EAA AVIATION CENTER, OSHKOSH, Wis. — (Dec. 29, 2010) — Aircraft that played a key role in one of the greatest military and industrial achievements during World War II will be showcased at EAA AirVenture 2011 thanks to the support of Vintage Wings of Canada. The 59th annual edition of “The World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration” will be held July 25-31 at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh.
Vintage Wings of Canada, an aviation museum based in Quebec that acquires, restores, maintains and flies classic aircraft significant to the early history of powered flight, will bring four aircraft from its Yellow Wings Tour honoring the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP) – North American Harvard IV, Fleet Finch II, Fairchild Cornell MK II, and de Havilland Tiger Moth, all painted in the distinctive yellow scheme for training aircraft. Additionally, Fairey Swordfish Mk III and Westland Lysander IIIA will also appear courtesy of Vintage Wings of Canada.
BCATP was a massive exercise in planning, construction and community involvement that trained hundreds of thousands of airmen from Canada, the British Commonwealth and the United States between 1939 and 1945. It remains the single largest aviation training program in history and was responsible for training nearly half the pilots, navigators, bombardiers, air gunners, wireless operators and flight engineers who served in their respective air forces.
“It’s quite an honor for Vintage Wings to bring the stories of the BCATP to Canadians and Americans as we commemorate an extraordinary period in both our nation’s rich aviation history,” said Rob Fleck, President of Vintage Wings of Canada. “BCATP was a massive wartime undertaking that brought great importance to the free world that inspired U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt to refer Canada as the Aerodrome of Democracy.
“The Yellow Wings Tour is made possible by many enthusiastic supporters who share in the goal of preserving aviation recreation, culture and history. Among those supporters are the Canadian Owners and Pilots Association (COPA), Canada Aviation and Space Museum, Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, and EAA.”
EAA will be hosting a free webinar on the history of the British Commonwealth Aircraft Training Plan on Monday, Feb. 7 at 7 p.m. CST. For more information and to register, visit www2.gotomeeting.com/register/338907347.
“We thank Vintage Wings of Canada for its commitment to preserving aviation history and for bringing its Yellow Wings project and the valued collection of warbirds to Oshkosh,” said Tom Poberezny, EAA and AirVenture chairman. “World War II warbirds are always a one of the more popular attractions at AirVenture because they give attendees a historical perspective of aviation’s formative years.”
The Fairey Swordfish MK III biplane was considered one of the finest naval aircraft of World War II and was the only Allied aircraft in continuous production from before the start of hostilities through the end of the war. The Westland Lysander IIIA equipped six RAF squadrons in France for artillery spotting, reconnaissance, and other communications tasks during the first year of the war, and went on to become a significant multi-role aircraft after the fall of France.
Owners of Canadian WWII training aircraft are invited to participate in festivities at AirVenture 2011 by contacting Bill Fischer, Warbirds of America executive director, at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on Vintage Wings of Canada and its Yellow Wings Tour, visit www.vintagewings.ca and www.yellowwings.ca.
AirVenture 2011 has been classified a Tier 1 event by the U.S. Navy as it celebrates the Centennial of Naval Aviation throughout next year. Several top-level attractions will commemorate this notable anniversary as well as 100th anniversary of air mail service. Special themed days planned are “Tribute to Bob Hoover” Day on Tuesday, July 26, Navy Day on Wednesday, July 27, and “Tribute to Burt Rutan” Day on Thursday, July 28.
Advance purchase admission tickets and camping for AirVenture 2011 are now available at a discounted rate at www.airventure.org/tickets.
EAA AIRVENTURE OSHKOSH is The World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration and EAA’s yearly membership convention. Additional EAA AirVenture information, including advance ticket and camping purchase, is available online at www.airventure.org. EAA members receive lowest prices on admission rates. For more information on EAA and its programs, call 1-800-JOIN-EAA (1-800-564-6322) or visit www.eaa.org. Immediate news is available at www.twitter.com/EAAupdate.