OSHKOSH, WI -- A century of powered flight in Canada will be among the featured highlights of EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2009, "The World's Greatest Aviation Celebration," when the 57th annual fly-in convention takes place July 27-Aug. 2 at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh.
Canadian pilots and aircraft will be at Oshkosh to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the flight of the Silver Dart by John Alexander Douglas McCurdy at Baddeck Bay, Nova Scotia, on Feb. 23, 1909. It was the first successful manned, powered flight in Canada and the British Commonwealth. Events in Canada throughout the year will also recognize the anniversary.
"We're very much looking forward to helping our Canadian EAA members and aviation enthusiasts celebrate this grand occasion," says Tom Poberezny, EAA president and AirVenture chairman. "It's a marvelous opportunity to showcase the heritage and contributions of Canadian aviation to the entire world of flight at Oshkosh."
Thousands of Canadian aviation enthusiasts annually trek to Oshkosh to participate at EAA AirVenture, the largest yearly contingent among the thousands of international visitors at the event, which in 2008 welcomed visitors from 70 nations. A number of aircraft and activities are being planned to honor the Canadian flight centennial.
"EAA AirVenture 2009's recognition of 100 years of flight in Canada is a magnificent opportunity to show our global friends the contributions, spirit and pride of Canadian aviation," says Jack Dueck, an EAA member from High River, Alberta, who edits the Bits & Pieces newsletter for EAA members in Canada. "If you're one of those Canadians who dreamed of one day making it to Oshkosh, this is the year to do it! We can show our proud colours at AirVenture during our flight centennial year with the entire world of flight."
Among Canadian aircraft and pilots that have been a part of the EAA AirVenture celebration in the past include the Snowbirds aerobatic team, the world's only flying Lancaster bomber in Royal Canadian Air Force markings, and dozens of unique homebuilt, vintage and other aircraft. Many Canadian EAA members have also been Oshkosh volunteers during the event for a half-century.
Canadian EAA members have also revitalized the EAA Canadian Council, which has long supported recreational aviation activities in Canada. The Canadian Council will coordinate the centennial activities at Oshkosh in 2009.
Specific programs and activities will be announced as they are finalized. As those activities are confirmed, complete information will be available at www.airventure.org.