Last Ever Biplane Expo, 2009?
The National Biplane Association board of directors, citing costs, has announced that 2009 will witness the "final aviation event for the organization." Over 23 years, some 2,500 biplanes and 7,000 other aircraft have drawn some 75,000 fans to the Biplane Expo, but times are changing. The events ran annually since 1987 and included exhibits, type club gatherings, forums and seminars, attendee-decided aircraft judging, aviation rides and famous personalities. With admission fees set at $5 and under, the 2008 event saw retired Air Force Colonel Joseph Kittinger speak. An earlier year included Paul Tibbets of Enola Gay fame. But increasing staffing requirements and costs have conspired with a deteriorating economy to pull the plug. Enthusiasts are now facing what is being billed as the Grande Finale at Bartlesville, Okla., June 4-6.
The coming year's honored guest is yet to be announced. The National Biplane Association was formed as a non-profit organization in 1987 to "educate the general public on the history and development of biplane aircraft and to promote their preservation." Membership is open to anyone interested in biplanes and in preserving them.