OSHKOSH, WI -- Nearly a quarter century ago, British Airways' supersonic Concorde passenger jet made a historic landing at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh. That appearance, the first of five at Oshkosh for Concorde, was a turning point for the aircraft and for EAA's annual fly-in convention.
The Concordes are now retired and no longer flying, but the memories of those trips to Oshkosh are still vivid for many people. At EAA AirVenture 2009 from July 27-Aug. 2, those recollections and stories will once again take center stage in "Concorde Reunion" activities planned the fly-in, known as "The World's Greatest Aviation Celebration." The event honors the 40th anniversary of the prototype Concorde's first flight over Europe in 1969.
"Concorde's visits changed the way EAA members looked at their event and the way the aviation world looked at Oshkosh. We're looking forward to seeing old friends once again and sharing stories about this magnificent airplane."
Concorde made its first visit to Oshkosh in 1985, and returned to Wittman Regional Airport in 1988, 1990, 1994, and 1998. Hundreds of thousands of visitors got their first, and many times only, close-up look at a supersonic passenger airliner. In addition, hundreds of EAA fly-in attendees had the opportunity to fly in Concorde during hour-long subsonic flights based from Oshkosh.
Among the already confirmed activities during the Concorde Reunion at Oshkosh are:
- Daily forums on Concorde history and operations;
- An evening program highlighting the history of Concorde on Wednesday, July 29, at Theater in the Woods;
- Showings of the 1985 "Mach 2 to Oshkosh" film, a first-person account by the late Bob Collins, longtime EAA member and Chicago-area radio personality;
- A Concorde Reunion luncheon on Wednesday, July 29, at the EAA Nature Center for flight crews involved with the Oshkosh appearances, as well as those who flew on the flights to Oshkosh or the local flights based at Oshkosh.
The Harrier is scheduled to arrive on Monday, July 28, and depart following the daily air show on Wednesday, July 30.
Fly-in convention will represent the entire spectrum of flight.
The 56th annual edition of EAA's fly-in convention takes place July 28-August 3.
The full group, with a combined 96,000 horsepower, is scheduled to arrive at AirVenture in time to open Monday's July 26 afternoon air show.