Friday, April 5, 2013

Reel Stuff set to be a Real Treat for aviation lovers

By Mike Ullery
Chief Photographer

As President Barack Obama and congress continue to make life more difficult for all of us, this summer promises to be dismal for aviation enthusiasts.

Obama's sequestration of government-funded projects and events has meant that many air shows have been forced to cancel, including the annual Tattoo event at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

The Blue Angels and Thunderbirds, representing the United States Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force, do more for morale and recruiting than dollars can measure. Sadly, they will be sitting on the sidelines this summer.

In spite of all of the bad news for our country and aviation fans, there is good news.

The Dayton Air Show is still scheduled to go on, in spite of the loss of the Thunderbirds.

A new event in the area is set to kick-off next weekend at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. The Reel Stuff Film Festival of Aviation will be the inaugural event for the newly-renovated state-of-the-art digital theatre.

The weekend will provide a much-needed aviation fix to those who love airplanes, aviators and films.
I can't think of a better way to spend a weekend that to take in a couple of aviation films and tour the National Museum of the United States Air Force.

Founder and director of Reel Stuff, Ron Kaplan, past director of the National Aviation Hall of Fame, has put together a great series of aviation films, including a pair of screenings of the recently-released Top Gun 3-D.

Among the presenters for the legendary film ,is actor Anthony Edwards, who portrayed Lt. "Goose" Bradshaw. (Edwards is also known for playing Dr. Greene on the hit television series ER.

As a side note, Kaplan played an integral part in some of the early research for the soon-to-be-released Disney film, Planes, assisting the director in his visit to the air force museum in 2009.

Dayton has a long and rich history of being on the cutting edge of aviation. In this summer of sequestration, we are fortunate to not have to look far to find a way to beat the frustration.

The Reel Stuff Film Festival of Aviation promises to be another aviation "home run" for those of us who enjoy anything and everything about flying.

The original Reel Stuff Film Festival, sponsored by the National Aviation Hall of Fame, and held at several venues around Dayton proved to be quite a success. Legendary actor Cliff Robertson was one of the early supporters of the festival. I am extremely happy that the festival has been reincarnated and found a home at the National Museum of the United States Air Force.

I am very much looking forward to next weekend.

The festival will take place April 11-14. For more information on the event, visit or call (937) 253-4629.

I hope to see a number of my fellow aviation and film friends at the event.

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