EAA AirVenture Oshkosh - The World's Greatest Aviation Celebration

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EAA AirVenture Oshkosh RSS FeedMajor Gathering of Rutan-Designed Aircraft Expected at AirVenture 2011
Burt's first aircraft design: the VariViggen.
Burt Rutan's 'Boomerang' appeared in 1996.
SpaceShip2 is the latest Rutan design we've seen.
Paying tribute to an aviation legend responsible for many unique aircraft designs, EAA AirVenture 2011 will salute Burt Rutan with a special day of recognition along with dedicated programs and attractions. The 59th annual edition of "The World's Greatest Aviation Celebration" will be held July 25-31 at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh.

In addition to marking the 25th anniversary of Rutan's Voyager aircraft around the world flight, AirVenture 2011 will include a "Tribute to Burt Rutan" Day on Thursday, July 28.

Rutan, EAA 26033, founder and chief technical officer of Scaled Composites in Mojave, California, recently announced his retirement effective April 2011 and will assume the title of Scaled's founder and chairman emeritus. He is best known for his unique, innovative airplane designs, many of which were first seen by eager homebuilders annually at AirVenture. Planes like the VariViggen (his first design), VariEze, and Long-EZ (his self-described "best" homebuilt); one-off marvels like the Boomerang, Voyager, GlobalFlyer, Grizzly, and SpaceShipOne; and, most recently, SpaceShipTwo and WhiteKnightTwo made their public debuts at Oshkosh.

EAA is working with builder, owner, and pilot groups to encourage a major gathering of Rutan-designed aircraft at AirVenture 2011, and will also create a special parking area for them on the flight line. Those with with Rutan-designed aircraft flying to AirVenture or who are looking to participate in the Rutan tribute festivities are asked to e-mail EAA.

"EAA has been a critical component of my career since 1972," said Rutan, a 1998 inductee into the Homebuilders wing of the EAA Hall of Fame. "Our annual trips to Oshkosh were the highlight of our business year and the interface with homebuilders, both at tent forums and on the flightline, were critical to the success of the builders and me personally."

Well-known Rutan aircraft designs will also be on prominent display and serve as a backdrop for various presentations during the week, as well as featured in the afternoon air show on Thursday, July 28.

"Burt is certainly an aviation icon and a pioneering visionary in the homebuilt movement," said Tom Poberezny, EAA and AirVenture chairman. "Burt has been such an integral part of our convention. His designs are a staple on the flight line at Oshkosh, and attendees will marvel at the wide variety of innovation on display."

EAA's AirVenture Museum will also highlight its several significant Rutan airplanes in its collection, including the VariViggen and VariEze prototypes, Amsoil racer, Grizzly, Voyager fuselage mock-up, Solitaire, Williams V Jet II, and the SpaceShipOne feathering mock-up. Other activities will include flying displays, a special program at Theater in the Woods, and presentations.

More features, programs, and attractions paying tribute to Rutan will be announced as they are confirmed.

Rutan graduated from Cal Poly in 1965 and went to work for the Air Force as a flight test project engineer. He founded the Rutan Aircraft Factory in 1974 to develop experimental aircraft designs for homebuilders, and then founded Scaled Composites in 1982.

"The lessons I learned from EAA and AirVenture continue to help me reach my goals at Scaled Composites, and helped me in the development of the Catbird and the Boomerang after the RAF business closed in 1985," Rutan said.

Advance purchase admission tickets and camping for AirVenture 2011 are now available at a discounted rate at www.airventure.org/tickets.

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