Last December 2017, a video of a man stealing a vintage plane went viral on social media. It was re-edited with a popular game’s template, “Grand Theft Auto.” People were lost for words thinking that the man actually stole the plane. Little did most of them know that it was a comedy act by a known professional pilot, Kyle Franklin.
His comedy act named “Ben Whabnoski,” made him legendary air-showman. He came from a family of professional pilots who are known to put a unique act besides simply flying their planes. Kyle, however, was able to create his own legacy as he continues to perform for other people.
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The “Ben Whabnoski” act is about an intoxicated man who is desperate to fly a plane, although, Ben Whabnoski has no professional training or skill to fly a plane which makes it more entertaining. Kyle who plays Ben Whabnoski flies the plane as if it was actually being controlled by an intoxicated man.
As soon as his wheels are completely off from the ground this is when he starts his air tricks. This little act or skit helps engage Kyle’s audience to keep them alert and entertained.
The Franklin’s have been known to give airshows for over 50 years. They aim to provide entertainment and innovation in all of their shows. For over 5 decades, it has become their family’s legacy.
Back in 1989, Jimmy Franklin received the Bill Barber Award for Showmanship. The award recognizes and airshow entertainer who was able to demonstrate a one of a kind showmanship ability. It is presented annually by World Airshow News and the friends and family of the late Bill Barber, a well-known air show performer.
In 2017, 23 years after Jimmy received the award, Kyla Franklin was also able to gain the same recognition. He received it during the EAA AirVenture ceremony. Which proves that their skills in flying truly runs in the blood.
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Kyle Franklin continues his family’s legacy today with his one-of-a-kind biplane named Dracula. His personalized plane combined the looks, styles, and appeals of a real racing airplane from the 1930s with a 21st aerodynamic engines. In other words, it’s a real beaut!
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