Greg Shelton To Be Awarded 2018 Bill Barber Award For Showmanship

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Greg Shelton Wins Bill Barber Award for Showmanship

The 2018 recipient of the Bill Barber Award for Showmanship is Greg Shelton, someone known across the airshow industry for his various acts and performances.

Shelton, who began performing in airshows in 1990, had an interest in aviation from an early age. In 1982, Greg began flying lessons in a J-3 Cub, but traded in the Cub for a Starduster Too so he could persue aerobatics. That decision certainly paid off!

Today, Greg is well known for his 450 Super Stearman act and FM-2 Wildcat aerobatic performances. In 2017, Greg and his wife/wing walker Ashley Shelton added a nighttime wing walking act to their plethora of performances, once again bringing creativity to the world of airshows. Greg’s 2018 show season includes 12 airshows in both the Super Stearman and Wildcat.

Presented annually by World Airshow News and friends and family of the late Bill Barber, airshow performer extraordinaire, the award recognizes an airshow entertainer who has demonstrated superb showmanship ability. Past recipients compose the selection committee.

Previous award winners include:
2017 Kyle Franklin
2016 Manfred Radius
2015 Bob Carlton
2014 Greg Koontz
2013 Skip Stewart
2012 Matt Younkin
2011 Rich and Dee Gibson
2010 Steve Oliver and Suzanne Asbury-Oliver
2009 Mike Goulian
2008 Bud Granley
2007 Dacy Family Airshow Team (Dave, Phil, Julia, and Susan Dacy and Tony Kazian)
2006 Danny Clisham
2005 Kent and Warren Pietsch
2004 Bobby Younkin
2003 Jim LeRoy
2002 AeroShell Aerobatic Team
2001 Northern Lights Aerobatic Team
2000 John Mohr
1999 Dan Buchanan
1998 Patty Wagstaff
1997 Gene Soucy & Teresa Stokes
1996 Wayne Handley
1995 Bob Hoover
1994 Bob & Annette Hosking (Otto)
1993 Red Baron Stearman Squadron (Steve Thompson, John Bowman, Sonny Lovelace, Randy Drake, and Jerry & Margaret Van Kempen)
1992 Sean D. Tucker
1991 Julie Clark
1990 Leo Loudenslager
1989 Jim Franklin
1988 No recipient
1987 The French Connection (Daniel Heligoin & Montaine Mallet)

The award will be formally presented in a special evening ceremony on Tuesday, July 24th at Theater in the Woods at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, WI.

Rob Holland Back In The Air After Crash Landing; Will Resume 2018 Airshow Schedule

posted in: Aerobatics | 1

Rob Holland

Airshow pilot and four time consecutive world freestyle champion Rob Holland is ready to take to the skies at airshows across the states again after being reacquainted with an old friend.

Holland has leased his previous MX2 from the current owner, Marty Flournoy. Holland sold the aircraft to Flourney, himself an aerobatic pilot, after acquiring the custom-built MXS-RH that was heavily damaged in a forced landing a few weeks ago.

Rob says this is his way of “moving forward” with the 2018 show season following the incident. The aircraft has already been painted and wrapped in sponsor logos.

You can view Rob Holland’s 2018 show schedule on our forums.

Here’s a video of Rob flying his old MX2 at the 2010 Rockford Airfest.

Rob Holland Safe After Forced Landing In Texas

posted in: Aerobatics | 5

Rob Holland

Airshow pilot Rob Holland is safe after his custom MXS-RH aircraft went down late Sunday evening. Rob was flying from NAS Kingsville, TX to Shreveport, LA after performing at the Wings Over South Texas airshow on the weekend. While in cruise at 11,500 feet, he lost his engine and oil covered his windshield. He flew the aircraft to an abandoned airport, where he hit debris on the runway that totaled the aircraft.

Rob Holland

Rob is a four-time, consecutive, World 4-minute Freestyle Champion as well as a seven-time, consecutive, US National Aerobatic Champion. He performs at airshows with a solo aerobatic routine as well as with other aerobatic pilots such as Bill Stein and Matt Chapman. He is known for his highly original maneuvers.

We are very glad to hear Rob is ok, and look forward to seeing him at an airshow soon!

Here is the full post from Rob’s Facebook page:

For all those who know or don’t know, I thought I would fill you in about the events of the past few days.

First to get it out of the way, I’m 100% fine.

That said, On March 25th I took off from NAS Kingsville, Texas at about 4:30pm for a cross-country flight to Shreveport, Louisiana. About 15 minutes into the flight, level at 11,500 ft., I had a catastrophic engine failure and lost all engine power. I will not speculate as to the cause of the failure and will let the FAA and NTSB finish their investigation.

The Canopy was immediately covered with oil and I had zero forward visibility.

I quickly determined that an off-field landing was not the best option given the terrain. Also, using the parachute was also not a good option due to very high wind speed at the surface. There was one “airport” within gliding distance and I immediately aimed for it. Thank you to MGL Avionics for such an awesome EFIS system, which helped tremendously for my situational awareness.

There was a low scattered-to-broken cloud layer around the vicinity of my landing site which obstructed my view of the runway (I still could only see directly out of the side of the plane due to the oil on the canopy). I glided through an opening in the clouds using GPS as a reference for the location of the airport.

It turns out what I thought was a private airstrip was actually an abandoned airport that was about 30 ft. wide and only 1,650 ft. long (interesting that it is still listed in the FAA Database as an airport). When I finally got low enough so that the clouds no longer obstructed my view of the runway, I was at 700 ft. and committed to making a downwind landing because of my position.

I lined up on the runway as best I could, still having zero forward visibility. I touched down on the runway at about 90 kts. (normal speed for this plane), but with a 20+ knot tailwind bringing my forward speed to 110kts.

What I couldn’t see due to the oil on my canopy was a large piece of someone’s roof on the runway that had blown there by Hurricane Harvey. After about 200 ft. of landing roll, the left main landing gear struck that piece of debris ripping the landing gear completely off the plane. The plane skidded on its belly down the runway, departing to the side of the runway, coming to rest about 30 ft. off the right side of the runway. The plane remained upright and straight the entire time.

I assessed that I was physically ok, turned off the fuel, the mags, and all electrical power, and then departed the plane.

I have to throw out another HUGE thank you to Hooker Harness and BoneHead Composites for an AMAZING SAFETY BELT SYSTEM and FANTASTIC HELMET, both of which undoubtedly prevented me from suffering any injuries, it was a pretty violent ride when the gear came off.

Lastly I’d like to express my gratitude to MX Aircraft Company. The airframe did an amazing job of absorbing impact energy helping to protect me from injury. Unfortunately the damage to the airplane is too extensive to repair. I am already working with MX Aircraft and there will be a new plane in the future, updates and details will follow.

The next week or so will be very busy for me moving forward with as little (hopefully none) disruption to my schedule as possible.

There are too many people to name here but thank you to my family, friends, sponsors and supporters for all your help, well wishes, and thoughts.

Blue Skies,
Rob

UPDATED: Royal Jordanian Falcons Planning North American Tour In 2019 Or 2020

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Royal Jordanian Falcons

UPDATE: We contacted the team directly to ask about any tour, and sadly they have decided to postpone their plans until 2019 or 2020 due to various unnamed challenges. Thanks to Jim Reith for helping confirm the news! Stay tuned here and on our forums for info!

ORIGINAL POST: The Royal Jordanian Falcons, the national demonstration team of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, appears to be planning a North American tour during the 2018 airshow season.

While not much information is known at this moment, the California International Airshow in Salinas, California has announced that the team, which flies four Extra 300LX aircraft, will be one of their headliners. While the show dates for Salinas are in late September, there is the possibility the team may arrive in the spring and tour throughout the summer.

The team was also present at the International Council of Air Shows convention in Las Vegas in December, presumably to meet with prospective shows.

The team switched to the new Extra 300LXs for the 2018 season, sporting a brand new color scheme.

Photos Courtesy of the Royal Jordanian Falcons. Stay tuned to AirshowStuff for updates on this possible tour, and share your thoughts in our forums!

Royal Jordanian Falcons

Kyle Franklin Flies It Like He Stole It, Collects Bill Barber Award At EAA AirVenture 2017

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Kyle Franklin Awarded Bill Barber Award for Showmanship

Second generation airshow pilot Kyle Franklin was awarded the Bill Barber Award for Showmanship during an annual ceremony on Tuesday evening of EAA AirVenture 2017 in Oshkosh, WI.

The Bill Barber Award for Showmanship began in 1986, and is awarded to air show performers or teams that have demonstrated great skill and showmanship. World Airshow News magazine and the friends and family of the late Bill Barber present the award annually.

Kyle is now in his 20th year of performing in airshows. He got his start in the industry by wingwalking on his late father’s Waco biplane at age 17 – the youngest ever. He’s also known for being the first jet biplane wingwalker, creating his popular pirate-themed act “Pirated Skies,” and performing the motorcycle to airplane transfer act.

Today, Franklin flies his popular “Dracula” biplane performances and Super Cub comedy act at airshows across the nation. He performed his “stolen” Cub act twice during the week at AirVenture, and took one of our cameras along for a harrowing ride on Tuesday. Thanks to Chris Desmond for the help with the footage!

We also filmed Kyle’s act from the ground, where you can really see how much skill he has as he throws the aircraft all over the sky (and sometimes the ground) while remaining in complete control.

While accepting the award, Kyle remembered those who he grew up with in the airshow industry, including his parents and his late wife Amanda Franklin, and thanked them for their help in getting him to where he is today.

Kyle joins his father, Jimmy Franklin who was awarded with the award in 1989. Kyle and Jimmy are the second father and son to receive the Bill Barber Award. Bobby Younkin (2004) and his son Matt (2012) were the first.

Congrats Kyle!

Airshow Legend Sean D. Tucker To Retire From Solo Aerobatics In 2018

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Sean D. Tucker - Oracle Challenger III

An airshow legend is preparing to move into a new era in his career. Pilot Sean D. Tucker told the Dayton Daily News that he plans to retire from solo aerobatics after the 2018 airshow season. His famous red biplane, the Oracle Challenger III, will go to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum for permanent display. Sean has flown more than 26,000 hours over four decades of airshow appearances, and practices his hardcore aerobatic routine up to three times a day.

Sean D. Tucker - Oracle Challenger IIISean D. Tucker - Oracle Challenger III

Sean is far from done, however. He is looking to form a formation aerobatic team for future airshow performances. A team performance would be less physically demanding than his rigorous solo routine, an important factor for a 65-year-old pilot. He has previously flown team performances, most recently as part of “The Collaborators” alongside his son Eric Tucker, Bill Stein, and Ben Freelove.

In addition to his airshow flying, Sean is the chairman of EAA’s Young Eagles program that takes kids for airplane rides. He has been named one of the 25 living legends of aviation and won numerous other awards. We are excited to see what he comes up with!

Kyle Franklin Awarded 2017 Bill Barber Award For Showmanship

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Kyle Franklin Awarded 2017 Bill Barber Award for Showmanship

Join us in congratulating Kyle Franklin, the 2017 recipient of the Bill Barber Award for Showmanship! The news announced tonight on his Facebook page.

Over his airshow career, Kyle has done it all – Wing-walking, motorcycle to airplane transfers, a comedy routine, stunt driving and high energy aerobatics. Today, he delights airshow crowds in his one of a kind biplane known as Dracula, an aircraft he and his father envisioned many years ago.

Kyle’s recognition comes 28 years after his father, Jimmy Franklin, received the same recognition. Kyle and Jimmy are the second father-son duo to receive the award; Bobby and Matt Younkin also have that honor.

Presented annually by World Airshow News and friends and family of the late Bill Barber, air show performer extraordinaire, the award recognizes an air show entertainer who has demonstrated superb showmanship ability. Past recipients compose the selection committee.

Previous award winners include:
2016 Manfred Radius
2015 Bob Carlton
2014 Greg Koontz
2013 Skip Stewart
2012 Matt Younkin
2011 Rich and Dee Gibson
2010 Steve Oliver and Suzanne Asbury-Oliver
2009 Mike Goulian
2008 Bud Granley
2007 Dacy Family Airshow Team (Dave, Phil, Julia, and Susan Dacy and Tony Kazian)
2006 Danny Clisham
2005 Kent and Warren Pietsch
2004 Bobby Younkin
2003 Jim LeRoy
2002 AeroShell Aerobatic Team
2001 Northern Lights Aerobatic Team
2000 John Mohr
1999 Dan Buchanan
1998 Patty Wagstaff
1997 Gene Soucy & Teresa Stokes
1996 Wayne Handley
1995 Bob Hoover
1994 Bob & Annette Hosking (Otto)
1993 Red Baron Stearman Squadron (Steve Thompson, John Bowman, Sonny Lovelace, Randy Drake, and Jerry & Margaret Van Kempen)
1992 Sean D. Tucker
1991 Julie Clark
1990 Leo Loudenslager
1989 Jim Franklin
1988 No recipient
1987 The French Connection (Daniel Heligoin & Montaine Mallet)

The award will be formally presented in a special evening ceremony on Tuesday, July 25th at Theater in the Woods at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh.

Share your congratulations message to Kyle on our Facebook page!

Red Bull Air Race: San Diego – Muroya Emerges Victorious In 2017

posted in: Aerobatics, Air Racing, Event Recap | 0

Red Bull Air Race World Championship - San Diego 2017

In mid-April, the famed Red Bull Air Race World Championship returned to San Diego, California. Racers from all over the world descended on Browns Field and San Diego Bay for a chance to claim a win in the second race of the 2017 season. For many, the weeekend would be filled with one upset after another as pilots broke in new aircraft and faced fierce competition.

History of Red Bull Air Race World Championship

Created in 2003, the Red Bull Air Race World Championship celebrated its landmark 75th race at the 2017 season opener in Abu Dhabi back in February. The Red Bull Air Race World Championship features the world’s best aerobatic race pilots in a pure motorsport competition that combines speed, precision, and skill. Using the fastest, most agile, and lightweight racing planes, pilots hit speeds of 230 mph while enduring forces of up to 10G as they navigate a low-level slalom track marked by 82-foot-high, air-filled pylons. From 2011-2013, the annual races were on hold as new safety improvements were put into place. In 2014, the Challenger Cup was conceived to help the next generation of pilots develop the skills needed for potential advancement to the Master Class that vies for the World Championship.

Red Bull Air Race World Championship - San Diego 2017 - Breitling MXS-R - Mikael BrageotRed Bull Air Race World Championship - San Diego 2017 - Nicolas Ivanoff - Edge 540 V2

Race Format

Typically flown on weekends, the event begins with a training day where pilots are required to fly two training flights through the course before the knock-out style races begin. This not only gives the pilots an introduction to what flying the course will be like, but the times set by each racer in the last training session determine the order in which they will fly during the qualifying races the following day,a sort of pre-qualifying. The order begins with the slowest pilot and ends with the fastest.

In qualifying, the racers are given two flying sessions to place for the finals. The best overall time of the two sessions is counted towards Race Day.

On race day, all racers go through another two sessions and the times from those determine the 14th through 9th placings. The remaining eight top placing racers then advance to the finals the next day.

The finals begin with the Round of Eight that determines the 8th through 5th placings. The four fastest racers then go on to duel for the 4th through 1st positions.

At the end of each race event, Championship Points are awarded to the pilots based on their placings as such:

  • 1st – 15 points
  • 2nd – 12 points
  • 3rd – 9 points
  • 4th – 7 points
  • 5th – 6 points
  • 6th – 5 points
  • 7th – 4 points
  • 8th – 3 points
  • 9th – 2 points
  • 10th – 1 points
  • 11th – 0 points
  • 12th – 0 points
  • 13th – 0 points
  • 14th – 0 points

Red Bull describes the race course setup in this way:

As many of the stops on the World Championship calendar are classed as exotic, pilots often have to battle against the elements, with extreme heats, shifting winds and harsh storms always a possibility. As a result, no two Red Bull Air Races are ever the same.

On average, the racetracks measure approximately 6km in length and are marked by race-bespoke Air Gates. The unique inflatable pylons, which form the Air Gates and define the racetrack, were first developed in 2002 and have evolved year-on-year into the sophisticated design currently used.

When the track is designed it consists of the Start/Finish Gate, three or four two-pylon gates, which the pilots have to fly straight and level between and a chicane that comprises of three individual pylons that pilots will have to bank around. At one end of the course a Vertical Turning Maneuver is included. This is where the pilots have to fly through the gate, then turn as quickly and efficiently as possible without pulling more than 10G in their raceplane and then fly towards the next gate. On average there will be five straight and level gates (where up to two could be for Vertical Turning Maneuvers) and a three-pylon chicane.

Deviations from these requirements result in time penalties of varying severity. More serious infractions result in Did Not Finish (DNF) or disqualified (DQ) scores. Penalties are categorized as:

One Second Penalty

  • Insufficient/no smoke

Two Second Penalty

  • Flying too high, through or over an Air Gate
  • Incorrect level (at an angle) crossing through an Air Gate

Three Second Penalty

  • Hitting a gate (1st time)
  • Hitting a gate (2nd time)

Did Not Finish

  • Deviating from course
  • Exceeding 200 knots (370 km/h; 230 mph) when crossing the Start Gate
  • Aircraft weight below 698 kilograms (1,539 lb) after the race
  • Exceeding 10G for more than 0.6 seconds
  • Exceeding maximum load factor of 12G
  • Hitting a gate (3rd time)

Disqualification

  • Uncontrolled movements or flight
  • Close to ground pull-up from descent
  • Crossing safety line
  • Negative G-turn around a pylon
  • Flying below 49 ft. (15 m.) between Air Gates
  • Flying into clouds
  • Entering course at an angle exceeding 45 degrees
  • Ignoring Race Director commands
Red Bull Air Race World Championship San Diego 2017 Matt Hall Edge 540 V3Red Bull Air Race World Championship San Diego 2017 Edge 540 V2 Cristian Bolton

San Diego Races

More than 20,000 spectators lined San Diego Bay on Saturday, April 15 as the reigning Red Bull Air Race World Champion battled with two fierce opponents – the man who currently leads the standings and an American in his home race ­– for the top spot in qualifying at the second stop of 2017. As the pilots raced at speeds of 230mph, American Michael Goulian (58.978) was right on the tail of defending titleholder Matthias Dolderer of Germany, who came out on top with a time of 58.332. Czech Republic’s Martin Šonka (58.980) finished in third. In the Challenger Class, one of the youngest pilots in the history of Red Bull Air Race, American Kevin Coleman, topped the timesheet at 1:09.905.

Dolderer was the dominant force of the 2016 season, winning the second stop of the year and going on to clinch the championship even before the season finale. But it was Šonka who claimed the race win at the 2017 season opener in Abu Dhabi to put himself at the head of the overall standings for the first time in his career. Goulian, whose last win was in 2009, seems to be flying with renewed confidence this season. Another American, two-time titleholder Kirby Chambliss, was sixth in San Diego qualifying.

On Sunday April 16, the final races took place and one upset followed another. Yoshihide “Yoshi” Muroya of Japan was the only pilot with the consistency to reach the top of the podium with a time of 58.529. Peter Podlunšek from Slovenia stunned the field in capturing second place in his first-ever Final 4, two seconds behind Muroya at 1:00.454. Dolderer was third after a pylon hit, and American Kirby Chambliss finished fourth.

Earning 15 World Championship points with the victory, Muroya jumped up 10 places in the overall standings, to third behind Šonka (21 points) and Dolderer (16). The result was especially meaningful because the next stop of the season is in Muroya’s home skies of Chiba, Japan – where he earned his first Red Bull Air Race win in 2016.

“I’m quite happy. We had a very hard time at the season opener in Abu Dhabi, and we’ve been working really hard for months,” said Muroya, who had an over-G penalty at the 2017 kickoff. “My crew and my family have been helping a lot to help us get more stable and consistent, and I thank them. The next race in Japan is going to be a big one, and it’s an important step forward to win here as I head to my home country. It’s a huge crowd and pressure for me, but I will have fun there.”

In the day’s earlier action, 2016 Challenger Cup winner Florian Bergér of Germany earned his first Challenger Class win of the season.

The rankings following the San Diego races are as follows:

Master Class

Challenger Class

Tickets for the 2017 Red Bull Air Race World Championship – including the third stop, an exciting return to Chiba, Japan on 3-4 June, are on sale now. For more information on tickets and all the latest, visit www.redbullairrace.com.

We at AirshowStuff would like to thank Lora Bodmer of Deep Communications for Red Bull in San Diego for allowing us to cover these exciting races and Red Bull GmbH for putting on this incredible series year after year!

Red Bull Air Race World Championship - San Diego 2017 - Trophy

Red Bull Air Races Return To San Diego In 2017

posted in: Aerobatics, Air Racing, Airshows | 1
Kirby Chambliss - Red Bull Air Race San Diego
Kirby Chambliss flies over San Diego Bay, USA on 14 March, 2017. (Chris Tedesco / Red Bull Content Pool)

The annual international Red Bull Air Races are coming back to San Diego, California after having last visited the city in 2009! The Red Bull Air Race World Championship will feature Kirby Chambliss and the world’s best race pilots in a pure motorsport competition that combines speed, precision and skill. Using the fastest, most agile, and lightweight racing planes, pilots navigate a low-level aerial track made up of air-filled pylons 82 feet high at speeds of up to 230 mph.

Red Bull Air Race San Diego 2017 Course
Courtesy of RedBullAirRace.com

French pilot Nicolas Ivanoff in his then-new Zivko Edge 540 took the win at San Diego last time. His victory was certainly well-earned, beating out Master Class pilot Paul Bonhomme by over a second.

Racing will take place in the skies directly over the San Diego Bay April 15 and 16 and spectators can watch the high-speed, low-flying action from the North or South Embarcadero Marina Parks. Tickets and additional information are available at RedBullAirRace.com.

Red Bull Air Race 2017 Schedule Announced – Two US Stops Included

posted in: Aerobatics, Schedules | 0

Red Bull Air Race 2017 Schedule

Red Bull has announced the 2017 schedule for their popular Air Racing series, with stops in at least six countries and three continents currently planned for the circuit.

The season will begin in early February in Abu Dhabi and wrap up at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway in October. A west coast United States stop returns to the schedule in 2017, with the addition of San Diego to the schedule in April.

Missing from the 2017 schedule is Las Vegas Motor Speedway, which has hosted a Red Bull Air Race since 2014 and served as the final race since 2015. This year, Indianapolis will assume the role of the final race with the series championship potentially on the line.

You may remember in previous years, the Las Vegas event has run into issues with winds and weather conditions. Hopefully, by moving the final race of the year to Indianapolis, Red Bull will have better weather.

2017 Red Bull Air Race Schedule:

Stop 1: Abu Dhabi, UAE – Feb 10-11th
Stop 2: San Diego, CA, USA – April 15-16th
Stop 3: Chiba, Japan – June 3-4th
Stop 4: Budapest, Hungary – July 1-2nd
Stop 5: Kazan, Russia – July 22-23rd
Stop 6: TBA – Europe – August 12-13th
Stop 7: TBA – Europe – September 2-3rd
Stop 8: Indianapolis, IN, USA – Oct 14-15th

Red Bull Air Race 2017 Schedule

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