Rare, Pioneering Aircraft Highlight Vintage Showcase at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2010

EAA AVIATION CENTER, OSHKOSH, Wis. - (June 11, 2010) - Rare vintage aircraft will be on hand to showcase the early years of flight at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2010 on July 26-August 1 at Wittman Regional Airport as part of "The World's Greatest Aviation Celebration."

Among the pioneering aircraft present will be an original Hamilton H-47 Metalplane, plus replicas of a 1909 Bleriot XI, Avions Caudron C.460, and five warbirds from World War I as part of the week-long "Salute to Veterans" commemoration.

"As always at AirVenture, history will be on full display through vintage aircraft," said Adam Smith, EAA vice president of membership. "These re-creations are products of a vision, hard work encompassing thousands of hours, and a passion for keeping the spirit of these pioneers alive for aviation enthusiasts to enjoy for generations to come."

Building of the replica 1909 Bleriot XI monoplane, the same model Louis Bleriot designed, built, and flew over the English Channel more than 100 years ago, was completed recently after three years of work by EAA staff and volunteers. The engine is an original three-cylinder radial Anzani "Fan-Type" (W-3), originally built in 1910 and re-built by EAA volunteers. During the past two AirVentures, the Anzani was fired up during daily engine runs in the EAA Workshops area while volunteers worked on the airframe in a nearby tent.

Another replica with French ties, an Avions Caudron C.460 racer, will appear at AirVenture for the first time after its completion in 2009. The construction of the racer, funded by EAA President's Council member Tom Wathen, was built by Mark Lightsey and his colleagues at Aerocraftsman, Inc., and recent graduates of the Wathen Aviation High School in Riverside, Calif. The sleek, blue Caudron C.460 replica is the same size and design to the original, which flew for the first time in 1934. The only change is the engine, which is a Fairchild Ranger in place of the original 6-cylinder Renault Bengali.

The one-of-a-kind Hamilton H-47 Metalplane, recently purchased at auction by Seattle businessman Howard Wright III for $671,000, will appear at AirVenture as the only surviving airworthy version of the 29 ever manufactured. Built in 1929, this aircraft underwent a three-year restoration that finished in 1975 and features a Pratt & Whitney Hornet engine. It won the Reserve Grand Champion Antique award during that year's EAA Fly-In, as well as other prestigious awards.

"It's been 35 years since the Hamilton Metalplane was displayed in the Antique parking area during the EAA Convention, and we're pleased that Mr. Wright has decided to share the airplane with AirVenture attendees before the airplane is moved to the northwestern United States," said H.G. Frautschy, EAA Vintage Aircraft Association executive director. "The Hamilton will be parked in the vicinity of the VAA's Red Barn headquarters, just south of Aeroshell Square."

Attendees will also have the opportunity to see five World War I replicas, including four courtesy of Vintage Aero Flying Museum of Hudson, Colo. - a Fokker Dr.1 triplane, Fokker D.VII, Fokker D.VIII, and a 7/8-scale Royal Aircraft Factory S.E.5a. Additionally, a sampling of artifacts, including uniforms, decorations, and logbooks, from both sides of the war also will be displayed near AeroShell Square.

They will join the S.E.5a already in Oshkosh for AirVenture. Jack Kearby, who spent almost 12,000 hours over six years creating this replica, flew the famous World War I fighter from Tulsa, Okla., into EAA's Pioneer Airport on May 27. The replica features some original parts, including a Vickers machine gun, landing gear wheel rims, windshield, and a WWI-era Hisso engine.

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.