Upcoming GE Aviation Lecture Features Air Racing Couple at Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum

Press Release

Friday, April 28, 2017 - 11:45am

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Alison Mitchell, 202-633-2376, mitchellac@si.edu
Amy Stamm, 202-633-2392, stamma@si.edu

Public Inquiries


The National Air and Space Museum will present the next lecture in the GE Aviation Series May 3 with Jon and Patricia Sharp, a married couple who design, build, test and race their own planes. In “Chasing the Dream, Not the Competition,” the Sharps will talk about their original aircraft, Nemesis, the most successful aircraft in air-racing history, and the records they have set and races they’ve won. The lectures is free to the public, but tickets are required. It will begin at 8 p.m. at the museum in Washington, D.C., and will be webcast.

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 have 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 1991. In 2000, the Sharps began creating Nemesis NXT, or the “pink beast,” and dominated the competition at 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 in May 2017.

For more information and to request free tickets, the public can visit https://airandspace.si.edu/events/chase-dream-not-competition.

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

The National Air and Space Museum building on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., is located at Sixth Street and Independence Avenue S.W. The museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center is located in Chantilly, Va., near Washington Dulles International Airport. 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 at the Udvar-Hazy Center.

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