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Downtown DeKalb

Biplane Rides



American Barnstormers Tour










Lakeland, FL – February 13, 2012 — The American Barnstormers Tour, a nostalgic salute to the barnstormers who ventured across America during the 1920s seeking fame and fortune in their biplanes, is scheduled to visit North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Illinois on their fourth biennial tour this summer.  As many as fourteen meticulously restored vintage aircraft from the 1920s and 1930s will journey across the Midwest on a five-city tour from August 9th through August 26th, 2012.  Admission is free and these rare aircraft can be seen at the following cities:

August 9-11 Fargo, ND Fargo Air Museum KFAR                         
August 12-14 Brainerd, MN Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport KBRD 
August 16-18 Eau Claire, WI  Chippewa Valley Regional Airport KEAU
August 19-21 Manitowoc, WI  Manitowoc County Airport KMTW
August 23-26 DeKalb, IL  DeKalb Taylor Municipal Airport  KDKB

The Tour aircraft will be on display from approximately 10am to 6pm (weather permitting).  A select group of aircraft and highly skilled aviators are chosen for each tour based on the uniqueness of their ships and their commitment to promoting vintage aviation. All barnstormers participate in recreating the era with period costumes, aircraft signage, historical information, and vintage props. They are aviation ambassadors and love to share the stories and personal history of their aircraft with anyone who will listen.

Each day the aircraft will take to the skies for the “Barnstormers Parade of Flight” with master of ceremonies, EAA Radio on-air personality, Jeff Montgomery.  Jeff will entertain the crowd with his unique announcing style while they hear tall tales of barnstorming and learn the history of each biplane as the pilots fly overhead.

Spectators can even experience the thrill of open cockpit flight for themselves and go barnstorming in a beautifully restored Travel Air or New Standard vintage biplane.  Biplane rides will be available daily weather permitting. Biplanes can take up to 4 passengers at a time and are $70.00 per person for the 15 minute experience.  No reservations and all ages can fly.

“These aren’t airplanes, they’re Time Machines” said tour organizer Clay Adams. “Our tour gives people from all over the country the chance to travel back in time and experience the same sights, sounds, and excitement they would have felt some 80 years ago as they looked out across the fields and saw the Barnstormers on the horizon.”

The period between the end of World War I and the United States' entry into World War II is remembered as “The Golden Age of Aviation,” and it truly was.  Barnstorming tours, trophy races, and record-setting flights all captured the public’s attention as they raced to see the daring flocks of birdman, and take their first flight in an open cockpit airplane.

The American Barnstormers Tour was born under the wing of an antique Travel Air biplane on a grass airfield in Iowa.  In the company of friends and vintage biplane pilots plans were formed to resurrect  the barnstorming tours of the 1920s, where many local citizens would see their first airplane up close, or perhaps spend a few dollars for their first flight.   Tour organizers Clay Adams and Sarah Wilson saw an opportunity to give visitors from all backgrounds a unique vantage point to connect the past with the present.  What started as just a dream has blossomed into a real barnstorming revival. 
The first American Barnstormers Tour lifted off in 2006 with 17 airplanes from Kalamazoo, MI and traveled through 5 states to end at Air Venture in Oshkosh, WI.  The response was tremendous; it reinforced our belief that people were still excited to see these beautiful aircraft and take their first biplane ride.  In 2008 the Tour flew westward into America’s Heartland crossing Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, and Missouri and grew to 19 aircraft.  In 2010 we estimate more than 20,000 people traveled to see our 17 aircraft tour the Great Plains starting in Mason City, IA and working through the Dakotas to finish in Alexandria, MN.   For the summer of 2012 the American Barnstormers will return to North Dakota and the Midwest with a slightly smaller crew of approximately 14 airplanes but are anticipating the numbers for biplane rides and attendance to be our biggest yet.

For more information visit the American Barnstormers web site at 
For press flights or media information contact:
Sarah Wilson-Public Relations