This morning we woke up and learned about this surprising news. Accordingly to Simon Brown, co- owner of Platinum Fighters, the 11 time Reno Air Races National Champion Strega is for sale or available for corporate sponsorship. Many speculated that this was going to happened after the recent defeat at Reno ( Click HERE for a full report) but this news surely came as a surprise for many. After all Strega is a Reno Air Races legend.
“Strega” is a highly modified P–51 Mustang, owned by Reno’s legend Bill “Tiger” Destefani, the name of the airplane means ” Witch “ in Italian. The aircraft original operator was the Royal Australian Air Force (A68-679) from July 4 1945 until December 22, 1948. The same year it was approved for disposal. From 1996 until 1981 the aircraft was on display at the Warbirds Aviation Museum, Mildura, Victoria, .In 1980 Dave Zeuschel purchased and shipped it to USA and rebuilt as racer.
In 1983 the new owner Bill “Tiger” Destefani acquired the aaircraft as N71FT “Strega”.
Accordingly to an interview published on Warbird Aero Press overall, there is little left within Strega that is truly P-51 Mustang, and that suits Tiger just fine.”Strega is like driving a Ferrari. Going back to a stocker is like getting back into your work car. There is just no comparison.” One thing Tiger mentions is how the engine is hard mounted to the airframe. “There ain’t no rubber in the mounts – it allows the engine to torque over too much. And I’ll tell ya, you can feel every little pulse of power through the airframe,” Said Tiger Destefani to Warbird Aero Press.
We surely hope that this Reno’s legend will find a new home and that will keep flying faster than ever ( Voodoo permitting).