THE HISTORY OF WINGWALKING

Now you have the opportunity to be part of that history, to give your own Wingwalking display in front of your invited guests – and create a memorable occasion you will remember forever.

All through the 1920s, Flying Circuses travelled  around America spreading the news  of aviation, “looping the loop”, parachute jumping and Wingwalking until it was  banned by the government in 1936. The  American government were keen to promote commercial transport flying and  considered Flying Circuses too dare-devil!

In the 1950s Wing-walking started again in the USA, mostly on Stearman Bi-planes (LINK Aircraft info)  which were considered much safer and stronger than other the early Pre-War bi-planes.

In the UK the Tiger Club,then based in Redhill,Surrey, fitted a Rig to a Tiger Moth in 1962  (see Aeroplane monthly Feb 2009 edition) and a little later the “Barnstormers” in Northamptonshire followed suit.

Finally in the late 1980s Stearman Bi-planes, the  first to be fitted with a Wingwalking rig, arrived in the UK most famously  sponsored by Cadburys and later by Utterly Butterly.

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Ormer locklear The History

The first man to Wingwalk was Omar Locklear in 1918 on  a Curtis Jenny Bi-plane, legend has it that he first climbed out onto the lower wings during his pilot training in the Army Air Service during World War I. Undaunted, Ormer just climbed out of the cockpit onto the wings in flight whenever there was a mechanical issue and fixed the problem.

On November 8, 1918, Locklear wowed the crowd at Barron Field, Texas, with his daredevil wing-walking stunts. Wing walking was seen as an extreme form of barnstorming, and wing walkers would constantly take up the challenge of outdoing one another.