Battle Creek Field of Flight Air Show and Balloon Festival

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The Hoppers L-39 Jet Warbird Team

Battle Creek's own Tim Brutsche will take to his hometown skies this summer in his Soviet Bloc L-39 Albatros. He will not be alone, however, as he will be joined by Hopper teammates to perform a SPECTACULAR L-39 Jet Team performance. 

The Czech Built L-39 Albatros flown by Tim BrutscheThe L-39 is one of the most popular jet warbirds in the United States. The aircraft was built by the Czechoslovakian Aero Vodochody in the 1960s to replace the L-29 Delfin. The aircraft was the first of the second-generation jet trainers and the first to use a turbofan engine. The aircraft began mass production in 1971 and concluded production in 1999. It experienced service in many locations around the world (some still using L-39s) including the Soviet Air Force, Czechoslovak Air Force, Libyan Air Force, Royal Thai Air Force and many others. Here in the United States however, they are all civilian owned.

Battle Creek Native Tim BrutscheTim "Dawg" Brutsche is the owner and president of Brutsche Concrete. He has been flying for 34 years (12 of those in jets) and holds an ATP commercial pilots license as well as an instrument rating. Over the years, he has accrued over 5800 hours of flying. Dawg loves encouraging kids to follow their dreams. This is proven by his 28 year volunteer check pilot and instructing service he has done with the Civil Air Patrol. Tim is married to wife Beth-Franklin Brutsche and resides in Battle Creek.

The Hoppers performance in Battle Creek will consist of amazing maneuvers that showcase what the L-39 was capable of in both training and attack settings. It's a demonstration that will surely be amazing. From solo passes to formation passes, this is a demonstration that has become well known with the Field of Flight since the Hoppers began performing here many years ago.

Don't miss this performance on July 4th, 5th & 6th.

Younkin Airshows featuring Matt Younkin in the Twin Beech 18

Matt YoYounkin Airshowsunkin will be making his Battle Creek debut this year in the beautiful Beechraft 18 warbird. You will not want to miss this act as it is a performance that will shock everyone in attendance, even those aviation buffs. If you think a World War II transport plane can't perform aerobatics...then think again!

About the Pilot: Matt Younkin
Matt Younkin is the son of airshow legend Bobby Younkin and grandson of Jim Younkin (a well-known plane designer and airplane replicator). Bobby had performed numerous times in Battle Creek. His last time was in 2003, when he performed in his Learjet 23 and Samson biplane. Bobby Younkin was known for creating innovative airshow acts, from aerobatics in the amazing and powerful Samson Biplane, to aerobatics in aircraft that weren't designed for them, like the Beech 18 and Learjet. Today, Matt Younkin keeps his father's legacy alive by continuing to fly his father's aerobatic performance in the Twin Beech 18.

Matt learned to fly at the Age of 14 and was taught by the same instructor that taught his father how to fly. Matt soloed on his 16th birthday in his grandfathers 1928 Travel Air 4000 biplane. Matt has accumulated over 3000 hours of total flying time in his career and has flown over 75 types of aircraft, from the Piper Cub all the way to World War II bombers. Matt loves flying radio-controlled model planes and actually learned most of his aerobatic skills while flying them. He later went on to perfect these maneuvers in the Decathlon with the help of his Son of a Legend Matt Younkinfather. Matt currently resides in Siloam Springs, Arkansas with his wife Michelle and daughter Kimmy.

In 2012, Matt Younkin was awarded the Bill Barber Award for Showmanship at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. He is the first second-generation recipient of the award (his dad previously won the award in 2004). "Considered young in the airshow industry by some and a veteran by others, Matt continues to amaze airshow goers with his unique ability to capture the crowd in the moment, much the same way his father Bobby and sister Amanda did for so many years".

About the Plane: 1943 Beechcraft C-18S (Twin Beech 18) "Miss Ellie":
The Younkin Family Beech 18 was built in 1943 by the Beechcraft Corporation in Wichita, Kansas (built as an AT-7C for military service). The airplane went into service with the Army Air Corps, being based at Houston's Ellington Army Air Field. The aircraft was re-designated as the C-18S when the Army transferred ownership of the plane to the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA). The plane served with the CAA until 1949 and then went through several owners (from serving as a VIP transport for the Department of Commerce, to being flown by a University). The aircraft wasMiss Ellie the Twin Beech 18 finally purchased by Younkin Airshows, Inc. in 2000. After a complete restoration, it came into service as a replacement for Bobby's original aerobatic Beech 18. After Bobby's untimely death in July of 2005, the Beech 18 spent two years in retirement as a static display in Tullahoma, Tennessee. Matt then debuted his version of his late father's airshow routine in the Beech 18 in Lakeland, Florida at Sun-N-Fun 2007. The Beech 18 is the flagship of Matt's Airshow Fleet. He feels it is the most special of his aircraft because his father first gained national notoriety by performing in the Beech in 1990 and continued to perform aerobatics in Beech 18s for 15 years.

"Miss Ellie" is the mascot for Younkin Airshows and is the nose art/name of the Beech 18. The aircraft, with the exception of the paint scheme, is essentially the same as when it was sold from military surplus in 1945. This classifies the aircraft as a true warbird, hence the reason it features nose art. How did the name come about? Check out more information about the act to learn. Let's just say, the Beech 18 has been referred to as the "White Elephant" of the airshow industry. Jeff Gibbs is the crew chief for the Beech 18 and one of Matt's good friends.

About the Act:
Matt Younkin flies one of the airshow industries loudest and smokiest acts. Not only that, but he performs it in the Beech 18, the largest civilian aerobatic plane on the circuit. The act is considered to be the most unusual act on the airshow circuit today. The performance is almost a mirror image of the one his father flew for many years. The performance begins and ends to light-hearted music ("Pink Elephants" from Disney's Dumbo). Why? Well, it's an overly obese plane executing maneuvers that its designers and airshow patrons never thought it could. The show ends with the "Elephant Waltz" dirty pass, which is a spectacle to believe. "The majority of the performance flows with beauty and grace to equally beautiful music and a tribute to Bobby Younkin". This is a powerful plane doing something it wasn't designed to do, but that doesn't mean it can't be done. 

Don't miss this SHOW-STOPPING performance at this year's Field of Flight Air Show.

And yes, Matt Younkin will also be performing his critically acclaimed "Magic by Moonlight" Night Show during our NIGHT AIR SHOW this year. Look for more information on our Tentative Schedule of Events when we finalize the dates and acts for our Night Show. 


OTTO the Helicopter

Ladies, Gentlemen & Kids of All Ages will enjoy this act that has become a favorite of Battle Creek patrons. Roger Buis will be returning in the famous Helicopter Clown OTTO, their last appearance here was in 2010.

OTTO Pilot Roger Buis
OTTO is a Schweizer 300C Helicopter and is the Mickey Mouse of the Airshow Industry. In Battle Creek, OTTO will fly faster than the speed of smell, demonstrate maneuverability & agility, mimic airplane aerobatics and perform the HARDEST maneuver in the airshow industry, the hover. If you think that's amazing, there is so much more in store. OTTO will also blow a bubble from bubble gum, play with a yo-yo and even race barrels like a horse. Kids and Adults alike will be amazed by this 15 minute performance by OTTO the Helicopter Clown. It all culminates with a great patriotic salute to our veterans and present defenders.
OTTO the Helicopter
OTTO Pilot: Roger Buis has been flying since 1980 and has over 18,000 total flight hours. In addition, he has been nominated for Army Aviator of the Year in Helicopters. The first helicopter that Roger ever flew solo actually was the Hughes TH-55 Osage (which was the predecessor to the Schweizer 300C). Roger has flown all types of helicopters, but got his start just like any other pilot, in fixed wing aircraft. He even now has his seaplane rating. In helicopters, Roger has done pretty much all there is to do from firefighting to movie filming (yes, flight instruction too). In addition, he is one of the only helicopter pilots in the world to tow a sailplane/glider with a helicopter. He is one of the best and most respected pilots in the industry.

Don't miss Roger fly in OTTO the Helicopter at this year's Field of Flight Air Show.


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Applebee’s Battle Creek Wall featuring the BC Field of Flight Air Show and Balloon Festival - Photo by Lisa Burns

“A special Thank you to Applebee’s in Battle Creek for featuring the BC Field of Flight Air Show and Balloon Festival on their wall!  What an amazing job and tributeThank you for the support!

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