The Salthill Air Show
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St. Ivel Utterly Butterly Barnstormers

St. Ivel Utterly Butterly Logo
Glamorous Aerobabes wave from the top wing as awesome, smoke generating 1940's Boeing Stearman bi-planes roar through the skies.  Travelling up to speeds of 150 mph they perform a stunning sequence of adrenaline pumping aerobatic manoeuvres including loops, rools, stall turns and low level barnstorming flypasts.  Watch out for the breathtaking 'Mirror' formation, one Stearmen flies inverted, whilst the other formates beneath, allowing the Wingwalkers to try and touch hands. 

The Utterly Butterlys’ wingwalkers for the 2004 display season are 30 year old Kirsty and 25 year old Marie. During the winter the girls have high flying careers as a chartered accountant and a Sales Manager, but since landing the chance to experience wingwalking last summer the girls can’t wait to don their yellow flying suits and experience the thrill of wingwalking over the Salthill Air Show.

Exclusive to this display is the amazing swivel rig, the girls demonstrate their gymnastic elegance, performing handstands and levitating above the top wing. The Wingwalkers, using all their enthusiasm, bravery and strength have the ability to perform cockpit to wing transfers, so re-creating the dare-devil barnstorming days of the 1920's. 

We will keep you entertained with our Wingseat antics, where not one but TWO Wingwalkers take to the skies, sitting between the wings of one Stearman!

Click here to read the Utterly Butterly Wingwalkers 2004 Salthill Air Show Press Release
The Stearman Kaydet Trainer
Stearman KaydetThe Kaydet, the two-seater biplane introduced by Stearman Aircraft Division of Boeing in Wichita, Kan., in 1934, became an unexpected success during World War II. Despite its almost obsolete design, its simple, rugged construction made it ideal as a trainer for novice pilots.  

The Kaydets had fabric-covered wooden wings, single-leg landing gear and an over-built welded-steel fuselage. Only radial engines were used.  

Kaydets were widely used airplanes. In addition to sales to the Navy and the Army Air Corps, the trainers were sold to Canada, China, the Philippines, Venezuela, Argentina and Brazil for both military and civilian uses. Many were still in service in the early 1990s. Their slow, low-level flying capabilities made them particularly suitable for crop dusting and spraying.  

Boeing built 8,584 Kaydets, plus the equivalent of 2,000 more in spares, between 1936 and 1944.
A History of Wingwalking & Barnstorming
Barnstormers - a word to evoke a host of exciting images, of daring young men in buy-eyed goggles, caps on backward, flying flimsy machines through the air like erratic, colourful butterflies.  Rooted in the carefree happy-go-lucky tradition of show business, these dare-devils slept in barns and were regarded as loveable rogues who would raise a storm wherever they went.  The theatrical name ‘barnstormers’ was adopted by these early aviators and made their own.  A word used back in the 20’s with affection, awe and respect, long before the first airlines flew, back in those dime years when man freed himself from the shackles of gravity and found a high road to adventure in the sky. 

After the 1st World War the flying aces came home with adventure fresh in their minds and adrenaline pumping in their veins.  the thrill of flying had become an addiction and they found it hard to settle into a life without excitement.  Heroes were a dime-a-dozen and it was time to find new adventures.  War surplus aircraft would be bought cheaply and there were countless citizens yearning to taste the new sensation of flying.  The era of the ‘joy-riders’ had begun.  Every provincial town offered rich picking and any farmer’s field could become an aerodrome. 

‘Buzzing’ the main street at low level was enough to have crowds following the biplane to the flying field.  As a way to entertain the crowds and to keep them coming back for more, the barnstormers adopted more and more spectacular antics.  Engineers and girlfriends were persuaded to walk the wings.  These adventurers performed in-flight transfers from cockpit to wing, with only the rigging wires to save them from oblivion.  The ultimate in Wingwalking was the development of the plane to plane transfer.  The first girl to perform this perilous feat used the name “Ethel Dare the Flying Witch”.  As can be imagined, such transfers were extremely dangerous and sometimes led to tragedy, and so, in 1933 the Civil Aviation Authority passed an act making Wingwalking illegal.  Many though that the sparkle, glamour and romance had gone out of Airshows forever. 

Now the Barnstomers has put the pizzazz back into the airshow flying with all the vitality and spectacle of those pioneering years coupled with the latest technology.  the Team’ professionalism and skills have made them the first team to be granted permission to perform actual walks from the cockpit to wing since the 1930’s.  Uniquely, the Barnstomers have recreated the heyday of Airshows and thrill appreciative audiences with their intrepid flying routines as they bring allure and showmanship of the circus ring to the world of aviation.  The buzz is back in flying.   
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