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!

Join us in 2019 as we present a full competition of skillfully restored aircraft all vying for the coveted
Neil A. Armstrong National Aviation Trophy. We expect approximately 30 aircraft to shine on the ramp at the Stihl National Championship Air Races, September 11-15, 2019. Walk through history and learn about these mighty aircraft that protected our country, served as executive transport and were steadfast work horses in years gone by. Check our News link on this sight for updates. See you on the ramp.

"There is little value in insuring the survival of our nation if our traditions do not survive with it."

- John F. Kennedy

2017 Winners Circle
Neil A. Armstrong Aviation Heritage Trophy - 1954 Grumman Albatros by Joseph Duke
On the NAHI Ramp
One of the beautiful aircraft you will see at Reno in 2018
2/2/2019 Accepting Applications
National Aviation Heritage Invitational Returns to Reno
Applications now open for 2019 event
1/12/2019 Accepting Applications for 2019
We are now accepting application for the National Aviation Heritage Invitational. Please follow the application entry links. Stay tuned for more exciting details and news!
1/12/2019 Herb Kelleher 1931 to 2019
We mourn the loss of Herbert David Kelleher.
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.

Host Event
Reno Air Races
Presenting Sponsor
Perform Air International
Trophy Sponsors
Pathways to Aviation
Air & Space
Supporting Sponsors
Founding Sponsors
Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum
National Aviation Hall of Fame
Reno Air Racing Association