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Bob Carlton to Receive 2015 Bill Barber Award for Showmanship

  • Aerobatic Jet/gilder performer Bob Carlton
    Aerobatic Jet/gilder performer Bob Carlton will be honored with the Bill Barber Award for Showmanship at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015.
  • Flying the Super Salto jet sailplane
    Flying the Super Salto jet sailplane, Carlson does not need a tow plane.

June 18, 2015 - Bob Carlton, EAA 1011571, will be presented with the 2015 Bill Barber Award for Showmanship on Tuesday evening, July 21, at EAA AirVenture’s Theater in the Woods. Carlton joins a long list of honorees that reads like an air show performers’ hall of fame.

The Barber Award is sponsored by World Airshow News magazine and the friends and family of the late Bill Barber. It has been presented annually since 1986 to air show performers or teams who have demonstrated great skill and showmanship.

Carlton became fascinated with aviation as a young boy flying control line model aircraft. He learned to fly in 1979 at age 19 and soon mastered hang gliders, sailplanes, powered airplanes, and helicopters. He began flying in sailplane air shows in 1993.

Drawing on his engineering background, Carlton helped develop the world's first twinjet sailplane, which allowed him to climb to altitude under his own power. His innovative approach to glider aerobatics continued with the addition of the Super Salto jet sailplane in 2009. With a more powerful jet engine, the Super Salto not only allowed Carlton to climb to altitude without a tow plane, but it also allowed him to perform a full low-level aerobatic routine under power.

He and his wife, Laurie, operate Vertigo Airshows out of Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The latest addition to his air show stable is the SubSonex JSX-2 microjet kit aircraft, of which Carlton is chief test pilot. This year he debuted a full aerobatic SubSonex air show routine for the 2015 air show season, including EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015.

Carlton is a member of the Soaring Society of America and the International Council of Air Shows. He is also a retired rocket scientist for a major national laboratory.

Past Bill Barber Award winners:

2014 Greg Koontz

2013 Skip Stewart

2012 Matt Younkin

2011 Rich and Dee Gibson

2010 Steve Oliver and Suzanne Asbury-Oliver

2009 Michael Goulian

2008 Bud Granley

2007 Dacy Family Airshow Team

2006 Danny Clisham

2005 Pietsch Airshows

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

1993 Red Baron Stearman Squadron

1992 Sean D. Tucker

1991 Julie Clark

1990 Leo Loudenslager

1989 Jimmy Franklin

1988 No Award

1987 The French Connection

1986 Eagles Aerobatic Flight Team

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