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Biplane Bash in Bartlesville

By Charles W. Harris

The nationally recognized Biplane Expo, scheduled for Bartlesville’s Frank Phillips Field on May 30, May 31 and June 1, is one of the most colorful and unique airplane events in the entire world.

The 16th annual Expo is the largest gathering of assorted biplanes in the world. The biplanes have come to Bartlesville from literally all corners of the USA, as well as Canada and Mexico. With good weather, upwards of 150 biplanes and over 350 non-biplane aircraft are expected to attend the three day aviation conclave.

The Expo features most all of the legendary biplanes of the last 75 years, including the traditional Stearmans, Wacos, Great Lakes, Navys, Travel Airs, Standards, and Staggerwings. Also featured are beautiful brand new custom-built experimentals, such as the Skybolts, Stardusters, Pitts, EAA Biplanes, and the neat little Hatz – which is skyrocketing in popularity.

The Expo has long been one of the leaders in honoring high-profile national aviation personalities. The event has recognized and honored such outstanding aviation people as George Gay, Torpedo Squadron Eight’s sole survivor at the Battle of Midway in June of 1942; Curtis Pitts, famed designer of the world class American aerobatic biplane, the Pitts Special; Texan Frank Price, America’s first ever competitor in World Aerobatic Competition; Paul Poberezny, Founder and Chairman of EAA; Brigadier General Paul Tibbets, who, of course, flew the most famous single airplane of W.W.II, the B-29 Enola Gay to Hiroshima to drop the war-ending atomic bomb on August 6, 1945; and Colonel "Bud" Anderson, one of the Eighth Air Force’s great 16 victory P-51 aces of W.W.II.

This years honored guest is scheduled to be Robert Ragazzino, a native of Norman, Oklahoma. Robert captured the attention of the biplane world when, in the summer and fall of 2000, he was the first pilot in history to fly an open cockpit biplane solo around the world.

Robert will display and discuss his famous custom "around the world" 450 Stearman during the 3 day event, and will describe his flight for the aviation public. He will be prominently featured at "An Evening with Robert Ragazzino" on Thursday evening May 30, and will be further honored in Tribute, Friday evening May 31st during an "on the field" Honorarium.

The aviation public is invited and encouraged to attend the Expo. Admission prices are $1.00 for children and $3.00 for adults on Friday and $3.00 for children and $5.00 for adults on Saturday.

For information, Call 918-622-8400, fax 918-665-0039 or access the Biplane Expo website at
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The material in this publication is for advisory information only and should not be relied upon for navigation, maintenance or flight techniques. SW Regional Publications and the staff neither assume any responsibility for the accuracy of this publication's content nor any liability arising fom it
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©2001 Southwest Regional Publishing, Inc.