Editor's Viewpoint

Wisconsin is a mecca in July for aviation enthusiasts. The Experimental Aircraft Association’s AirVenture draws attendees from around the world.

And with the news reports of reduced capacity from the airlines and the resulting impact in the employment area, it’s great that there is somewhere to go to celebrate aviation.

EAA AirVenture, “the world’s greatest aviation celebration,” runs from July 28 to August 3 in Oshkosh, WI.

Military aircraft that will be on display include two U.S. Air Force Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptors (with flight demos), the Glacier Girl P-38 Lightning aircraft, and the Warbirds of America airshows with P-51, F4U Corsair, MK 5 Spitfire, Hellcat, and Helldiver aircraft.

More from the historial aspect of aviation will include the celebrations of the 70th year of the T-6 trainer and the 50th anniversary of the Nanchang CJ-6 Chinese military trainer. The RedStar Pilot’s Association, the owners’ group for these Chinese-built military trainer aircraft, is organizing the Oshkosh activities in honor of the golden anniversary with cooperation of the EAA Warbirds of America. One of the highlights will be a 50-airplane formation during the warbird segment of the EAA AirVenture afternoon air show on Wednesday, July 30. And Darrell Collins will be speaking daily at the museum on the Wright Brothers and the Wright Flyer. (See Recip Technology in this issue.)

A Boeing 40C has been restored in Washington and will make an appearance. The Boeing 40C was built between 1925 and 1931; this aircraft is the only flying Boeing Model 40 in the world. It will be located near the Vintage Aircraft Association Red Barn south of the AeroShell Square.

To recognize homebuilt aircraft, the 30,000th homebuilt aircraft will be honored at the show. To be eligible the aircraft must be flown to Oshkosh and be registered in the amateur-built category in 2008. The winner will be selected Tuesday evening with a drawing and recognized with an award and at the Homebuilders Dinner on Thursday, July 31.

Besides the aircraft there will be demonstrations, training sessions, movies with actors/pilots such as Harrison Ford and Cliff Robertson, and concerts featuring the Beach Boys and Aaron Tippin, an A&P. Or you could have your favorite aviation book signed by the author during the week.

The airshow is every afternoon at 3:30 with stars such as Patty Wagstaff, Julie Clark, Mike Goulian, Mike Mancuso, and Gene Soucy.

Come and celebrate aviation! See you there!

— Barb Zuehlke, Managing Editor