AirVenture: World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration

Posted By on July 24, 2006

Oshkosh 2006
I’ve considered a protest pout today in refusing to write a post announcing the first day of AirVenture 2006 since I am not able to join the gang from my EAA Chapter 284 … but that would be childish. Monday July 24 kicks off the aviation week as the Experimental Aviation Association (EAA) marks the 54th annual EAA event. Thankfully my son and I were able to go last year … we had a great time. (see last years post and photos)

This week will bring more than 10,000 aircraft from around the world together and will represent both military and general aviation. The gathering will represent 60 nations and over 800 exhibitors as visitors in-person and via the internet participate. As Tom Poberezny, EAA’s president, states, “EAA AirVenture is not only aviation’s family reunion, but also the place where nearly every facet of flight is on display, as Oshkosh is the international crossroads where people enjoy and celebrate the freedom of flight.”

Visitors this year will see everything from a rare British Lancaster bomber to a US B-24, B-17s and B-25s — which are just a sampling of the 300 warbirds expected to be in Oshkosh. Current military planes like the B1B bomber, C-17 transport, A-10, F-16 and F/A-18 fighters will make an appearance along with the Navy’s Blue Angels making a flyby on Friday.

Camping is probably one of the highlights for experienced visitors as the camaraderie only enhances the trip to AirVenture. Who doesn’t enjoy sharing their passion with others who love the same thing? The Ford Motor company and Eclipse Aviation will be showing classic aviation movies each night on a five story inflatable screen for those staying at the campground. There will also be appearances by celebrities in aviation and Hollywood … including Harrison Ford and Cliff Robertson. One particular movie sort of stands out since Oshkosh and AirVenture will be its worldwide premiere — Flyboys. Not only does AirVenture offer entertainment from the silver screen, but tonight’s (Monday) live entertainment will be from a timeless California band starting the ‘fun, fun, fun’ — The Beach Boys.

Its not all fun and entertainment since what would Oshkosh AirVenture be like without workshops and lectures. Marion Blakley, FAA Administrator, will have two days of meetings with different groups and if he listens will be sure to get plenty of feedback from aviation enthusiasts.

The biggest name in general aviation, Cessna, also celebrates an anniversary this year … the big five-O. Almost every pilot has flown a Cessna at one time in their lives … and most likely a 172, which is the “most produced airplane model in history.” Probably Cessna’s biggest news is that they will introduce an entry into the Sport Aircraft arena.

For me, Homebuilders make up the core of the EAA faithful, and there will be tons for them to do. From checking out new plans to the latest in electronics … every homebuilder will be like a kid in a candy shop. Innovation is something that comes with ‘experimental aircraft’ and there of that there will be no shortage. Those appreciating where we’ve been will enjoy looking back at aviation’s innovative 100 year history and those wanting to know where aviation is going will get just that glimpse as NASA displays a full scale silhouette of what the next generation astronauts may take to the moon, mars adn beyond.

If you love aviation, best place to be this week is Oshkosh Wisconsin … if not, just do the best you can to block off the week next year and ‘try’ to enjoAirVenturere via the internet. (hey guys … send me some photos!)


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