EAA AVIATION CENTER, OSHKOSH, Wis. - (July 31, 2009) -
On one of the largest attendance days in the EAA convention's 57-year history, an enormous crowd enjoyed one of AirVenture's most memorable air shows.
After thousands of convention attendees toured the Airbus A380, it performed one last flight demonstration as it departed today. The one-of-a-kind Virgin Galactic Mothership "Eve" also performed a flight demonstration showing off the space launch vehicle's unique design, performance and grace.
The Warbirds Extravaganza then took over with pyrotechnics highlighting the show. The fiery air show was one of two that the Warbirds will demonstrate; the next is Saturday.
WomenVenture, the second annual gathering of female aviators, celebrated women in flight and inspired and motivated women of all ages. Consistent with the WomenVenture theme, a major segment of the air show spotlighted an all-female slate of aerobatic performers and pilots. Earlier, hundreds of female aviators gathered in AeroShell Square for a group photo to commemorate today's activities.
The evening begins with a Women in Aviation presentation at Theater in the Woods. Colonel Eileen Collins, Space Shuttle Commander and U. S. Air Force pilot; Lieutenant Jill Long, U.S. Air Force pilot; Wally Funk, one of the Mercury 13; and Jessica Cox, pilot born without arms, will speak of their personal strides as women in what is widely considered a male-dominated discipline. Afterwards, US Airways Flight 1549 Captain Sully Sullenberger and Co-Pilot Jeff Skiles will share their own personal experience of that faithful day when they had to ditch their airliner in the Hudson River.
With today's A380 departure and tomorrow's VMS Eve departure, arrivals such as the C-17 Globemaster III, along with a C-5 and an F-15 arrived to fill AeroShell Square with modern military aircraft.
Tomorrow, EAA AirVenture Oshkosh will make wishes come true for six special children as it hosts the 16th annual Make-A-Wish Day. Dreams of aviation will be reached as each child and their family embark on a special journey that includs Bell 47 helicopter rides, personal tours of the Virgin Mothership Eve, Young Eagle rides in the Ford Tri-Motor, exploration of the KidVenture Zone, a tour of the air traffic control tower, and an opportunity to meet with air show performers and EAA President Tom Poberezny.
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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The Airbus A380 will be open for public tours on Wednesday and Thursday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and again on Friday from 9 a.m.-12 noon.
The first air show of the 57th convention was slightly cut short due to inclement weather, but not before a thunderous show by an F-16 and a partial Warbirds demonstration.