DEARBORN, Mich., July 11, 2012 – Returning for its 13th consecutive year as exclusive automotive partner of the world’s greatest aviation celebration, Ford Motor Company will bring new attractions and fan favorites to 2012 Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) AirVenture Oshkosh. The popular Ford Hangar will feature interactive attractions and some of the latest advances in automobile technology, as well as many of the industry’s most revered classics, all on the grounds of Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, Wis.
This year, Ford's commitment to bringing first-rate entertainment and attractions to the EAA annual convention includes an opening day concert featuring The Steve Miller Band, the “Great Escape” Ferris wheel, the “Fusion EcoBoost” Ejection Bungee, the “Dyno Challenge” where owners can win a trip to an NHRA race, nearly 100 Ford Tri-Motor rides, expanded car shows and an evening dedicated to the blues. EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2012 takes place July 23 to July 29, a week in which Wittman becomes the busiest airport in the world. The event attracted 541,000 attendees in 2011.
Ford will donate a one-of-a-kind, Tuskegee Airmen-inspired 2013 “Red Tails” Edition Mustang for auction to support the EAA Young Eagles program. This nonprofit organization has provided free introductory flights to more than 1.6 million young people since 1992, helping inspire and motivate the next generation of leaders, aviators and innovators. Ford’s unique vehicles have become star properties for collectors and attendees, garnering more than $1.5 million to benefit the Young Eagles’ efforts.
EAA AirVenture 2012, the 60th edition of the event, attracts 10,000 aircraft each year, including 2,500 show planes, and is expected to draw more than 500,000 aviation enthusiasts from more than 70 countries.
All Ford events and attractions are free and open to all EAA AirVenture attendees. Additionally, Ford offers a special Partner Recognition vehicle purchase plan to EAA members.
“EAA AirVenture is an opportunity for us to celebrate our aviation roots and share our innovations with a very tech-savvy audience. We look forward to this event every year,” said Edsel B. Ford II, a member of Ford’s Board of Directors. “This year will be special. The ‘Red Tails’ Mustang we are donating to the EAA Young Eagles is a tribute to a group of brave patriots who put their lives on the line for their country.”
Steve Miller Band to Rock Opening Day
Iconic American rockers Steve Miller Band will play for a crowd of thousands of aviation enthusiasts on EAA AirVenture opening day. Ford is the presenting sponsor of the concert, which is free to all AirVenture guests. Concert activities will begin at 6 p.m., Monday, July 23 adjacent to the Ford Hangar, with The Steve Miller Band taking the stage at 7p.m. Founded by a Wisconsin native, The Steve Miller Band’s music is recognized around the world. The group has sold more than 30 million records, including 12 Top 40 albums. No. 1 hit singles include “The Joker,” “Abracadabra” and “Rock’n Me.” Other favorites are “Fly Like an Eagle” and “Jet Airliner.”
Ford Presents the “Fly-In Theater”
Ford Motor Company returns this year as presenting sponsor of the EAA AirVenture "Fly-In Theater." Located adjacent to EAA’s Camp Scholler camping area, this open-air Fly-In Theater will offer free evening entertainment for attendees. Each evening at approximately 8:30 p.m., thousands of patrons will watch free aviation-themed movies on the theater’s five-story screen while sitting under the night sky. Each feature will be introduced by a celebrity presenter or legendary aviator. The 2012 lineup includes Edsel B. Ford II, Director/Producer George Lucas, Tuskegee Airmen, David Ellison and Director Christian Frey.
Expanded Cruisin' Legends Collector Car Show
The popularity of the Ford Cruisin’ Legends classic car show at EAA AirVenture continues to grow. This year, guests can see even more spectacular performance machines than ever. Cruisin’ Legends will be host to the Dyno Challenge and Model T rides. In the Dyno Challenge, attendees showcasing their vehicles in Cruisin’ Legends will have the opportunity to see whose vehicle generates the best performance numbers.
The featured themes: Monday, July 23 and Tuesday, July 24 - Hot Rod Heaven; Wednesday, July 25 – Fabulous Thunderbirds and Tough Trucks; Thursday, July 26 to Saturday, July 28 – Mustang Stampede.
EAA’s “Super Saturday” Transforms Ford Hangar into “Ford Hangar of Blues”
Ford will present Da BLOOZE Bros as an added bonus to EAA’s “Super Saturday” on July 28. The “ultimate tribute band” to The Blues Brothers will take center stage for an energetic blues set, beginning at 6:30 p.m., as the Ford Hangar is transformed into the “Ford Hangar of Blues.”
Da BLOOZE Bros is led by real brothers Geoff and Chris Dahl. Their seven-piece band is one of only three groups worldwide officially sanctioned by Dan Aykroyd and the John Belushi estate for live performance of the legendary The Blues Brothers material.
Model T Experience
Henry Ford’s Model T revolutionized the consumer automobile industry when it hit the market in 1908. More than 100 years later, thousands of EAA AirVenture attendees will join Ford in celebrating the innovation by taking rides in any of several Model Ts on site with members of the Model T Ford Club of America. Experience a ride in a Model T on Monday through Friday during AirVenture, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Cruisin’ Legends show area.
Ferris Wheel, Bungee Launch, Autographs, Freebies, Rock Wall and Other Attractions
The Ford Hangar, located at Phillips 66 Plaza, is one of the most popular attractions at AirVenture each year. Technology on display at the Ford Hangar will include Ford’s breadth of Hybrid, Plug-in Hybrid, All-Electric and EcoBoost vehicles and accompanying fuel economy and emissions performance capabilities.
The Ford Hangar also will feature "Autograph HQ” with celebrities, aviation enthusiasts, legendary performers and other special guests on site at various times throughout the course of the event, interacting with fans and signing autographs. Several air show performers, including the Aero Shell Team, WWII Ace Bud Anderson, Vietnam Pilot General Dan Cherry and SR-71 pilots are among the personalities scheduled to sign autographs for fans at the Ford Hangar this year.
Ford will add even more excitement to the AirVenture 2012 experience with two new additions – the “Great Escape” Ferris wheel and the Fusion EcoBoost bungee launch.
The “Great Escape” Ferris wheel, standing 50 feet high, will boast the Ford oval as its center and offer its passengers one of the best vantage points at AirVenture. Hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday.
The Fusion EcoBoost bungee launches riders 45 feet into the air and will be located near Autograph HQ. Hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Monday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday.
Ford Hangar guests will have the opportunity to test their racing skills with the Ford Fiesta Rally Simulator, experience the Laguna Seca race track, and enjoy designing their own GT model and putting it through its paces with the SEGA Ford Racing Game. Campers should watch for the Ford Transit Connect distributing free ice cream each evening in the campgrounds. And, Ford will offer Hangar visitors a chance to win a ride on a Ford Tri-Motor aircraft.
For more information on EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2012, visit http://www.AirVenture.org.
Ford and Flight: A History of Firsts
Ford Motor Company’s historical connection to air transportation will be evident throughout the automobile manufacturer’s presence at EAA AirVenture. Ford’s association with flight dates back all the way to the company’s beginnings in 1903, the same year as the Wright brothers’ historic flight. Ford’s history in aviation includes a period in which the company was the world’s largest aircraft manufacturer.
After World War I, having already put the nation on wheels, Henry Ford decided to take the United States into the air, and in 1925 built the first Ford Tri-Motor airplane. The Tri-Motor was the first to be used by the country’s commercial airlines. Nicknamed the “Tin Goose,” it also was the United States’ first all-metal, multi-engine transport. The first Ford Airlines flight took off in 1925 and in 1926 made the first domestic airmail flight for the U.S. Government.
Henry Ford’s efforts paved the way for modern commercial air travel, including the construction of the world’s first modern airport and first concrete runway. Henry Ford also brought the famed assembly line production system to aviation in World War II, as Ford produced one B-24 Liberator bomber per hour at the height of need by Allied forces. In 1984, Henry Ford was enshrined in the National Aviation Hall of Fame, and in 2002, was recognized as one of only 12 aviation pioneers by the U.S. Centennial of Flight Commission.
About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 166,000 employees and about 70 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford’s products, please visit www.ford.com.