With one of the most challenging Oshkosh
conventions ever near an end, let’s all catch our collective breath…and
start thinking about 2011!
EAA officials are already making plans, and
some themes are taking shape, according to Adam Smith, EAA vice president
of membership who also coordinates AirVenture features and attractions.
“We’ve been named a ‘Tier 1 Event”
by the U.S. Navy for its centennial celebration of naval aviation,” he
said. “That will be one of the themes as we plan for 2011.”
Building off this year’s successful
Electric Aircraft Symposium, electric aircraft should also figure
prominently as the technology continues to evolve and commercial
application creeps ever closer.
EAA is also pursuing some major aircraft
attractions, including one that’s been out of this world and another
that aims to be.
“We want to bring a Space Shuttle to
Oshkosh,” Smith said, noting that the preliminary schedule for
repositioning the soon-to-be retired spacecrafts to museums is favorable
for an Oshkosh appearance. Also there’s been some advance legwork on
whether Runway 18/36 is capable of handling a 747 with a Shuttle riding
piggyback, and so far, so good. “Wouldn’t it be cool?” Smith said.
As would SpaceShipTwo (VSS Enterprise) and
WhiteKnightTwo (VMS Eve), Virgin Galactic’s planned vehicles to take
paying passengers into space.
The Commemorative Air Force has already
confirmed it will bring the world’s only flying B-29, FIFI, here in 2011
as part of its Red, White, and Loud tour with country singer Aaron Tippin.
CAF just missed having the plane here this year. Another strong
possibility that was hoped for this year is Boeing’s new 787 airliner.
While EAA’s plans evolve in the coming
year, Smith invites others to chime in with their suggestions. “We’re
open to your ideas, be it a theme, group arrival, whatever, and the sooner
the better.” E-mail him at asmith@EAA.org.
with Adam Smith