EAA AirVenture DC-3 75th Anniversary Celebration Taking Shape for Grand Entrance

EAA AVIATION CENTER, OSHKOSH, Wis. - (March 4, 2010) - Possibly the largest gathering of DC-3 aircraft since the 1940s is committed to the aircraft's 75th anniversary commemoration during EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, coming July 26-August 1 at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh.

That celebration includes what could be a 40-airplane mass arrival at Oshkosh on Monday, July 26 - the opening day of the 58th annual edition of AirVenture. Aircraft and DC-3 enthusiasts from around the world have already committed to participate in the event, including many aircraft that have never before been seen at Oshkosh. In all, as many as 50 or more DC-3s (or its military counterparts, the C-47 and R4D) could be at the event.

"When we first suggested the DC-3 75th anniversary party, we thought as many as 25 aircraft might make for an outstanding program," said Tom Poberezny, EAA president and AirVenture chairman. "The response has been far beyond our greatest expectations and now will be one of the greatest aircraft reunions ever seen at Oshkosh, with more surprises to come."

The mass arrival fly-in was capped at 40 aircraft, which will stage at Whiteside County Airport in Sterling/Rock Falls, Ill., beginning on Saturday, July 24, with support provided by M & M Aviation. Following a media day and dinner on July 25, the formation's pilots will have their full safety briefing on Monday morning, July 26, prior to the public departure for Oshkosh. The full group, with a combined 96,000 horsepower, is scheduled to arrive at AirVenture in time to open that day's afternoon air show with an unforgettable flyover.

The previous world record for a DC-3 formation is 27 aircraft in 1985. Those aircraft not participating in the mass arrival will arrive at Oshkosh on their own schedule and be part of the many activities surrounding the DC-3 anniversary.

In addition, a special guest "mystery aircraft" - rarely seen in flight - will be part of the mass arrival. That's airplane's identity and pilot will be announced on the www.thelasttime.org website that is the host website for the mass arrival. That website is also posting "Hero FBOs" that are offering fuel and food discounts for DC-3 crews heading to Oshkosh; as well as a diary section that welcomes DC-3 fans to post their own fond remembrances of the iconic airplane.

Other activities honoring the DC-3 and its military cousins include an evening program at EAA's Theater in the Woods; a series of forums and presentations throughout the week at AirVenture; DC-3 aircraft flying skydiving teams during the afternoon air shows; special movie presentations at the Fly-In Theater; and other activities. A number of aviation personalities involved with the development and flight operations of the DC-3 will also be guests at AirVenture.

"We appreciate all the efforts of dedicated volunteers who are helping make this celebration possible," Poberezny said. "There is already an enormous 'buzz' around this once-in-a-lifetime event for the DC-3, and the military C-47 and R4D versions, which also fits very well with this year's 'Salute to Veterans' activities at Oshkosh."

Complete presentation schedules will be posted at www.airventure.org as they are finalized.

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.

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