Page 4 - World Airshow May-Jun 2017
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JIM FRONEBERGER: EDITOR




                                     Boeing, Boeing




                             O      ne of the things that I enjoy as   for not having my Canon camera and zoom lens (cameras are

                                    much as going to airshows is
                                                               prohibited during tournament rounds at PGA events, except for
                                    watching  PGA  Tour  golf.  It’s
                                                               thrilled by a couple of wing-wags and a banana pass, they would
                             great to watch great golf being played,   golf media). But my second thought was, “If these folks are so
                             especially considering that the golf I   go crazy if they saw a REAL airshow act.”
                             usually get to watch when I play 18, is   So, that got me to thinking…wouldn’t it be great if some creative
                             a totally different game than what I see   airshow promoter could figure out a way to get an airshow act or
                             the pros play!                    two included in non-aviation events? Think about it for a minute.
                               This year, the week after Sun ‘n Fun,   People who go to airshows must make a conscious decision to
                             our spring break family vacation was   attend an aviation event, but some people just don’t have enough
                             on Hilton Head Island, South Caroli-  interest or inclination to make that decision. But they might have
                             na the same week as the RBC Heritage   the inclination to attend a golf tournament, baseball or football
                             PGA tournament, played annually in   game, automobile race, or some other outdoor event or festival.
        April on the magnificent Harbour Town Golf Links course. While   Wouldn’t it be great if we could find a way to expose these people
        most people refer to the tournament as the “RBC Heritage” or   to airshows the way Boeing entertained the golf fans in Hilton
        even just “The Heritage”, the full name is the RBC Heritage Pre-  Head?
        sented by Boeing. The event has both a title sponsor (Royal Bank   Many sporting events already have national anthem fly-overs,
        of Canada) and a presenting sponsor (Boeing), a technique the   and the Golden Knights, Leap Frogs, Wings of Blue, and other
        tournament organizers use to create two high-value, high-visibil-  parachute teams often jump into stadiums. Of course, that’s not
        ity sponsorship revenue opportunities. I’m aware of airshows that   the same as a real airshow performance, but the videos I saw of
        have used the title sponsorship approach – the Vectren Dayton   the USAF Thunderbirds doing the Delta Burst for the national
        Air Show and the Intel Oregon International Air Show are two   anthem at the Daytona 500 is a great example of how to add a little
        that come to mind – but I can’t immediately recall an airshow that   spice to a fly-over.
        has both a title and a presenting sponsor.               The biggest issue with all of this may be that most sports
           When you are a high-level sponsor like RBC and Boeing,   venues don’t lend themselves to the creation of any kind of FAA-
        you get to do things at the tournament to promote your brand   approved airshow aerobatic box. Most MLB and NFL stadiums
        – signage, hospitality chalets, television commercials, and   are in congested downtown or suburban locations, and while Red
        more. RBC also had their ATMs onsite, but when you make big   Bull has proven that air race and aerobatic events can work at
        airplanes like Boeing does, you can do some really cool things –   a NASCAR or Indy Car track, the Red Bull races were not held
        like a mini-airshow.                                   when the racing crowds ring most of the track and limit the space
           On Saturday  afternoon, generally the  most-attended  day of   for an airshow box.
        the RBC Heritage, Boeing always does a fly-by with one of their   While most sports venues might not work, there are a variety
        787 Dreamliners that are assembled about 70 miles up the coast   of festivals and other special events that take place in riverfront,
        in Charleston. The fly-by is well publicized in the media and   lakefront, oceanfront, or other wide-open locations where a box
        on the tournament schedule, so by 4pm the crowds were lining   could fit. Of course, full airshows like San Francisco Fleet Week
        the famous waterfront 18  fairway at Harbour Town to catch a   and the Chicago Air and Water Show are already held in these
                             th
        glimpse of the big Boeing.                             kinds of over-water locations, but that’s not what I’m talking
           Precisely on time, the Dreamliner approached from the left over   about. I’m suggesting we figure out how to squeeze a little aerial
        the Calibogue Sound, paralleling the 18  fairway from behind the   derring-do into non-aviation events. Find creative ways to expose
                                        th
        tee box. The crowd began to cheer, but when the pilot of the 787   more people to our world and grow our fan base. If the reactions
        in Air France livery dipped the wings in two big “wing-waggles”   I heard to a two-pass airliner fly-by in Hilton Head are any
        the crowd erupted into a roar generally only heard for birdies or   indication, it just might be a winning shot.
        eagles.  People  were waving  their hats,  waving their  beers, and
        taking video with their cell phones. A guy next to me shouted,   An InteRnAtIOnAl FlAIR
        “I bet he’s gonna get busted for doing that wing roll thing!” The   While most of what you read in each issue of World Airshow
        woman beside him  said,  “Oh dear, does  that have  passengers?   News is focused on North America, this issue has a definite
        They’re all going to be sick!”                         international flair.  From our cover story  on the  Patrouille  de
           As the Dreamliner passed the 18  green and initiated a steep   France’s U.S. Tour, to coverage of El Salvador’s Ilopango Airshow
                                     th
        right turn around the famed red and white-striped Harbour Town   and the Australian International Airshow, we are showcasing
        Lighthouse, it quickly came back again from the left for a classic   some great shows and airshow talent from outside of our borders.
        airshow-like, right-wing-low photo  pass. The crowd  roared its   We hope you enjoy this issue as we once again put the World in
        approval once again.                                   World Airshow News.
           As I was watching the 787, my first thought was frustration



                                          WORLD AIRSHOW NEWS   4  MAY/JUNE 2017
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