The Battle Creek Field of Flight Air Show will be bringing back Rob Holland again in 2014.
Check out this video here!
Rob Holland has been on a tear. First, he won the gold medal in the 4-minute freestyle at the World Aerobatic Championships in Foligno, Italy. Soon after, he took the top spot after three flights at the U.S. National Aerobatic Championships in Denison, Texas. That was in 2011. In 2012, Rob Holland placed FIRST at the U.S. National Unlimited Aerobatic Championships and made the 2013 US Aerobatic Team. Securing his position on the team, Rob represented the United States in the 2013 World Aerobatic Championship which took place in Grayson County, Texas just in October. During the competition, Rob once again finished FIRST PLACE and got the Gold Medal once again in the 4-minute freestyle. Rob was the highest ranking US Pilot taking 5th Place overall. His finishes helped ensure that the US Men's team went on to win the Silver Medal overall.
"I had the honor of watching Rob fly at Nationals, and all I can say is that his craft has become breathtaking. His precision is awe-inspiring and must be witnessed to be believed. IAC members should look for an upcoming feature on Rob in Sport Aerobatics magazine. Until then, enjoy this video. [excerpt from the International Aerobatics Club - October 2011 newsletter "In the Loop".
In 2012, Rob won the Art Scholl Award at the 2012 Air Show Convention in Las Vegas, NV. Also, in 2008, he was voted Airshowbuzz.com's person of the year! Rob will perform his hardcore solo show in the MX-2 (the most advanced aerobatic aircraft on the airshow circuit). Rob is known as one of the best aerobatic pilots in the world. You definitely don't want to miss this aerobatic superstar at this year's Field of Flight.
Kyle Franklin will return to Battle Creek this year for his first appearance since 2005. The last time Kyle performed here, he was a wingwalker atop his late father’s (Jimmy Franklin) Jet WACO. This year, he’ll perform in his new aircraft that just made it’s industry debut in 2013.
About the Pilot: Kyle Franklin
“Some people follow in the footsteps of their parents, some blaze a new trail – Kyle Franklin has done both. For nearly 50 years, the Franklin family name has been synonymous with creative, theme-based airshows that pack the grand stands and bring the crowds to their feet.” Being the son of Jimmy Franklin, Kyle grew up around the airshow industry and quickly fell in love with it. He grew up around some of the industry’s best performers and aircraft. As a child, Kyle had few limits, spending time riding BMX bikes and skateboarding. At age 13, he really got into motorcycles and even decided that a DeLorean needs a flamethrower and smoke system to be “truly cool”. At age 8, he began learning to fly in the Super Cub. Kyle’s legendary father Jimmy set an example for his son-“hard work, creativity, business sense, passion, and a commitment to the fans would be the standard that Kyle would have to meet and exceed”. It was through this, and at the young age of 10, that Kyle realized an airshow act had to be unique and a performer has to constantly be innovating. Kyle mastered wingwalking as the world’s first jet wingwalker and was a part of the industry’s only Father & Son Wingwalking team. Kyle mastered the Comedy Routine he and his father put on as well as the motorcycle to airplane transfer. He even flew the Jet WACO. Following his father’s tragic death in 2005 and the loss of the Jet WACO, Kyle returned to performing in the Super Cub Comedy act, which helped establish him as an innovative performer and captured the attention of everyone the industry over. In 2009, Kyle debuted a new act in “Pirated Skies” which went on to gain massive attention as one of the most innovative wingwalking acts of all time. Between the amazing theatrical storyline & themeing, the act went on to be one of the best acts in the industry. But the innovation didn’t end there.
About the Plane: Demon-1 “Dracula”
Demon-1, also known as “Dracula” is an aircraft originally conceived by Jimmy Franklin. It is an extremely modified WACO biplane that harkens back to the days of classic air racers. The aircraft, while it sounds like a warbird biplane, performs like a Pitts aerobatic aircraft in a dramatic display. It is one of the most powerful aircraft on the circuit today and definitely took aerobatic performance to the next level when the aircraft debuted in 2013 in New Smyrna Beach, Florida after years of construction. “Dracula combines the crowd pleasing lines of the iconic Waco Mystery Ship with modern aerodynamics and systems, resulting in a smaller, lighter, significantly more maneuverable and powerful airplane.” The airplane was even designed in secrecy and wasn’t seen until the ICAS Convention in December 2012.
About the Act:
“Dracula: The Rise of Vacul” has quickly become one of the most sought after acts on the airshow circuit. With a dramatic storyline, terrific soundtrack and one of the most unique planes on the circuit, this innovative act sets the bar for the future. We couldn’t think of a better way to describe the act than the actual act description seen on Kyle’s website-
“In the dark days of ages past, like-minded men of evil genius gathered to bring to this earth a creature. From the mists emerges an apparition never beheld by mortals – a creature whose power and strength will strike terror in the living hearts of all who behold it. From the depths of mad genius – from both sides of mortality – arising from a heap of forsaken souls - behold the creature Dracula!
Watch closely as the creature rises from the earth – like the bats who transformed into beasts, no longer afraid of daytime skies, Dracula ascends into the heavens that rejected his soul. Commanded by his great master Vacul, the creature claws his way skyward – the engine roaring like the furnaces of hell, the propeller screaming like a wild beast – always climbing higher and higher to seek out and destroy weaker prey.”
Don’t miss Kyle Franklin’s performance in “Dracula” at this year’s Field of Flight
Making his Battle Creek debut in 2014 is none other than Joe “Rifle” Shetterly. Truth be told, there are few pilots out there who like to cheat gravity more than Rifle. He was born to fly and he loves it!
During this year’s Field of Flight Air Show, Rifle will push his Vans RV-8 home-built aircraft to its limits as he performs one of the most amazing aerobatic shows ever witnessed by man. Coupling the already amazing aerobatics with the fact that no one knew a home-built could perform like this makes for one good, adrenaline pumping performance. Add in the fact that Joe Shetterly is such an experienced pilot, then you know that this will be an act you will never forget.
About the Pilot: Joe “Rifle” Shetterly just loves to fly. He got his first flight experience as a toddler sitting on top of pillows in the cockpit next to his dad. Since then, the aviation bug as really taken over him. Since he couldn’t really fly airplanes as a kid, Joe spent time building and flying gas-powered radio controlled planes. Using his expertise of flight, he went on to win R/C Plane competitions. Some of the maneuvers he created flying these scaled planes are the same ones you’ll see him fly in Battle Creek this year (in a real plane this time…with him actually in the cockpit). Shortly after Joe got his private pilot license at Age 17, he began competing in aerobatics. He earned his undergraduate degree in Engineering at the University of Kansas while also serving as a full-time flight instructor. After graduating, Joe Shetterly went on to join the Air Force. He was selected to fly his dream aircraft, the A-10 Thunderbolt II (Warthog), just like the ones that used to be stationed here in Battle Creek. It was while he was stationed in Tucson, Arizona that he got the call-sign “Rifle”. Rifle was able to put his skills to the ultimate test when he flew over 140 combat hours during Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. After returning to the United States, Rifle went back to school and earned his Master of Aeronautical Science degree from Embry Riddle. He was then selected to be the pilot for the US Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II West Coast Demonstration Team where he flew over 250 performances in the A-10.
Today, Rifle is still very active in the airport, serving as an instructor pilot in the A-10. He has a wide range of aviation experience behind him with more than 5000 hours in 118 different makes and models to date. He hopes that his air show performance might spark an interest in aviation in the young and old alike. He wants to remind everyone…”Learn to fly!...Pursue your dreams!...Take the shot!"
About the Vans RV-8 Aircraft: “The Rifle Airshows RV-8 is a highly polished member of the most prolific family of home-built aircraft ever made”. The plane was built and flown by Eugene Gaddis, who served as a fighter pilot in the United States Air Force. Gene actually was a flight team member of the original A-10 flight test program. Gene sadly passed away in 2009 while “Rifle” was stationed in Afghanistan. He soon learned that Gene’s aircraft was for sale and, as an A-10 pilot, he liked the idea of owning and flying a plane built by an idol of his. In addition, this particular plane was built straight, light and it flies like a dream. Essentially, the RV-8 is a low wing monoplane that is the epitome of home-built aircraft.
Don’t miss Joe “Rifle” Shetterly’s performance in the RV-8 at this year’s Field of Flight Air Show. Check our tentative Schedule of Events for more information.
Beauty has become the Beast! Bob Carlton returns to Battle Creek after appearing here in 2012. He will take to the skies in a plane that was meant to be powerless, but has become very powerful. We, of course, are talking about Vertigo Airshows’ Jet Super Salto Sailplane.
The Pilot: Bob Carlton is an experienced, professional and versatile pilot. He began flying at the age of 19 in 1979. Since then, he has logged over 2000 hours in a wide variety of aircraft (including hang gliders, airplanes, helicopters and sailplanes) and he holds a commercial pilot certificate. Bob began performing airshows in 1993 and has since flown numerous different acts all over the globe. Over his years in the airshow industry, Bob has flown numerous acts and created many innovative ones including Starduster Biplane aerobatics, the World’s First Helicopter-Sailplane Tow, night aerobatics with strobes & pyro and the world’s first and only twin jet sailplane. The innovation didn’t stop there though. As a retired rocket scientist for a major national laboratory, you can see why he comes up with so many great ideas. Bob presently resides in Albuquerque, New Mexico with his wife Laurie and their two dogs, Elsa & Cinco.
The Plane: Bob’s Jet Super Salto Plane is the world’s most powerful self-launching jet sailplane. The aircraft is powered by a PBS TJ-100 jet engine (military-grade with 225 pounds of thrust). The aircraft is capable of self-launching and climbs to altitude without a tow-plane. From there, the aircraft can fly like a normal sailplane. After the altitude and airspeed are spent by the aircraft, it doesn’t have to land. Nope, Bob just spools up the jet engine and away the aircraft goes again.
The Act: Bob’s performance in the Jet Super Salto is one that fans will never forget. First, the engine will spool up on the sailplane as he launches from the ground. Then he’ll climb to altitude and begin a classic sailplane aerial ballet filled with graceful maneuvers and a great, classical soundtrack. As he spends up the altitude, he spools up the jet engine, the soundtrack changes to some fast-paced music and the low-level jet aerobatics part of the act begins (complete with that famous smoke system once again). No other sailplane or pilot in the world today is capable of performing an act such as this one.
So don’t miss Bob Carlton in the Jet Super Salto at this year’s Field of Flight Air Show.
Also, don’t miss our Night “PYRO” Air Show as Bob Carlton takes to the skies in the Super Salto for a night flight that no one will ever forget. See our tentative schedule of events for more information.
Paul Stender is returning to Battle Creek in 2014. While you’ve seen him perform here in different vehicles in the past, you have never seen him in this one. Making its debut for the first time on the airshow circuit in 2014 will be the ALL NEW “SPITFIRE” Jet Truck. You won’t want to miss this truck roar to life at this year’s Field of Flight.
About Paul Stender & Indy Boys Inc.
Paul Stender is no stranger to fans of the Field of Flight. Paul last appeared here in 2012 in the Jet Schoolbus & Port-O-Jet (Jet Outhouse). Prior to that, he appeared here in 2004 in his Dodge Ram Jet Truck and Port-O-Jet. Paul, a tall and friendly guy, is the definition of adrenaline junkie! He grew up racing motorcycles and snowmobiles in Wisconsin before he began a career as a car driver. In 1995, he took it all to the next level when he began Jet Funny Cars. In his first full year of racing, he was awarded the prestigious Pro-Jet Rookie of the Year Award (1997). Since then, Paul has taken the airshow industry by storm, creating amazing vehicles that no other human could have thought up. Since 1995, Paul has built over 23 jet vehicles, with a few still being developed. It’s a sure thing that we will continue to see amazing and crazy innovations from Paul in the future.
Therese Stender is Paul’s wife and crew chief. She began a college sports career playing volleyball and sailing. She completed her marketing degree from Indiana University and then worked in Indianapolis. From there, she came on tour with Paul and then they married. Now she still tours with Paul as well as their two Great Danes, Saber and Atlas.
Paul and Therese make up the Indy Boy’s Motorsports Entertainment Racing Team. This team has been featured in numerous shows and news programs including Monster Garage, E!, Inside Edition, Ripley’s Believe it or Not and many more. The team has become one of the most sought after teams on the airshow circuit, traveling to over 30 events each season. Their new “SPITFIRE” Jet Truck is already a great success when it comes to booking. The team provides some of the most adrenaline-pumping jet vehicle experiences in the world.
About the All-New “SPITFIRE” Quadruple Engine Jet Truck
Paul Stender is at it again, building an innovative vehicle that may take a run at the record books. This one-of-a-kind jet semi will be the first jet truck in the industry and motorsports entertainment world to be powered by FOUR jet engines. The truck is based on a classic ’56 Ford Cabover Truck and will be powered by four J-85 jet engines. Paul dubbed the truck “Spitfire” for two reasons. The first reason is that the vehicle looks like a World War II warbird with pop-riveted paneling, a checkered tailfin, and fuel tanks that were actually previous aircraft drop tanks. In addition, the truck features two propane-fueled machine guns that pepper the air with loud gunfire as well as a painted shark face. The other reason the truck is known as “Spitfire” is because it features a unique Gatling Gun Burner Pop System, allowing the four jet engines to fire off in sequence, resulting in a rapid fire “boom, boom, boom!”.
This jet truck is the lightest and most aerodynamic jet truck ever built and it is expected that it will reach speeds nearing the 400 mph mark.
How fast will Paul get the truck going this summer in Battle Creek? Come on out to the air show to find out.