King and Queen of Speed to Speak at Upcoming GE Aviation Lecture at Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum

Press Release

Thursday, March 22, 2018 - 12:15pm

Media Inquiries

Alison Mitchell, 202-633-2376,
Amy Stamm, 202-633-2392,

Public Inquiries


Pilots Will Discuss Most Successful Plane in Air-Racing History

The National Air and Space Museum will host the “winningest pilot in air racing,” Jon Sharp, and his business partner and wife, Patricia Sharp, at the GE Aviation Lecture April 26. The Sharps design, build, test and race their own planes and will talk about the records they have set and races they have won, as well as their original aircraft, “Nemesis,” the most successful aircraft in air-racing history. The lecture is free to the public, but tickets are required. It will begin at 8 p.m. at the museum in Washington, D.C.

Jon Sharp is a former composite engineer at Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works who became interested in designing his own aircraft, and Patricia Sharp became the composite fabricator for that aircraft. They then formed Nemesis Air Racing, and Jon has since been known as the “winningest pilot in air racing.” The Sharps won nine consecutive Reno Gold National Championships and the International Formula One Points championship from 1994 to 1998, and “Nemesis” has set 16 world speed records. It won 45 of the 48 contests it competed in and was retired in 1999. In 2000, the Sharps began creating “Nemesis NXT,” or the “pink beast,” and dominated the competition at the 2009 National Championship Air Races with a “record a day, and two on Sunday.” With a top speed of 415.75 mph, they concluded that plane’s competitive days with four world speed records in 2015. “Nemesis” is currently on display at the National Air and Space Museum’s Udvar-Hazy Center and will be joined by “Nemesis NXT” this spring.

For more information and to request free tickets, visit

The GE Aviation Lecture Series at the National Air and Space Museum is made possible by GE Aviation.

The National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center is located in Chantilly, Va., near Washington Dulles International Airport. The museum building on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., is located at Sixth Street and Independence Avenue S.W. Both facilities are open daily from 10 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. (closed Dec. 25). Admission is free, but there is a $15 fee for parking before 4 p.m. at the Udvar-Hazy Center.

# # #