High Flying Fun

Published by The Bee News

February 18, 2024

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High flying fun returns to the Colorado River Valley on April 6, 2024 with the second Bullhead Laughlin Air Show at the Laughlin Bullhead Inernational Airport. If you’re passionate about airplanes, and marveling at the amazing feats of flying machines and their pilots, this is an event that you shouldnot miss.

Air shows are not a new phenomenon. In fact, they date back to the earliest days of aviation, when pioneers like the Wright brothers, Glenn Curtiss and Louis Bleriot were experimenting with their flying contraptions. The first international air show was held in France in 1909, and it attracted hundreds of thousands of spectators who witnessed the first races, aerobatics and competitions in the sky. The event was a huge success and ignited a global obsession with aviation.

The first major air show in the US took place in California in 1910. It featured some of the same pilots who competed in France, such as Curtiss and Bleriot. However, the star of the show was another Frenchman, Louis Paulhan, who broke several records for endurance, altitude and aerial bombing. He also won a lot of prize money, which was one of the main incentives for early aviators to participate in air shows.

After World War I, air shows became more popular and widespread in the US, as many former military pilots joined the ranks of civilian aviators. They formed travelling air circuses that performed stunts, wing walking, parachute jumping and barnstorming across the country. They also used air shows as a way to promote aviation education, sell war bonds and recruit new pilots. Air shows were a source of entertainment and inspiration for millions of Americans during the interwar period, especially in rural areas.

The modern air show emerged after World War II, when jet aircraft and helicopters entered the scene. Air shows became more spectacular and diverse, showcasing military and civilian performers, vintage and modern aircraft, solo and formation flying, static and dynamic displays. Some of the most famous air show teams were formed during this era, such as the US Air Force Thunderbirds and the US Navy Blue Angels.

Today, air shows are still a popular attraction for aviation fans of all ages. They offer a chance to see some of the most advanced and historic aircraft in action, as well as to meet and interact with pilots, engineers and enthusiasts. They also celebrate the history and achievements of flight, as well as its challenges and risks. Unfortunately, air shows are not without accidents and disasters, which have claimed many lives over the years. Air show safety is a constant concern for organizers, performers and spectators alike.

So there you have it: a brief history of American air shows. If you would like to learn more about Mohave County’s rich aviation history, numerous blog posts on the subject have been published on the Jim Hinckley’s America website.

If you have any comments or questions about the Bullhead Laughlin Air Show, feel free to leave them below. And if you’re planning to attend the air show this year, bring the family, have fun and stay safe!

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