World Airshow News has announced that Bob Carlton is the 2015 recipient of the Bill Barber Award for Showmanship.
Carlton began his fascination with aviation as a young boy flying control line models. He learned to fly in 1979 at age 19 and soon mastered hang gliders, sailplanes, powered airplanes, and helicopters. He began flying sailplane airshows in 1993.
After he began flying airshows, Carlton often found it difficult to arrange for a tow plane at each show site. His engineering background led to the development of 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 he could also perform a full low-level aerobatic routine under power.
Carlton’s latest addition to his airshow stable is the SubSonex JSX-2 microjet kit aircraft. He serves as the chief test pilot for the jet and has debuted a full aerobatic airshow routine in the SubSonex for the 2015 airshow season.
Carlton, who lives in Albuquerque, 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.
The Bill Barber Award for Showmanship began in 1986, and is awarded to airshow performers or teams that have demonstrated great skill and showmanship. World Airshow News magazine and the friends and family of the late Bill Barber present the award annually.
Plans are for the award to be presented, July 21 during EAA AirVenture at EAA’s Theater in the Woods.