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     

Welcome to Oshkosh
56th annual gathering ready for takeoff
By Dana Heimos

Mike Pratt polishes his recently purchased Cessna 195 on Saturday. Photo by Phil Weston

Afamily cruises on their bikes near the main gate before the start of AirVenture 2008. Photo by Phil Weston

Every year, hundreds of thousands of aviation enthusiasts from around the globe gather in Oshkosh to celebrate and promote their passion — aviation in all its forms. During this special time of the year, Oshkosh serves as the epicenter of the aviation industry as aircraft manufacturers and aviation-related companies unveil their latest airplanes, avionics, and other products.

Innovation is a dominant theme every year, but this year it’s even more so. Here’s just a sampling: The Martin Jetpack, billed as the "first practical jetpack," will be launched at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, July 29, at AeroShell Square. Get a glimpse of rocket-racing planes with the first public flights of the Rocket Racing League on Tuesday; electric aircraft; the latest on space tourism; the world’s most unorthodox cargo hauler; the gargantuan Boeing Dreamlifter; the world’s most sophisticated military aircraft; and astoundingly well-crafted amateur-built and restored aircraft. As you’re walking the grounds, you will also notice the new air traffic control tower located next to AeroShell Square. The 525-square foot tower is significantly larger than that of the old tower and provides air traffic controllers a greater view of the runways.

In addition to aviation innovation, EAA AirVenture serves as an important aviation-policy summit. This year members of the House Aviation Subcommittee will present a panel-discussion forum, which will begin on Monday, at 11:30 a.m. in Pavilion 6. The forum will give EAAers an opportunity to address their questions and concerns, with EAA President Tom Poberezny serving as the discussion moderator. A special EAA/FAA Forum discussing EAA’s fight to protect the 51 percent rule will also take place on Monday, at 1 p.m. at Forum Pavilion 9.

With the price of fuel on the rise, economical flying has never been more important. Making its AirVenture debut this year, EAA’s new Affordable Flying Center will offer a full lineup of practical, dollar-saving forums. Located in the former NASA building north of the old control tower, these forums will offer practical tips and ideas to help you achieve your dream of flight, even on a limited budget.

"When you add to these innovative attractions the opportunity to experience the opening-night concert by Foreigner, presentations by Harrison Ford and John Travolta, the comedy of ventriloquist Jeff Dunham, and a concert performance by Gary Sinise’s Lt. Dan Band, AirVenture’s value as a vacation destination is unparalleled," said EAA President Tom Poberezny.

Here are some other highlights of EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2008:

Air and Space: NASA’s 50th anniversary celebration continues this summer with special recognition at EAA AirVenture 2008. NASA Administrator Michael Griffin will speak on Tuesday, July 29, at 11:30 a.m. CDT, in the Utah Valley University Pavilion 6 in the Honda Forums.

On the Flightline: This year’s aircraft lineup is deep and diverse. It includes new aircraft from both commercial and general aviation, popular military airplanes of today as well as classic warbirds, and magnificently restored vintage airplanes from the early decades of aviation. Among the headline aircraft already confirmed for this year are the Boeing Dreamlifter, Goodyear Blimp, F-22 Raptors, a 1929 Boeing 40, U-2 reconnaissance aircraft, F-18 Hornet, F-16 Fighting Falcon, T-38 Talon, HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter, and many more.

Amazing Innovations. The flight debut of the Rocket Racing League, the premiere of the Martin Jetpack, the ICON light-sport aircraft, the Red Bull Aerobatic Helicopter, and alternative-fuel aircraft are among the many innovative aircraft in attendance this year.

Warbirds: The hundreds of warbirds expected at Oshkosh this year include an all-star roster of the best-known World War II-era aircraft, including B-17 Flying Fortress, B-24 Liberator, B-25 Mitchell, P-51 Mustang, P-38 Lightning, F4U Corsair, and many others. Warbird activities include five warbirds air show performances during the week (every day except Thursday, July 31, and Sunday, August 3), with a 60-minute demonstration on Tuesday, July 29, and the Warbird Spectaculars on Friday, August 1, and Saturday, August 2. In addition, a full schedule of the popular Warbirds in Review programs with World War II veterans, current aircraft owners and other warbird authorities will take place throughout the week.

Evening Entertainment: From aviation personalities and modern innovators to musical entertainment and aviation movies, the evening lineup at EAA AirVenture is a great way to extend each memorable day at what is commonly known as aviation’s family reunion. Post-air show activities for all ages, include: Aviation films projected on a five-story-high screen at the outdoor Fly-In Theater, presented by Ford Motor Company and Eclipse Aviation (with appearances by Harrison Ford and John Travolta during the week); music by Foreigner on July 28 and Gary Sinise’s Lt. Dan Ban" on August 1; comedy by Jeff Dunham on July 30; and more.

30,000th Homebuilt Aircraft: During EAA AirVenture, one newly finished homebuilt aircraft flown to Oshkosh will be recognized as the honorary 30,000th homebuilt aircraft, and will be honored in several ways, including at the annual Homebuilders Dinner on Thursday evening, July 31.

In addition, an "I Flew My Homebuilt" patch will be given to all attending homebuilders who fly to AirVenture. The patch features a Hatz Biplane in recognition of that model’s 40th anniversary, along with the special tribute, "30,000 & Climbing."

FUTURE AIRVENTURE DATES: 2014: July 28-Aug. 3; 2015: July 20-26; 2016: July 25-31; 2017: July 24-30
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