For 18 years, aviation fans have been able to walk right up to some of the most beautifully restored vintage aircraft in the country at the National Aviation Heritage Invitational. About 25 airplanes—like Brian Reynolds’ FG-1D Corsair, above, cruising over Pyramid Lake, Nevada—assemble each year to be evaluated by a panel of judges, all experts in aviation history and restoration, who pick the best restorations in five categories.
The Corsair, built by Goodyear Aircraft Corporation in 1945 and restored by Airpower Unlimited in Jerome, Idaho, won two trophies in 2014: for the best restoration in the military category and for the People’s Choice Award, a prize bestowed by fans who vote at the event. The voting, the judging, and the hanging out with airplane owners, restorers, judges, and aviation fans will happen this year in Sacramento, California, at the California Capital Airshow, September 8 to 10. (Earlier events had taken place at the National Championship Air Races in Reno, Nevada.) Eight more flying treasures that have won trophies appear in the gallery above.