MIDLAND, Texas — Kyle Franklin, one of the airshow industry’s most sought-after performers, returns to the Commemorative Air Force AIRSHO with his new act, “Dracula, the Rise of Vacul.” CAF AIRSHO 2014 will be held at the Midland International Airport Oct. 11-12.
“We are proud to welcome Kyle back to AIRSHO,” said AIRSHO Chair Gena Linebarger. “This will be Kyle’s first appearance in West Texas with his new act, Dracula. I know people will be amazed by his flying and new airplane.”
Franklin grew up in the airshow business as his father, Jimmy, was a legendary performer. First inspired by his father’s character “Zar” and the “Starship Pride,” Kyle realized that an airshow act had to be unique. Zar mixed the space age themes that made “Star Wars” a hit with precision aerobatics and unique costumes. Later, Jimmy mounted a jet engine to his Waco Mystery Ship and Kyle learned how to wingwalk. They were the first and only jet wing walking act and the only father and son wingwalking act in the industry.
Continuing the family legacy, Kyle raised the bar for airshows. “Dracula” combines a custom-built biplane and an act with the sounds of a 1930s-racing airplane and a custom paint scheme inspired by the opening scene of a horror movie.
The Franklin Demon-1 biplane, known as Dracula, blends lines of the Waco Mystery Ship with modern aerodynamics and systems, resulting in a smaller, lighter, more maneuverable and powerful airplane, according to airshow officials.
“I’m extremely pleased with the features in Dracula’s design,” Franklin said. “The nearly full span ailerons give the aircraft a roll rate over 300° per second and the two-color smoke system was custom made for the vampire theme of this act. Power is supplied by the first direct port fuel injected R-985 Pratt & Whitney engine. Built by Tulsa Aircraft Engines and Airflow Performance, Dracula’s engine produces 500 horsepower. The lightweight MT propeller is one of two in the world flying and gives me maximum performance with a nearly 80 pound weight savings. I’m really looking forward to flying Dracula at AIRSHO.”
The CAF AIRSHO will feature many rare and historic aircraft from the CAF flying fleet, including the World’s only flying B-29 FIFI, two B-17 Flying Fortresses, Texas Raiders and Sentimental Journey, the Red Tail P-51 Mustang Tuskegee Airmen and reenactment performer TORA! TORA! TORA!
Advanced tickets are $20 for adults and $5 for children ages 6-12. Tickets can be ordered online . Tickets purchased at the gate will be $25 for adults and $5 for children. Children age 5 and under are admitted free. Parking is an additional $5, with partial proceeds benefiting the Boy Scouts of America. Gates open each day at 8:30 a.m.