Vucano Market - US Navy Blue Angels Towels (Officially Licensed)
Vucano Market - US Navy Blue Angels Towels (Officially Licensed)

Kyle Franklin Awarded 2017 Bill Barber Award For Showmanship

posted in: Aerobatics, Miscellaneous | 0

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!

Officially Licensed US Navy Blue Angel Beach Towels (Sponsored)

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US Navy Blue Angels Beach Towel - Vulcano America

We here at Airshowstuff would like to welcome our newest sponsor – Vulcano America!

Vulcano is the only source for officially licensed US Navy Blue Angel beach towels! They offer these high-quality towels on their own website as well as other internet outlets such as Amazon, eBay, and Overstock.com.

These towels are the best way to show off your love of the Blue Angels during one of the many beach airshows this year! Two sizes are available, each with a design depicting the famous blue and gold jets. We’ll be promoting them with a small banner above our blog posts – make sure you snag one before hitting the beach this summer!

Please join us in thanking Vulcano America for their support. AirshowStuff is run by a small group of passionate aviation fans in our free time, and support like this allows us to continue bringing you awesome videos, photos, and news items! If you’re interested in sponsoring some of our efforts, please let us know!

US Navy Blue Angels Beach Towel - Vulcano America

NBC Sports to Broadcast Red Bull Air Race

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Red Bull Air Race on NBC Sports
Red Bull Air Race fans rejoice! Qualifying and racing segments of the Red Bull Air Race 2017 season debut in Abu Dhabi will be available for viewing on the networks of NBC Sports.

The qualifying rounds will be available LIVE starting at 7am eastern on Friday, February 10th via the NBC Sports App available for Apple and Android. You can also view it on your PC by going to NBCSports.com .

Saturday’s racing can be seen on the TV network NBCSN at 9:30pm eastern, Saturday night.

RedBullAirRace.com will also host a live web stream starting at 7am eastern on Friday and 5am eastern on Saturday.

ICAS Recognizes Airshow Industry Leaders And Innovators At 2016 Awards Banquet

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Bill Stein - Sword of Excellence Winner

While the annual International Council of Airshows convention is a place for performers, organizers, and support staff to meet and coordinate the following show season, it also offers a chance to reflect on previous seasons and recognize standout individuals and groups. The event culminates in an awards banquet where airshow professionals celebrate their own with their highest honors.

At this year’s banquet on December 8th, several airshow performers were honored with distinguished awards.

SWORD OF EXCELLENCE – Bill Stein

The airshow industry’s highest honor is the Sword of Excellence, presented to a member who exemplifies outstanding service and personal contributions to the industry. Over the past three decades, 40 recipients have been honored with the award. The selection committee for the award is made up of a member of the board of directors, two past award recipients and two at-large members with at least 10 years of airshow experience.

Bill has worked over the years to enhance the airshow industry by working with ICAS and the FAA to develop “reasonable, workable language on ‘aerobatic energy directed at the crowd,’ and certification currency requirements.”

As a member of the Aerobatic Competency Evaluation (ACE) Committee for nearly seven years, Bill’s work has been incredibly helpful creating guidance responsible for decreasing fatal airshow incidents through the ICAS ACE Manual.

ICAS also says they decided to honor Bill due to his extensive mentorship time with new air show pilots, helping to coach them through his experiences as both a solo pilot and a formation pilot.

Geico Sktypers - Art Scholl Showmanship Award

ART SCHOLL MEMORIAL SHOWMANSHIP AWARD – Geico Skytypers

The Art Scholl Memorial Showmanship award is given to an airshow act or performer that best exemplifies the qualities of showmanship demonstrated by Art Scholl. Scholl was a long-time and active ICAS member, known for his airshow performances but also for his many appearances in motion picture films, documentaries, and television commercials. Scholl died while filming such a flying sequence for a movie off the coast of California in 1985.

The Geico Skytypers were awarded ICAS’ highest showmanship award at the 2016 ICAS convention for not only their work in the air, but also for creating new and innovative ways to share the love of aviation and airshow flying with the public.

The team, based in Farmingdale, NY, is a six-ship WWII-era SNJ-2 (T-6 Texan) formation team, known for their formation flying and aerial skytyping. The large messages they type in the sky are 1,000 feet tall and can be visible for up to 15 miles in any direction. Due to this extreme visibility, ICAS credits the Geico Skytypers with generating interest in people who may not even know an aviation event is occurring in their community.

On the ground, the Skytypers maintain a strong community outreach effort, sharing their passion for aviation with airshow fans through autograph sessions, school, youth and veterans visits and spending time with community groups. The team also has it’s “In-Formation” webisode series, which gives a unique perspective into the world of airshow formation flying.

WINGMAN AWARD – Rudy Malnati

The Wingman award, renamed this year to honor and recognize the late Bob Hoover, is presented each year to an individual who has been a reliable supporter or advocate of the airshow business.

The International Council of Air Shows (ICAS)’s Wingman Award was presented to Rudy Malnati. Rudy is the long-time director of several Midwest airshows, including the Chicago Air and Water Show. He has spent 50 years working in the airshow industry, and first worked at the Chicago Air and Water Show in 1963 as a first grader! He attended his first ICAS meeting in 1967, at the ripe age of 13. By 15, he was helping to book acts.

Throughout his career, he has earned recognition from the U.S Air Force Thunderbirds and U.S. Army Golden Knights, becoming a honorary member of both teams. He is respected by his peers, who say he is “the personification of what it means to be a good wingman”.

Cleveland National Airshow 2016 - E-2 Hawkeye and A-10 Warthog

PINNACLE AWARDS

The Pinnacle Award honors recipients who “showcase professionalism, innovation in problem solving, and overall excellence in airshow operations and management.” Awards are given in the small, mid-size, and large civilian airshow and military airshows/open houses categories. Three other Pinnacvle Awards are given in the civilian performer, military performer, and support service provider categories. The 2016 winners are:

SUPPORT SERVICE PROVIDERS

  • Gold Recipient – Precision Exotics
  • Platinum Recipient – ADC Group, Inc.

MILITARY PERFORMER

  • Platinum Recipient – Captain Maciej “Match” Hatta (Snowbird #3)

CIVILIAN PERFORMERS

  • Gold Recipient – Commemorative Air Force B24/B29 Squadron
  • Platinum Recipient – Greg Shelton Airshows

MILITARY OPEN HOUSES/AIR SHOWS

  • Gold Recipient – MacDill Air Force Base presents Tampa Bay AirFest
  • Platinum Recipient – Rhode Island National Guard Open House and Airshow

SMALL CIVILIAN AIR SHOWS (tie for Platinum)

  • Platinum Recipient #1a – Cape Girardeau Regional Air Festival
  • Platinum Recipient #1b – The Highest Air Show on Earth

MID-SIZE CIVILIAN AIR SHOWS

  • Gold Recipient – Duluth Air and Aviation Expo/Kern and Kompany
  • Platinum Recipient – Lynchburg Regional Air Show

LARGE CIVILIAN AIR SHOWS

  • Gold Recipient – Cleveland National Air Show
  • Platinum Recipient – Bell Helicopter Fort Worth Alliance Air Show

If you’d like to learn more, ICAS has provided detailed biographies on each award winner.

AirshowStuff congratulates all the winners of this year’s awards. We can’t wait to see you in 2017!

Bob Hoover Remembered With Celebration Of Life Ceremony, Triple Flyover

posted in: Miscellaneous, Popular Posts | 0
R. A. "Bob" Hoover
Source: AOPA

Aviation lost one of its greats one month ago, when R.A. “Bob” Hoover passed away at the age of 94. Bob was without a doubt one of the most legendary pilots to have graced the skies. His exploits in World War II would have been enough for most pilots, but his real fame was gained following the war when he flew as a test pilot and airshow demonstration pilot. He was also an incredible human being who was renowned for his story-telling, energy, and kindness.

True to his form, the aviation community came together a few weeks after his death to celebrate his life, which a star-studded event at Van Nuys airport. Numerous speakers, many aviation legends themselves, took to the stage to share their stories of Bob and his accomplishments. The event eventually moved outside, where a military honor guard fired a gun salute and played taps as three formation of aircraft roared overhead. The first formation was led by a T-39 Sabreliner, one of the many aircraft types that will forever be linked to Hoover. It was joined by two F-16s from the US Air Force Thunderbirds and a CT-114 Tutor from the Canadian Forces Snowbirds. The second formation saw an F-22 Raptor lead a pair of F-86 Sabres, a type that Bob test flew during his career. The final formation had four warbirds; a P-40 Warhawk, an F6F Hellcat, a Spitfire, and perhaps Bob’s most famous airplane, his P-51 Mustang “Ole Yeller”. In a fitting tribute, “Ole Yeller” performed the missing man pull out of the formation as the last notes of taps faded away.

Fortunately, Bob was the subject of many documentaries and interviews during his time with us, and generations to come will have many recordings to hear his wisdom through. Although Bob is gone, he will continue to touch the lives of aviators for a long, long time.

Pilot Killed In Crash At Airshow Of The Cascades

posted in: Aerobatics, Miscellaneous | 5
Marcus Paine
Photo Credit: Marcus Paine’s Facebook Page

Pilot Marcus Paine was killed today when his Stearman biplane crashed during a performance at the Airshow of the Cascades in Madras, Oregon. He was the only person on board and no one on the ground was injured. Paine was reportedly performing aerobatics when he hit the ground. The remainder of the airshow was canceled following the crash, and the show was not scheduled to be held on Sunday.

A brief bio, from the Airshow of the Cascades website:

Marcus Paine brings the thrill of aerobatic flight from his hometown of Anchorage, where he has lived for more than 40 years. Raised on a homestead in Rabbit Creek, Marc has been a pilot for over 20 years and is a skilled instructor – teaching pilots of all skill levels new ways of thinking about the principals of flight. He is also a distinguished graduate of the Virginia Military Institute and a former U.S. Army Special Forces Officer, Airborne Ranger, and Jumpmaster. He commanded a combat dive A Team and worked projects throughout the Middle East and South America. He’ll be thrilling our audience with his 450 Stearman!

Candlelight Vigil To Honor Fallen Blue Angel Tonight In Pensacola

posted in: Jet Teams, Miscellaneous | 0

Candlelight Vigil to Honor Blue Angel 6 Marine Capt Jeff Kuss

Thursday night, the citizens of Pensacola, FL and the surrounding area are invited to gather at Pensacola’s Veterans Memorial Park for a candlelight vigil to honor Marine Capt. Jeff Kuss. The vigil will begin at 7:30pm central daylight time.

Admiral Anderson from the Blue Angels association will start off the evening by welcoming everyone. Following the welcome, a prayer will be lead by Sr. Pastor Gordon Godfrey Jr from Marcus Pointe Baptist Church.
McGuire’s Pipe Band will be on site to provide musical honors through the event.

Mayor Hayward of Pensacola and Lt. Matt Suyderhoud, Blue Angel #2, are also expected to be in attendance.

Capt. Kuss will be honored with six minutes of silence as well, to recognize him as Blue Angel #6.

If you are unable to attend, the City of Pensacola will live stream the vigil on their Facebook page. You are also encouraged to light a candle at home, no matter where you are in the world, to show your support. We invite you to share a photo of your tribute on our Facebook page.

EAA Skiplane Fly-In 2016 – Oshkosh, WI

EAA Skiplane Fly-In 2016

Once again, there was plenty of snow on hand for the 2016 edition of the Experimental Aircraft Association’s Skiplane Fly-In at Pioneer Airport. The event took place on relatively cool and overcast February 6th. In all, 28 aircraft from four states flew in for the one day event, and more than 1,000 spectators gathered to see them. The fly-in included a chili cookout in one of the museum’s hangars. Photographers got a few great vantage points thanks to snow piles in the nearby parking lots, allowing an elevated view of the snowpacked runway.

Check out our video and some our photos below. Be sure to click through to our EAA Skiplane Fly-In 2016 album in the photo gallery to see them all!

EAA Skiplane Fly-In 2016EAA Skiplane Fly-In 2016
EAA Skiplane Fly-In 2016IMG_8415web

Last Surviving Martin Mars – World’s Largest Flying Seaplane – To Appear At EAA AirVenture 2016

posted in: Airshows, Miscellaneous, Warbirds | 1
Martin Mars - EAA Airventure 2016
Photo source: EAA

EAA recently announced that this year, the Martin JRM Mars water bomber will appear for the first time at EAA AirVenture. It will perform during the airshow several times throughout the week and will be parked near the seaplane base for up-close spectator viewing. The aircraft is unable to actually land at Wittman Regional Airport because it is a true flying boat, and will land on Lake Winnebago instead. The Martin Mars is the largest operational seaplane ever made. The largest seaplane of all time, the Spruce Goose, only performed one flight.

Martin Mars - EAA Airventure 2016
Photo source: EAA

The Martin Mars first flew in June of 1942, and entered service with the US Navy as a long-range transport aircraft. Only six were built. During World War II they acted as troop transport aircraft, shuttling soldiers across the Pacific. After the war it was used as a water bomber, fighting forest fires in the Western United States. It is capable of carrying 7,200 gallons of water and ingesting one ton of water per second when it skims over water.

Part of what makes EAA AirVenture so special is its ability to bring in unique aircraft every single year. EAA’s Vice President of Communities and Member Programs, Rick Larson, stated, “There aren’t many airplanes that have never been to Oshkosh, but this is one of them, so this is both literally and figuratively a huge addition to this year’s lineup”. The Martin Mars is, literally, the world’s largest warbird.

EAA Airventure Sea Plane Base - Patrick Barron
EAA AirVenture Sea Plane Base

Shuttle buses to the seaplane base are available from inside the show grounds.

What do you think? Are you excited to see the Martin Mars make its first ever appearance at EAA AirVenture? Let us know what you think in the comments!

Twilight Airshows Prove To Be Rare Treasures

posted in: Airshows, Miscellaneous | 0

F-22 Raptor, F-35 Lightning II, P-38 Lightning and Fireworks - EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015

Why are there so few twilight airshows? I ask myself that question a lot. To me, there is nothing cooler than watching (and listening) to airplanes soar through the sky at twilight or at night. Some of my favorite photos I’ve ever taken have been at twilight/night time airshows. It’s soothing, it’s peaceful, and sometimes even romantic. There have even been numerous cases of “concerned citizens” calling 911 thinking they saw a UFO, only to discover it was someone like Matt Younkin or Bill Leff at the nearby airshow. This typically results in the news running a story on it and free publicity for the airshow.

So why do so few shows have them?

Gene Soucy Night Airshow - EAA AirVenture OshkoshOtto the Helicopter Night Airshow - EAA AirVenture Oshkosh

Recently, we learned that the MCAS Miramar airshow is not planning on a twilight airshow in 2016. This comes as a shock to many long term Miramar fans who have long looked forward to the night show.

In some ways, I can understand why. If you hold the airshow on a Friday night, you’re competing against a lot of other things. Depending on the season the show is held in, you’re competing with sports, people just getting home from work, and other entertainment. Plus, you have to pay or obtain volunteers for an extra night. A lot of logistics go into organizing an airshow. This could be a turnoff for many shows thinking about having a night airshow. For many airshow attendees in the general public, the main draw are the jet teams. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve heard someone ask “What time will the Blues/Thunderbirds/Snowbirds fly tonight?” Without the main draw, your attendance will almost certainly be lower than a normal day.

USMC Harrier Twilight Airshow - NAS Oceana

Some shows get it, though. Last year we wrote a blog post on the Battle Creek airshow, which features a twilight balloon launch, festival-like atmosphere, fireworks, and a night airshow. Other shows have combined evening concerts and catered parties with short twilight airshows in an effort to attract a different sort of crowd that might not attend in the long heat of a full day.

Night airshows seem to have gained some popularity in recent years, but they’re still pretty rare. In 2013, EAA AirVenture Oshkosh added a second night airshow on Wednesday due to the popularity of the Saturday night show. They’ll do it again this year, with a night airshow on July 22nd and July 25th. Hopefully we see more shows add night shows instead of take them away in coming years.

So what are your thoughts? Should more airshows host night time or twilight airshows? Let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook page!

– AirshowStuff Photographer Ricky Matthews

Matt Younkin - Twin Beech Night AirshowP-51 Mustangs and Fireworks - EAA AirVenture Oshkosh
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