Bill Beaton

Sport Class Racing Director | Edmonton Airshow

Griffin Rocket

This 1998 Harmon Rocket II was built by Gary Banducci of Bakersfield, CA and acquired by Bill in 2007.  For the past 1,000 hours, the Rocket has been Bill’s chariot for crossing North America and parts of Mexico.  In 2012, Bill participated in the Sport Air Racing League and found some early success in the Sport FX.  In the past seven years over 60 performance modifications have been made including adding an 80” blended airfoil prop, prop extension, a supercharger and a custom-carbon cowl in 2014. The customized Lycoming SEO-540 engine now has full electronic direct-port fuel injection and dual electronic ignitions, all tuneable from the cockpit.  When required for maximum performance, the engine also automatically ingests up to 11 gph of water/methanol.  Bill has participated in the Pylon Racing School and the Reno National Air Races since 2013 including the first demonstration of Match Racing in 2016.  Bill acted as assist Air Boss for Reno in 2017 and is currently an Officer of the Sport Class Air Racing Association.  Bill raced Sport 57 in the 2016 and 2018 Air Venture Cup.  Bill currently is the Chief Executive Officer of the Calgary Flying Club and the Calgary Aviation College managing the largest and oldest  (circa 1927) flight training unit in Alberta.