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!

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!