activity stations, most staffed by the air racers, including those on weather systems, aviation maintenance, navigation and air traffic control, and more.
“Since so many of the racers are WAI members, we follow the race closely,” says WAI President Dr. Peggy Chabrian. “It was one of the first aviation events to feature women and also such fun, starting with the team names which range from ‘Arkansas Flying Gals’ and ‘Gurley Girls’ to aerobatic champion Deby Rihn-Harvey’s team ‘Houston Hot Flashes.’ Here’s hoping the weather smiles on the racers and safe landings to all.”
As the oldest race of its kind in the United States, the Air Race Classic traces its roots to the 1929 Women’s Air Derby. Then known as the Powder Puff Derby, the race marked the beginning of women’s air racing.