High Flying Fun

Published by The Bee News

January 15, 2024

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Hey there, aviation enthusiasts! If you’re looking for some amazing air shows to attend in 2024, you might want to add the Laughlin Bullhead Airshow (LBAS) in Bullhead City, Arizona to your travel schedule. This event promises to be a spectacular display of historic military and civilian aircraft, thrilling aerial demonstrations, and more. And the best part is, it’s free to attend!

A full day of high flying fun returns to the Colorado River Valley with the second annual Laughlin-Bullhead Airshow on Saturday, April 6, 2024. Consultant Kevin Walsh, an airshow organizing veteran, will again be working with the Laughlin Tourism Commission, as well as Bullhead City, and Mohave County Airport Authority to ensure that the event is one of the best in the southwest.

Ground and air displays of military as well as civilian aircraft are a tribute to aviation history, and to our nations veterans. But the exciting event is also a tangible link to Mohave County’s lengthy aviation history.

The county’s aviation history dates to WWI. But it was WWII and establishment of the Kingman Army Airfield, and auxilliary airfields, that made the largest impact.

After approval was granted for development of the military base in 1942, recruits arrived by train and began training as gunners for various positions on heavy bombers such as the B-17. Initially the Transcontinental Air Transport field and terminal establishement by Charles Linbergh in 1928 and 1929 was used. And the Harvey House served as the temporary headquarters.

Meanwhile construction of the new miltary base was made a priority. Built on a section of the Neal Ranch along Route 66 east of Kingman near the abandoned mid 1920s Western Air Express field, this is now the site of the Kingman Municipal Airport and Industrial Park.

In addition to the expansive base for the training of gunners and navigators, numerous auxiliary fields were also constructed. One of these was designated Site Six, the island in Lake Havasu City. Another was constructed in Yucca. This airfield was later acquired by Ford Motor Company and transformed into a test facility. More rudimentary emergency landing strips were built near Topock and Hackberry, and Red Lake north of Kingman.

Vestiges and tangible links to that historic airfield are found throughout the industral park as well as in the surrounding desert. The original control tower, one of just a few left in the country, stands over several memorials that commemorate tragic accidents at the airfield during WWII.

The Kingman Airport Cafe with small museum is housed in a repurposed building from the Kingman Army Airfield. Nearby are several large, original hangars used for various industrial and storage purposes. Across from the airport entrance, on the north side of Route 66, concrete bunkers are a notable feature on the former gunnery range.

If you love planes, stunts, and adrenaline, you won’t want to miss the upcoming Laughlin Bullhead Airshow 2024. Round out a weekend of aviation focused fun by visiting historic locations such as the former Kingman Army Airfield.

 

 

 

 

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