Fireworks from an Airplane? Wow your audience with something thjey've never seen before!

 

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Suzanne Asbury-Oliver
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Night Pyrotechnics

Although the vast majority of today's public has never witnessed a night aerobatic show, the concept is not new. Research has produced a picture of Clyde E. Upside Down Pangborn and Loop King Billy Brooks taken in 1924 at an amusement park in Louisiana, flying what has to be one of the first night shows ever. However, the use of flares on a fabric-covered airplane was more an exercise of boldness than one of safety! This may have something to do with the demise of the night displays in the late 1920s.

It wasn't until the 1974 Calgary Stampede, when Art Scholl started doing night displays across the U.S. and Canada, that the night show was reborn. After losing Art in 1985, the powered airplane night show was again relegated to obscurity.

In 1989, with the introduction of Steve Oliver's PEPSI FIREDANCER, the night display was reborn. Steve Oliver and the FIREDANCER have certainly expanded on night aerobatics with fireworks. Where it was once railroad flares tied to struts, Steve now has a tremendous variety of pyrotechnics available to him. Both the quality and the quantity have greatly improved. Along with the use of dazzling fireworks, Steve flies his night show to an original soundtrack of music and story line that greatly enhances the already spectacular presentation.

When the FIREDANCER was being rebuilt to its present air show configuration, Steve designed stainless steel pyrotechnic mounts incorporating titanium heat shields for the wings. These hold the 30 different pieces of pyrotechnics that are electronically ignited on demand from the cockpit. The fountains spew 1,000-foot-long massive streams of sparks that trail behind the airplane as it paints the loops, rolls and Cuban Eights that the FIREDANCER executes. Multi- colored balls explode into cascading works of pyrotechnic art. Fireworks, loved by all, are made even more dramatic when seen for the first time, shot from the FIREDANCER.


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