Lovelace-Drake Memorial Scholarship
Lovelace-Drake Memorial Scholarship
The Lovelace-Drake Memorial Scholarship honors two pilots who flew the #2 and #4 positions in the Red Baron Stearman Squadron. Sonny Lovelace and Randy Drake were killed in 1998 while performing in a charity airshow to benefit the ICAS Foundation. The Foundation has made this scholarship available for aspiring pilots to acquire training in aerobatic flight. The Lovelace –Drake Memorial Scholarship provides funds for a pilot to increase aeronautical knowledge and insight and, in turn, make a contribution of service to the aviation community. This scholarship was proposed by the Red Baron pilots’ families and team members to memorialize the dedication to aviation excellence that pilots Jim “Sonny” Lovelace and Randy Drake demonstrated throughout their lifetimes. The recipient of the Lovelace-Drake Memorial Scholarship will be selected by a committee comprised of the families and former teammates of Randy and Sonny.
About the Red Baron Squadron
Born as a temporary marketing promotion with the introduction of Red Baron Frozen Pizza in 1979, the Red Baron Squadron became one of the premier formation aerobatic airshow acts of its era. What made the Red Baron Squadron unique was the authentic antique aircraft they flew, bringing to life the romantic age of open-cockpit barnstormers flying from farm fields in the years between World Wars One and Two. During this “Golden Age of Aviation” many airshow and racing pilots were celebrities.
The Red Baron Squadron was comprised of as many as seven Stearman biplanes and normally performed as a group of four. The Stearman biplane was originally used by the armed forces of several countries as a primary trainer in the 1940’s. The Red Baron Squadron’s airplanes were souped-up from the stock 220 horsepower engine to the 450 horsepower Pratt & Whitney Wasp Junior. Many airshow spectators remarked that the four thundering radial engines were as loud as a jet team!
The Red Baron Squadron received both the Bill Barber and Art Scholl awards during the time that Sonny and Randy were with the team. These are the highest awards for showmanship in the airshow industry.
The Red Baron Squadron was wholly owned by the Schwan Food Company and, sadly, the corporation decided to place their advertizing dollars elsewhere in 2007 and the project was discontinued. The Squadron continues to be remembered as one of the best examples of close formation flying and corporate event marketing.
Eligibility and Application Criteria
The eligibility requirements for this scholarship are:
- Applicant must be holder of a Private Pilot Certificate or international equivalent.
- Applicant must be at least sixteen years of age.
- Applicant must indicate how he or she will, in turn, make a contribution of service back to the aviation community. (Examples: Participation in aviation related programs like Young Eagles, 99’s, or Civil Air Patrol; volunteering at aviation events.
This scholarship is to be used for aerobatic flight training and the recipient will communicate training progress to the selection committee at six and twelve months. Scholarship amount: $2,000.
Download the application form
(right-click and select “save target” from the popup menu)
Follow the submission instructions on the application form carefully.
Return completed applications to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Applications received by December 31 will be considered the following January by the selection committee. Selections will be made in February.