Pilot, engineer, mechanic
Sharp is arguably the most successful air racer ever, having won 15 national championships in two classes. Sharp began International Formula 1 Pylon Air Racing in 1978, won his first championship in 1982; a second followed. In a quest for more speed, Jon and his team designed and built the innovative, all-composite Nemesis. Jon and Nemesis won an astonishing 47 of 50 races he entered including nine consecutive championships between 1991 and 1999. He also broke 16 world speed records for that aircraft class at close to 300 mph, using a blueprinted engine rated at 100 HP. Not satisfied with that, Jon’s team designed and built Nemesis NXT, a larger, heavier and faster aircraft for the Sport Class. Between 2004 and 2009, Jon won four more championships and broke five more world records, some at over 400 mph. In recognition of his success, he was awarded four Pulitzer Trophies, five FAI Bleriot medals for his records (more than any other aviator) and several other awards. Both aircraft are displayed in the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum.