When the barnstorming era started after World War I, one of the more popular acts was the “wing walker”, a daredevil who’d climb out onto the wing of a rickety old biplane. As time went one, the stunts became more and more sophisticated, with wing walkers who would compete to out-perform each other, incorporating elements of trapeze artists and other tricks. Planes became faster, too, which made the acts more “daring”. Wing walking still is a favorite act at air shows, but it can be argued that the art peaked in the early 1970s with the Human Fly.
Vintage Air: The Human Fly
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