Welcome to the home of the National Aviation Heritage Invitational
We invite owners and restorers of our nation's aviation treasures to apply to become part of our next National Aviation Heritage Invitational competition. All aircraft applications are reviewed by the five member judging team and those accepted will be judged in five categories: Antique, Classic, Contemporary, Military and Large Aircraft. All aircraft must be at least 45 years old and restored to airworthy condition.
The National Aviation Heritage Invitational shares it's home and mission with the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center.
Apply Now... We invite all those who own an aircraft that fit the Invitational Judging Criteria to apply.
Come share your own piece of aviation history with us at Reno and compete to be enshrined in the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum!
"There is little value in insuring the survival of our nation if our traditions do not survive with it."
- John F. Kennedy
2021 Winners Circle
Paul E. Garber Trophy - Globe Swift (1946) by Karl Johanson
On the NAHI Ramp
Beechcraft Debonair 35-C33 - 1967
1/13/2022 Happy Birthday Col. Anderson 100 years!
Celebrating a friend and supporter of the National Aviation Heritage Invitational.
12/6/2021 Our NAHI team wishes you a very HAPPY HOLIDAYS
12/1/2021 NAHI 2022 to begin accepting applications on January 1, 2022
NAHI will officially begin accepting participant applications for their 2022 Vintage Aircraft Competition on January 1, 2022. The 2022 competition will be held at the Reno Air Races from September 14 to 18, 2022. Please see the ENTER AIRCRAFT Page for more details.
Dedicated to the Preservation of our Nation's Aviation Heritage
The concept for the National Aviation Heritage Invitational arose in the 1990's at the Reno Air Races when representatives from Rolls-Royce, The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, The National Aviation Hall of Fame and the Reno Air Racing Foundation got together to discuss the future of aviation in our country. We all agreed that one of the key factors in encouraging future generations to appreciate and select aviation as a career path was to educate and enlighten them about our rich aviation history.
We knew not everyone can travel to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC to see their outstanding collection of preserved vintage aircraft, and we were looking for an alternative solution. We collectively decided to create a "Traveling Aviation Museum" which would bring World Class restorations to tens of thousands of individuals in the USA. This Traveling Aviation Museum ultimately became the National Aviation Heritage Invitational (NAHI).
Right from the beginning, the NAHI team set the bar extremely high. We all believed that "beauty is more than skin deep", so we decided each aircraft would be judged by the strict standards established by representatives of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. We also agreed that this competition would be held to such a high standard that the winners deserved to be honored in a very special way. The National Aviation Hall of Fame agreed to bring Hall of Fame Enshrinees each year to help present trophies to the category winners and the Grand Champion. Enshrinees such as Neil Armstrong, Bob Hoover, Jim Lovell, Gene Cernan, Dick Rutan, Bud Anderson, Herb Kelleher, and many others have shown their appreciation and respect for the restorers of these fine aircraft by personally participating in the trophy presentations.
To date, NAHI has hosted over 20 vintage aircraft competitions at both the Dayton Airshow and the Reno Air Races. Over this period, several hundred thousand fans and guests have viewed these great aviation treasures first hand.
The National Aviation Heritage Invitational is more than a vintage aircraft restoration competition; it is about Honoring Our Past and Inspiring Our Future.