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Thread: Reno Air Racer World Record Pilot Bio: Will Whiteside

  1. #1

    Default Reno Air Racer World Record Pilot Bio: Will Whiteside

    Hi guys, I am honored to be asked to write a quick bio on myself for so here goes........

    When Sub Logic released "Flight Simulator" for the Commodore 64 my life changed forever. I was about 13 and I couldn't get enough. Dad and I loved building and flying R/C airplanes but this was better! I spent thousands of hours flying every version that was released and always wishing my computer was faster! Eventually, I found myself as an 20 year old Pro Dirt Speedway Motorcycle racer with sponsors and all the things that go with it. I was flying R/C and racing .60 sized warbirds. I loved flying R/C and I couldn't imagine the chance to fly for real. I started wanting to race airplanes instead of going to the track so after a bad crash, I decided to change directions. Just before my 23rd birthday, I was walking again and I took a flying lesson in a Piper Cherokee 140. When the wheels lifted off I knew this was for me!
    I took a job as a gas boy at the local airport and spent all my time on the sim, flying R/C or in any airplane I could talk my way behind the controls of. I was lucky enough to get a ride up to the Reno Air Races in the back seat of a stock Sea Fury FB-11 and I knew I would focus my efforts on moving forward 3 feet into the front seat! After 2 years, I became an instrument and multi-engine instructor and a year later took a job with aviator and businessman, Clay Lacy. Before I left home, I had a chance to fly a Mig 15UTI with a good friend and Vietnam F4 pilot C.J. Stephens. He showed me how he flew low-levels and the tactics he used in the war. It was at 150 feet, 450 Knots, inverted and pulling 4 G's that I felt more alive than I ever had. I knew I needed to fly fighters! For 4 years, flying most all of the Lears and Gulfstream models and variants I flew full time for Clay. During this time, Clay took me up flying in his AT-6 and we did aerobatics, I was smitten with that airplane. I kept flying simulators and R/C during that time to keep learning. When I was 28, I took a GIV Captain job to get back near my home in Northern California. It was then I bought my first airplane a Vans RV-4. I learned Aerobatics and formation with this airplane and I took it up to Reno and got a race license. I flew GIVs for NetJets International for a little over a year then took a job with an airline flying the 737-800W and the 757-200, 300. It was 2005 and I wasn't getting the time off I needed to race Reno so I quit. I took a job in a Cessna 425 Conquest in my hometown of Santa Rosa, borrowed a friends Glasair III and went racing!
    We did well that year in the sport class and I was able to sell my CC&F Harvard MKIV (AT-6) I had owned for a year so I bought a fixer upper Yakovlev 11 with a big Pratt& Whitney R-2000 Engine on it. It cost me all I had so I went racing on a shoestring budget and we struggled despite the airplanes popularity with the fans. I named it “SteadFast” and the name fit the airplane and the team in so many ways. We won some races and after our second year at Reno, I was offered the seat in “Voodoo” a highly modified P-51 Mustang. We raced Voodoo for 4 years with great success between canceled races and blown up Rolls Royce Merlin engines. After the Leeward crash in 2011, the owner of Voodoo pulled the plug on the program and we have been looking for someone to run with what we have started. Being so close to winning 2-3 years in a row is extremely exciting. The pressure is high and you are on top of your game. It is a great honor to have the chance to compete. Steadfast did well at Reno but our accomplishments with setting world records were our favorites. We set 8 World and 8 national speed and climb records in roughly 1 year. I sold Steadfast in 2012 and we are looking for our next adventure. For a number of years, I flew the Collings P-51C around the country giving rides and instruction for weeks at a time. It was a real barnstorming job and I had a great time building experience in a Mustang. Now I am flying a number of warbirds for the Palm Springs Air Museum which is a nice challenge. Between my full time Conquest job and Salmon fishing on my boat, I enjoy flying numerous light aircraft. With many thousands of hours of real airplane flying time, and the same on a flight simulator, I have flown numerous models and variants. In my experience, I have found that the Hawker Sea Fury is my favorite warbird to take to the skies. In the light aircraft category the Lancair Legacy or the Aerochia Super Legacy are by a long-shot, the top picks in my book. The 757-200 is a wonderful airliner, the Gulfstream IV is a wonderful example of luxurious traveling and perfect jet handling. Many of the skills I learned flying the simulator have helped my career as well as enhanced it. I practiced every aspect of my flying prior to taking flight. You have no idea how many laps I have on FSX and Google at Reno! I feel incredibly fortunate to have been offered the opportunities I have had. I just can't say enough about all of the help that has made it possible to be part of the aviation community.
    Thanks for reading!
    My website is outdated and the new one should be up soon. Please enjoy it or go to Youtube or Vimeo and enjoy my videos.
    Will Whiteside

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Auckland, New Zealand.


    Good to have you here Will, that made for a very interesting read - I can only dream to one day have flown such as an impressive list of aircraft as you have! I love watching the Reno Air Race too, although I usually have to resort to internet feeds but maybe one day I'll make the trip for real.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Westminster, CO


    Welcome, Will -- nice writeup, and thanks for sharing that info.

    Larry N.

    As Skylab would say:
    Remember: Aviation is NOT an exact Science!

  4. #4

    Default Reno Air Racer World Record Pilot Bio: Will Whiteside

    Kiwi, great profile. I'd like to fly in NZ.
    Is there any room?
    Last edited by wwhiteside; 02-08-2013 at 10:56 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 1996
    FlightSim.Com World HQ
    Blog Entries


    Hi Will...

    It's great to have you here at FlightSim.Com. Thank you for sharing your story. You've had a great aviation career and flown lots of planes that the rest of us just dream about. And it's really something to hear that flightsimming played a big role in your career. A lot of real pilots probably would not expect that.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 1996


    Will thanks for the write up. I'm glad we have something on our site that will bring your name and information up when related topics are searched on FlightSim.Com.

    Your site is still awesome even if you are in the process of updating it. I like the format you used with the photographs. I would definitely recommend people check out your Will Whiteside Page for more detailed information, videos, photos and read about your team.

    I found an interview you did on the "Evan Flys" site. That was some great reading and acutally answered a lot of questions I would have asked here. Is the little guy Evan? He's a great writer lol. That page has the 2008 Reno Air Races Bronze Unlimited Video with the Voodoo in cockpit camera. So now I do have some questions.

    How fast are you going in that video and what was your altitude?

    What type of Camera did you use in the cockpit?
    I've seen some videos of the Flightcam 360 Aviation Flight Camera Systems and wondered if you have ever used one?

    Ok so I know from the interview "What" the tweedle value is, so "Where" is it?

    I enjoyed watching the videos at Will Whiteside on Vimeo

    This video was awesome - 2010 Reno Air Races - Will Whiteside

    Will Whiteside shatters time-to-climb records - by Jim Moore on AOPA

    Again, thank you for posting. I didn't know much about Air Racing and I really enjoy reading about it.

    I would welcome you to FlightSim.Com, but I've realized that as a long time flight simulator enthusiast, you have been posting messages here since 2003

    Last edited by danl; 02-08-2013 at 05:03 PM.

  7. #7

    Default Reno Air Racer World Record Pilot Bio: Will Whiteside

    Thanks for the nice comments. I've put a lot of effort and have sacraficed much to make my dreams a reality and I do to this day. I love to sim, fly R/C and fly full scale. I wish I could take you all up with me and share what I have seen and done. I am so blessed to be given these opportunities!
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  8. #8

    Default Reno Air Racer World Record Pilot Bio: Will Whiteside

    On the Tweedle valve, its on the top left corner of the instrument panel.
    Because the scheduling of ADI fluid doesnt work out perfectly, we trim the amount going into the engine at all power settings.

  9. #9

    Default Reno Air Racer World Record Pilot Bio: Will Whiteside

    More explanation with the water injection system on a Rolls Royce Merlin racing engine, we control the temperature of the induction air or intake air. We flow more and more ADI fluid (water and metanol 50/50 mix)the more we compress the air. So more MP the more the flow.Name:  ImageUploadedByTapatalk1360435185.613446.jpg
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  10. #10

    Default Reno Air Racer World Record Pilot Bio: Will Whiteside

    The video was out of a contour cam.
    This was a bronze or silver race that we won with a stock engine.
    I was just playing on the racecourse. 100' and about 380-390mph
    Pretty slow

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