EAA AirVenture Oshkosh - The World's Greatest Aviation Celebration

 for Sun, July 27, 2008

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EAA AirVenture Today is published by the Experimental Aircraft Association for EAA AirVenture from July 27 - August 3. It is distributed free on the convention grounds as well as other locations in Oshkosh and surrounding communities. Stories and photos are copyrighted 2008 by EAA AirVenture Today and EAA. Reproduction by any means is prohibited without written consent.


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The official daily newspaper of EAA AirVenture Oshkosh

Volume 9, Number 1 July 27, 2008     

Attention shoppers! Exhibitors bring wares to AirVenture
By James Wynbrandt

The Stevens family from Corsicana, Texas check out the sites at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2006.  Photo by Phil Weston.

It’s not only the world’s biggest air show. EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2008 is also the world’s largest aviation shopping mall, thanks to the hundreds of manufacturers and distributors that showcase the latest and greatest in aviation products and services here every year. The transformation of empty exhibition hangars and fallow display areas into an aviation shopper’s paradise happens almost overnight.

"We pretty much set up an entire store in about three days," said Tim Kreider, East Coast store manager of Aircraft Spruce & Specialty Co. By Saturday morning, staffers of the Corona, California-based aircraft parts and aviation supply were putting the finishing touches on the company’s booth in Exhibit Hangar A. For Aircraft Spruce, as with many exhibitors, a display at AirVenture is a key part of the company’s formula for success.

"The importance of our presence here is face-to-face contact with customers," said Kreider. "We’re primarily a mail order company, and this is the one place we know we’re going to see more of our customers—North American and international—than any other spot, being the biggest GA (general aviation) air show in the world."

AirVenture also gives exhibitors a chance to make business-to-business contacts.

"This is a great opportunity to talk to our vendors," said Mark Wennin, marketing director of RAM Aircraft, which makes products for Cessna 300 and 400 series aircraft, as well as for Beechcraft Barons and Bonanzas. "And it’s the perfect time for a marketing person – me – to see magazines and talk to editors."

"You have to be here to be known," said Bob Avery, of Avery Tools, setting up his booth with his wife, Judy, and their staffers in Exhibit Hangar C.

Avery Tools, which makes tools used by homebuilders of metal aircraft, has been exhibiting for 23 straight years. But as with other exhibitors, being at AirVenture is not all business.

"Part is seeing friends and supporting the EAA," said Avery, a longtime EAA member who is building an RV-4, the popular all-metal kit aircraft. Avery also donates tools every year to KidVenture, the children’s program of AirVenture.

As of Saturday, 789 exhibitors were registered to display their wares this year.

"What’s really neat is watching the exhibitors grow," said Rebecca Blake, the EAA’s exhibit coordinator. "They start with one booth and each year (their display) gets a little bigger and a little more extravagant."

At the Main Aircraft Display Area, Aviat Aircraft President Stu Horn was doing grunt work with the rest of his crew, surrounded by several of the manufacturer’s Husky aircraft.

"I don’t know of any other show on the planet that is so well organized," Horn said. [EAA president and AV chairman] Tom [Poberezny] and his staff make everything flow so seamlessly. Each year they grow it, add higher value to it, bringing in special airplanes, special pilots, and special personalities, which is why you can’t not be here."  

The Turbine Cubs of Wyoming crew sets up for AirVenture. Jay DeRosier holds a frame in place.
Wayne Axelson puts a support in place while Sharon Axelson waits to do her part with ties. Photo by Phil Weston.

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