Barnstorming – by Bill Warren

Medford airport 1909 barnstorming After World War I there were many, many surplus training airplanes and many, many surplus pilots who had been trained for the war. Now there was nothing for these airplanes or pilots to do because war had been the only place where the airplane had a use. These “surplus” pilots had gotten a taste of flying and now they wanted to fly some more.

Someone got the idea of buying the surplus trainers and flying across the country selling rides. Thus the birth of Barnstorming! Barnstorming was the most significant event in the history of aviation, because it was the first time the “common person” could see, feel, and actually fly in an airplane. “Barnstormers” flew across the land landing in hay fields near towns and selling rides to the people.

So many things that are common place today such as Airlines, Charter Flying, Air Cargo, Air Mail and Airshows all came from Barnstorming. Many famous pilots came from the “Barnstorming” era the most famous of whom was Charles Lindbergh.

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