July 20, 2015
- Bob Carlton, EAA 1011571, will be presented with the 2015 Bill Barber Award for Showmanship Tuesday night in a special ceremony before his peers at EAA AirVenture’s Theater in the Woods
Carlton rightly joins a long list of honorees that reads like an air show performers’ hall of fame.
Sponsored by World Airshow News
magazine and the friends and family of the late Bill Barber, the award has been presented nearly every year since 1986 (no award was presented in 1988) 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 winners, Bill Barber Award for Showmanship
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