|A diverse array of Ford models can be seen on display at the Ford Pavilion. (photo by Phil Weston)
|Thomas Mahard performing the part of Henry Ford in the Ford Pavilion. (photo by Phil Weston)
July 28, 2013 - Returning for its 14th consecutive year as exclusive automotive sponsor of The World's Greatest Aviation Celebration, Ford Motor Company will bring exciting attractions and fan favorites to EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2013.
The popular Ford Hangar will feature interactive attractions and some of the latest advances in automobile technology all on the grounds of Wittman Regional Airport.
This year, Ford's commitment to bringing first-rate entertainment and attractions to the EAA annual convention includes an opening day concert featuring Chicago, a pre-premiere of Disney's Planes at the Fly-In Theater, the 60-foot Raptor RC Racing Track, the EcoBoost Extreme Bungee Slingshot, and an evening dedicated to the blues.
All Ford events and attractions are free and open to all EAA AirVenture attendees. Additionally, Ford offers a special Partner Recognition vehicle purchase plan to EAA members.
Chicago returns to rock opening day
Ford will present legendary American rock band Chicago in encore to the group's 2010 performance as the EAA AirVenture opening day feature concert, free of charge to all AirVenture guests that day. Concert activities will begin at 6 p.m., Monday, July 29 on Phillips 66 Plaza, adjacent to the Ford Hangar, with Chicago taking the stage at 7 p.m. Chicago is one of the longest performing and most successful U.S. pop/rock and roll groups, selling more than 120 million albums worldwide. Over the course of the group's career, Chicago has charted five No. 1 albums and 21 top 10 hits.
U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds Edition Mustang
Ford again is donating the 2014 U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds Edition Mustang GT, specially built for AirVenture, to support the EAA Young Eagles program. This nonprofit organization has provided free introductory flights to more than 1.7 million young people since 1992, helping inspire and motivate the next generation of leaders, aviators, and innovators.
This one-of-a-kind car is VIN 0001. The design of the modified 2014 Mustang GT 5.0-liter glass-roof coupe exudes a creative connection to the Thunderbirds, with a contemporary flair for the serious collector, including wide body modifications and a handcrafted and painted "belly pan" that emulates the F-16 Thunderbird appearance.
Ford Design Manager Melvin Betancourt and Mustang Chief Nameplate Engineer Dave Pericak led the design and engineering teams, TS Designs handcrafted the front and rear wide body elements, Creations n' Chrome crafted the unique belly pan - plus applied the paint and markings - and Forgiato created custom 22-inch wheels to further differentiate this Mustang from anything else on the road.
Ford's unique vehicles have become star properties for collectors and attendees, garnering nearly $2 million to benefit the Young Eagles' efforts.
"This year's participation in EAA AirVenture is an especially important year for us to celebrate our aviation roots and automotive innovations as we commemorate the 150th anniversary of Henry Ford's birthday and the 60th anniversary of the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds," said Edsel B. Ford II, a member of the Ford board of directors. "This U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds Edition Mustang GT we are donating to the EAA Young Eagles is a tribute to the fastest flying, multi-jet flight demonstration team in the world, yet ready for battle at a moment's notice."
Ford presents the EAA Fly-In Theater
Ford Motor Company will again serve as the presenting sponsor of the EAA Fly-In Theater. Located adjacent to EAA's Camp Scholler camping area, the open-air Fly-In Theater offers free evening entertainment for attendees. Each evening at approximately 8:30 p.m. (9:30 p.m. on Wednesday and Saturday), thousands of patrons will watch free aviation-themed movies on the theater's five-story screen while sitting under the night sky. Special this year, the Fly-In Theater will feature a pre-premiere screening of Disney's Planes on Friday, August 2, before the film's theatrical opening on August 9. The 2013 lineup also includes Iron Man 2, Skyfall, The Avengers, The Terminal, and others.
Saturday "Party on the Plaza" to feature Da BLOOZE Bros
Ford welcomes back Da BLOOZE Bros for the Party on the Plaza during EAA's Super Saturday at 10 p.m. on August 3. The ultimate tribute band to The Blues Brothers will take center stage for an energetic blues set as the Ford Hangar is transformed into the Ford Hangar of Blues.
Da BLOOZE Bros is led by real brothers Geoff and Chris Dahl. Their seven-piece band is one of only three groups worldwide officially sanctioned by Dan Aykroyd and the John Belushi estate for live performance of legendary material from The Blues Brothers.
Model T experience
Henry Ford's Model T revolutionized the consumer automobile industry when it hit the market in 1908. More than 100 years later, thousands of EAA AirVenture attendees will join Ford in celebrating the innovation by taking rides in any of several Model Ts on-site with members of the Model T Ford Club of America. Experience a ride in a Model T on Monday through Friday during AirVenture, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Ford Hangar.
New this year
The Lincoln Pavilion will showcase the new Lincoln MKZ and live painting by aviation artist Michelle Rouch, and the Ford Hangar will host the Transit Talent Search. Using green screen technology, the talent contest can host groups of up to six performers at a time, superimposing players' heads onto animated dancing bodies, with a variety of popular tunes to choose from.
The Ford Hangar is one of the most popular attractions at AirVenture each year. Technology on display includes Ford's breadth of hybrid, plug-in hybrid, all-electric, and EcoBoost vehicles, as well as the Ford Atlas Concept, a preview of innovations for the new F-Series line of pickups.
In commemoration of the 150th anniversary of Henry Ford's birth, guests to the Ford Hangar will have the opportunity to meet "Henry Ford" as he serves as master of ceremonies throughout the week. Not only will he provide anecdotes linking the past with the present, he will review information about the displays within the Hangar.
The Ford Hangar area also will feature Autograph HQ with celebrities, aviation enthusiasts, legendary performers, and other special guests on-site at various times throughout the course of the event, interacting with fans and signing autographs.
The EcoBoost Extreme Bungee propels riders 45 feet into the air and will be located near Autograph HQ. Ford Hangar guests can test their racing skills with the Raptor RC Racing Track and the Ford Fiesta Rally Simulator. The Raptor RC Racing Track is 60 feet in length and includes obstacles sure to keep remote-control drivers on their toes as they attempt to beat the competition.
Campers should watch for the Ford Transit Connect distributing free ice cream each evening in the campgrounds. And, back by popular demand, the Ford Hangar will again offer the Ford AirVenture straw cowboy hats at Autograph HQ.
To stay connected to all Ford EAA AirVenture news, connect with the Ford EAA AirVenture team on Twitter or visit www.FordAirventure.com.
Ford and flight: A history of firsts
Ford Motor Company's historical connection to air transportation will be evident throughout the automobile manufacturer's presence at EAA AirVenture. Ford's association with flight dates back all the way to the company's beginnings in 1903, the same year as the Wright brothers' historic flight. Ford's history in aviation includes a period in which the company was the world's largest aircraft manufacturer.
After World War I, having already put the nation on wheels, Henry Ford decided to take the United States into the air, and in 1925 built the first Ford Tri-Motor airplane. The Tri-Motor was the first to be used by the country's commercial airlines.
Nicknamed the "Tin Goose," it also was the United States' first all-metal, multi-engine transport. The first Ford Airlines flight took off in 1925 and in 1926 made the first domestic airmail flight for the U.S. government.
Henry Ford's efforts paved the way for modern commercial air travel, including the construction of the world's first modern airport and first concrete runway. Henry Ford also brought the famed assembly line production system to aviation in World War II, as Ford produced one B-24 Liberator bomber per hour at the height of need by Allied forces. In 1984, Henry Ford was enshrined in the National Aviation Hall of Fame, and in 2002 was recognized as one of only 12 aviation pioneers by the U.S. Centennial of Flight Commission.