Warbirds Captured

Feel the thunder and hear the roar of legendary aircraft in thrilling video action.

Reno 2014: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

The 2014 National Championship Air Races were not the best for the Lewis Air Racing team. With three aircraft ready to do battle in the high desert near Reno, Nevada the LAR crew was prepared for anything. The fearsome racers lined up in the pit included, ‘La Patrona’, the twin-engine Tigercat, piloted by Stew Dawson, previous race winner ‘232’, a Sea Fury piloted by Hoot Gibson, and ‘Rare Bear’, the infamous Bearcat that you don’t just fly, but survive, also piloted by Stewart Dawson.
At the beginning of the race week ‘232’ and ‘Rare Bear’ were poised to make it an impressive race by pushing the Mustangs to their limits and giving the competition a run for their money. Sadly, by sunset on Sunday, only our Tigercat would bring home a win in the Unlimited Silver class. How quickly the winds of fortune can shift in the dry desert air.
Please enjoy the following video as we track the Lewis Air Racing team’s journey and efforts to bring home Reno Gold. Share in the glory of victory and the agony of defeat.

Behind the Lens with Paul Bowen

The Lewis Air Legends team cultivates many great relationships with professionals in the aviation community. One of those individuals is renowned photographer, Paul Bowen. At the 2014 Reno Air Races, LAL coordinated an evening photo shoot with Paul. Our models for the evening included; the world’s fastest qualified Sea Fury, 232, flown by Hoot Gibson, Unlimited Silver race winner, La Patrona, and the iconic Bearcat, Rare Bear, both flown by Stewart Dawson. As always the sunset on Stead ramp cast its golden glow on the aircraft. We followed Paul as he set up and photographed the formation. Watch a master at work.

Pace Plane Pilot

Pace Plane Pilot

Last year we sat down at the Reno Air Races for a few minutes with pace plane pilot, Steve Hinton. Find out how he became the pace pilot and what goes on in the cockpit of the pace plane before and during the race.

Chino Planes of Fame

Chino Planes of Fame 2014

Lewis Air Legends is a long time friend and supporter of the Planes of Fame Museum and airshow in Chino, California. This annual event is a highlight on every airshow calendar, always providing a unique blend of warbirds and performers from around the world. Unfortunately, last minute glitches kept the Lewis Air Legends’ P-47 Thunderbolt “Balls Out” from attending the event, but that didn’t stop our crew from participating and bringing back some excellent footage. Take a look at our most recent highlight video from Planes of Fame airshow!

Sun N Fun 2014

Sun N Fun 2014
Lewis Air Legends continued the 2014 airshow season in style by attending the 40th annual Sun ‘n Fun Fly-In in Lakeland, Florida. The P-38 Lightning, ‘Glacier Girl’, two F7F Tigercats, ‘La Patrona’ and ‘Here Kitty, Kitty!’ and the B-25, ‘Russian Ta Get Ya’ all participated in the “Spring Break for Airplanes.”
Lewis Air Legends teamed up with James Slattery and his beautiful Tigercat for an awesome three-ship formation, including Rod Lewis, Stewart Dawson and Steve Hinton. The fans in attendance witnessed the return of the Heritage Flight to Lakeland skies with ‘Glacier Girl’ piloted by Steve Hinton, the P-51 Mustang, ‘Crazy Horse’ with Lee Lauderback at the controls and the F-22 Raptor flown by Capt. John ‘Taboo’ Cummings. To top off a great weekend, the Lewis Air Legends B-25 won Best Bomber.
Check out the video highlight of the sights and sounds from Sun ‘n Fun featuring Lewis Air Legends aircraft.

Cobra Shark

As if the Lewis Air Legends Cobra gunship didn’t already strike an intimidating pose, it had to go and get a facelift! After all, the LAL collection is known for the awesome nose art. Airbrush artist, Mike Dusold brought his raw talent to the LAL hangar’s to create a design for our Vietnam War attack chopper that would terrify even the toughest person thinking about going back to the beach…or the airport! ShhShhShh..SHARK!!!

232, What Really Happened

232, What Really Happened

2013 was a bittersweet year for the Lewis Air Legends team at the 50th Annual Reno Air Races.  After achieving the fastest qualifying time ever recorded in a Sea Fury,  our very own 232, pilot “Hoot” Gibson experienced a structural failure during Saturday’s Unlimited Gold Race, eliminating him from the competition.  Through skillful camera placement, video forensics, and just dumb luck, our Lewis Air Legends media team was able to piece together the chain of events that grounded 232. Handling the emergency in “cool” astronaut style, “Hoot” safely landed 232, and in his own words…stated, we’ll be back “Next Year”. Take a moment to see exactly what happened and hear a break down from our crew and pilot. 

Rare Bear Texas Edition


After a little ‘touch up’ in Breckenridge, Texas the Bear is headed back to Reno for the 50th Anniversary of the Air Races.  Piloted by Stew Dawson, Rare Bear will join the other Lewis Air Racing teams,  232, flown by ‘Hoot’ Gibson and La Patrona, flown by Rod Lewis. Take a moment to watch the newest Lewis Air Legends video of Rare Bear’s journey back to the Unlimited Gold! 

Cobra Test Drive

AH-1G Cobra
Lewis Air Legends’ pilots recently took the newest addition of the collection, the AH-1G Cobra helicopter out for a test drive over Medina Lake. Check out our most recent video of the beautiful scenery shot from both the strut and rocket launcher mount of this fully restored Vietnam War attack chopper.

Rare Bear on the Move

Lets set the record straight shall we! Rare Bear departed Stead Field on March 28, 2013, trekked through Arizona and New Mexico, and landed in Breckenridge, Texas on April 5, 2013. Lewis Air Legends was privileged to have Les Chapman Transport, one of the most prestigious aircraft haulers in the world, lead the Bear to Texas, where she will be enhanced by the Ezell Aviation team in hopes of taking home the big win at the 50th Annual Reno Air Race Championships this year! Please take a look at newest video to the left for a more in depth look on Rare Bear’s journey to the South.

L-39 Cloud Dancing

Make sure and take a moment to watch our newest video from the ‘Cloud Dancer’ series, featuring the Lewis Air Legends L-39C Albatros.  Developed in the former Czechoslovakia during the 60s, the L-39 did not see full-scale production until late 1972. So soundly designed, the Albatros is still the most widely used jet trainer in the world, with more than 2,800 still in service with 30+ air forces worldwide. The Lewis Albatross was built in 1978 and ironically wears the paint scheme of the United States Navy Blue Angels.

Reno Highlights 2012

Lewis Air Legends had a fun and safe weekend at the 49th Annual National Championship Air Races. Our crews, pilots and planes did an outstanding job and we are very proud of their accomplishments.  The Lewis Air Legends Grumman F7F-3P Tigercat, Here Kitty, Kitty!, placed 4th in the Silver Unlimited Class and our Hawker MK-11 Sea Fury, 232, placed 2nd in the Gold Unlimited Class.  Alas, our famous F8F-2 Bearcat, Rare Bear had some minor problems in the last lap of the race and had to pull up, but she’ll be back next year with a vengeance. We look forward to many more races to come!