EAA AirVenture Oshkosh - The World's Greatest Aviation Celebration

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EAA AirVenture Oshkosh RSS FeedEAA AirVenture 2009: Change in the air and everywhere
By Dave Higdon, EAA AirVenture Today

Photo by Randy Dufault
Crews ready one of two Pratt & Whitney 1830 engines at the new EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2009 Main Gate. Dedication ceremonies are at 1 p.m. today.

July 26, 2009 - Oshkosh, Wisconsin - Change, the only constant, has really landed at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2009, something veterans will notice upon arrival and newcomers will learn about from the old-timers.  

From the removal of the landmark tower, to the relocation of some buildings, to the installation of new pathways and pylons, the differences share a major element: they result from EAA’s long-range planning to improve the AirVenture experience. 

Among the changes to be celebrated are the dedications Monday of a new main entrance design and a renewal of the Brown Arch that marks the entry from the flightline. 

Change has been an element of EAA’s annual convention since its second gathering in Milwaukee back in 1954, through its move to Rockford, Illinois, a few years later, and the 1970 move that brought the fly-in to Oshkosh. 

But AirVenture boasts significant constants: the unchanging dedication of the EAA membership and the pilots and volunteers who flock to Oshkosh out of a shared love of aviation and to reunite with old friends while making new ones. 

This family reunites to share those special moments of each year that live on in their memories. AirVenture 2009 will witness a celebration of a century of Canadian aviation, with appearances expected by a vintage Lancaster bomber; a Westland Lysander and a Hawker Hurricane, one of the designs that helped win the Battle of Britain in 1940; and the diminutive DHC-1 Chipmunk, a trainer still in use decades after its introduction by de Havilland Canada.

Reunions are another constant at AirVenture beyond the personal level, and this year offers some special ones: a gathering of passengers who flew to Oshkosh on the Concorde supersonic airliner, a collection of Pietenpol Air Campers in celebration of its 80th anniversary, and another to commemorate the milestone of 60 years for the T-28, an early mainstay of the U.S. Air Force.

Resurrection is also a recurring element at AirVenture, this year bringing the return of the Commemorative Air Force’s Red Tail Project, a rare P-51C dubbed Tuskegee Airmen. This Red Tail Mustang returns to AirVenture following a five-year rebuild undertaken after it was badly damaged in an unfortunate accident.

EAA AirVenture Oshkosh is also about firsts, and this year it offers excellent variety with the first visit of Airbus Industries’ massive A380 airliner and the first public appearance of WhiteKnightTwo VMS Eve, the launch platform for Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo suborbital vehicle.

Firsts in personal aircraft also abound at AirVenture, with the first public appearances expected for the Terrafugia Transition, a roadable aircraft; Cessna’s new SkyCatcher light-sport aircraft (LSA); the ICON amphibious LSA; and inaugural appearances by a collection of LSA-category machines powered by electricity instead of aviation fuels.

From new personal airplanes to very light jets, a celebration of business aviation, advances in homebuilt aircraft, and innovations in aircraft avionics, EAA AirVenture arguably offers the widest selection of aviation options of any event in the world.

Ranging across the grounds from Pioneer Airport and the EAA AirVenture Museum’s new Founders’ Wing to KidVenture, to the hundreds of free forums and craft workshops, to music concerts and nightly movies in Camp Scholler and the variety of evening programs in the Theater in the Woods, EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2009 provides its fans with a choice of activities unparalleled in aviation.

The flying action that draws so many to attend ranges from the passing parade of planes arriving by the thousands to the daily afternoon air show filled with the world’s finest air show performers and aerobatic aces performing aerial maneuvers of skill.

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