2019 Bluebonnet Airshow returns to Burnet Airport

By Savanna Gregg

Staff Writer

Burnet Bulletin

Planes, and jets, and cars, oh my! This year's Bluebonnet Airshow is going to be jam-packed with entertainment of all calibers, and it is less than two weeks away.

Always a tribute to the “Greatest Generation” and the wonderful world of aviation, the Bluebonnet Airshow has provided the community and its visitors with a day full of fun for all ages, with shows put on by a variety of aircraft big and small, lumbering down the runway and zipping through the clouds.

Saturday, Sept. 14, is going to be just as fun, though things will be a little different than they have been in the past. The Highland Lakes Squadron of the Commemorative Air Force is teaming up with the Lake Area Rods and Classics Car Club to bring two elements of entertainment to aviation and car enthusiasts alike with a “Wings and Wheels” themed show.

Event chair Kirk Noaker Sr. said both entities are ready to share their passions with the public, and both the Airshow and car show will cater to different audiences, bringing them all together for one great event.

“Car shows are widely popular, and some people may not be aviation enthusiasts, but they would like to come and see the cars,” Noaker said. “The same goes for the aviation enthusiasts coming to watch the aircraft; the focus will really be on both parts.”

Another fun addition to the show is a 500-pound Mini-jet Subsonex JSX003, piloted by Tom Larkin of Denver, Colorado.

“The mini jet, if I am standing, comes up to just at my waist,” Noaker said. “It can go up to 300 miles per hour; that will definitely be some eye candy to a lot of people.”

Guests will also have the exciting opportunity to experience the earth-shaking power of a jet-fueled dragster, something new to the Bluebonnet Airshow that is guaranteed to knock the socks off of everyone in attendance, car junkie and aviation nut alike.

Other featured acts include the returning Tora-Tora-Tora, the T-6 Twisted Texan, and a CJ-6, to name only a few. There will also be a variety of food vendors, giving guests more options when they need to take a lunch break between aircraft shows.

Crews with the National Pacific War Museum in Fredericksburg will return to provide spectators with exciting living history demonstrations.

“Their demonstrations are very consistent with the theme of the show, and are period-celebrating,” Noaker said.

Noaker hit the ground running with the 2019 Bluebonnet Airshow, paying tribute to his personal connection to aviation and the memories that come with it.

Noaker's father, who passed away earlier this year, flew for over 40 years in military, private, and commercial aircraft and piloted DC3's, Boeing aircraft, and Airbus planes, retiring from the FAA as an Aviation Safety Inspector and with the United Nations International Civil Aviation Organization.

“Every year on my birthday, my dad would tell me the same story about when I was born,” Noaker said. “He was piloting a cargo plain in Milwaukee, Wisconsin when he learned my mom was going into labor back home in Detroit, Michigan. They let him turn around and head back to Detroit and he actually beat my mom to the hospital.

“He flew DC3's, which are sisters to the C-47 like the Bluebonnet Belle, so I have a bit of personal motivation with the Airshow,” Noaker added.

Noaker reminisced on the late C-47 Skytrain Bluebonnet Belle, whose departure from the Highland Lakes Squadron after her crash in July 2018 still leaves an ache in the hearts of the CAF members and the community.

“The Bluebonnet Belle left a hole in many hearts, but we are excited to have two confirmed C-47's coming to the show: The Southern Cross, which will be dropping the parachutists, and the Ready-4-Duty,” Noaker said. “It is very sentimental; the Belle was such a beautiful plane to look at, and she is still heavy on our hearts.”

Noaker said the Squadron is focused on replacing the Bluebonnet Belle, and hopes to soon have a new C-47 to honor her memory and continue their mission of preserving the history of the “Greatest Generation.”

Noaker and his family have been Hill Country residents since 2012, and have made themselves at home in a community that is always up to celebrating those who have come before them.

“This is such a great community,” Noaker said. “The generosity is just amazing.”

Noaker hopes to celebrate the generosity and resilience of the community during the Airshow, especially in the year after the historic flooding affected Burnet and Llano Counties.

“The response from our leaders and community members after the historic flooding was just great,” Noaker said. “Especially when they said they were going to rebuild the 2900 Bridge in six months; I was shocked, but they did it. I really want to show our appreciation and thank the people behind that at this year's show.”

The public is invited to celebrate their community and those who are willing to bring their treasured aircraft and cars to the special event, which has been anticipated by residents and visitors for almost 30 years.

The Bluebonnet Airshow will take place Saturday, Sept. 14 at the Burnet Municipal Airport, 2302 South Water Street, Burnet. Gates will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and flying acts will begin around 12 p.m.

VIP and paid parking will be available at the Hill Country Fellowship parking lot, and parking will be available at the Cecil Atkission Motors parking lot as well. Faith Academy and First Baptist Church Marble Falls will provide shuttling services for guests to and from the airport during the event.

Adult tickets (18 and up) are $15, Senior tickets (60 and up) are $10, Active Military with ID are $10, children ages six to 17 are $5, and children ages five and under are free. Tickets may be purchased at eventbrite.com.

Guests are encouraged to bring their lawn chairs or blankets to sit on during the show, as seating is available, but at a first-come, first-served basis.

For more information about the 28th Annual Bluebonnet Airshow, and to view some of the aircraft which will be making a stop in Burnet, visit bluebonnetairshow.com, or the event Facebook page, 28th Annual Bluebonnet Airshow.

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