DEARBORN, Mich. – Returning for its 16th consecutive year as exclusive automotive sponsor for the world’s greatest aviation celebration, Ford Motor Company will bring exciting activities and family favorites to the 2015 Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) AirVenture Oshkosh. The popular Ford Hangar will feature state-of-the-art, interactive attractions; the latest advances in automotive technology; showcase its Performance lineup; and display extraordinary concept vehicles: all on the grounds of Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, Wis.
Ford's commitment to bringing first-rate entertainment and unique experiences to the EAA annual convention soars to new heights with an opening day concert featuring country superstar Dierks Bentley; the nightly Fly-In Movie Theater with blockbuster and classic aviation films, introduced by notable presenters; the Raptor Rock Wall, Tough Tumblers Bungee Trampolines, the new “No Boundaries” Gyrotron; and the Saturday evening concert from Hotel California, The Original Eagles Tribute Band. EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015 takes place July 20 to July 26, a week in which Wittman Airport becomes the busiest airport in the world.
EAA AirVenture attracts 10,000 aircraft each year and is expected to draw more than 500,000 aviation enthusiasts from more than 60 countries, hosting more than 45,000 campers.
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, plus an additional $750 special incentive, on top of any other national incentive, toward the purchase or lease of a new Ford or Lincoln vehicle just for attending AirVenture. EAA Members purchased more than 3,500 Ford and Lincoln vehicles in 2014, and more than 50,000 EAA members have purchased or leased Ford Motor Company vehicles throughout the partnership.
Apollo Edition 2015 Mustang
For the eighth consecutive year, Ford will create and donate a unique Ford Mustang to be sold, via live auction, at the Gathering of Eagles to support the EAA’s youth education programs, including Young Eagles. This year, the Ford Design and Engineering teams created the 2015 Apollo Edition Mustang. This one-of-a-kind build for AirVenture celebrates the innovation and American spirit of the Apollo program. The Young Eagles program has provided free introductory flights to more than 1.9 million young people since 1992, helping grow the next generation of leaders, aviators and innovators.
The Apollo Edition Mustang design theme will showcase a creative connection with the Apollo missions, while highlighting the unique style and new design features of the 2015 Mustang. Ford Design Manager Melvin Betancourt led design, and the Mustang Program Team oversaw the engineering of the exclusive Mustang.
The exterior will showcase a customized glossy and matte paint scheme with a carbon fiber front splitter, rear diffuser and rocker moldings and accent treatments with Apollo Edition cues. The theme carries to the interior with unique elements throughout the cabin, including performance gauges, modified instrument clusters, unique sill plates seats, trim panels and floor mats, plus other distinctive design elements. The performance of this land-based rocket is also one-of-a-kind, as this Mustang will deliver 627 horsepower and 540 lb-ft of torque. Boasting a supercharger, side and rear exhaust, sport-tuned suspension, custom Forgiato 21” performance wheels and Brembo brakes, the Apollo Edition Mustang will drive as good as it looks.
Ford’s unique vehicles have become star properties for collectors and attendees, garnering nearly $3 million in recent years to benefit the EAA’s youth education efforts. The Apollo Edition Mustang will be on display all week at the Ford Hangar at EAA AirVenture.
“The Apollo program represents some of the greatest technological achievements in human history, achieving major milestones in performance and technological advances, including landing the first 12 humans on the moon,” said Edsel B. Ford II, a member of Ford’s Board of Directors. “Ford Motor Company’s Mustang similarly has been an aspirational symbol of innovation for more than 50 years. We’re proud to celebrate the ingenuity of the Apollo program and Mustang to support EAA’s youth education programs, including the next generation of pilots through the Young Eagles.”
Award-Winner Country Star Dierks Bentley Opening Day
Ford has presented the opening night concert for nine consecutive years and this year will feature one of country music’s hottest stars, Dierks Bentley, as the EAA AirVenture opening day concert, free of charge to all AirVenture guests that day. As part of his 40-city Sounds of Summer tour, Bentley will take the stage at 7 p.m., but the concert festivities will begin at 6 p.m., Monday, July 20 adjacent to the Ford Hangar. An award-winning singer/songwriter, Bentley earned his 13th No. 1 career hit with “Say You Do,” appearing on his 2014 album Riser. Bentley’s most well-known tracks include “What Was I Thinkin’,” “Come a Little Closer,” “Settle for a Slow Down” and “Drunk on a Plane.”
Ford Presents the “Fly-In Theater”
For the past decade, Ford Motor Company has served as the presenting sponsor of the EAA AirVenture "Fly-In Theater" tradition. Located adjacent to EAA’s Camp Scholler camping area, the open-air Fly-In Theater offers free evening entertainment for attendees. Each evening at approximately 8:30 p.m. (9:30 p.m. on Saturday), thousands of patrons will watch free movies, introduced by notable presenters, on the theater’s five-story screen while sitting under the night sky. The 2015 lineup includes Flying the Feathered Edge: The Bob Hoover Project, Living in the Age of Airplanes, Interstellar, Unbroken, Edge of Tomorrow, Disney’s Planes: Fire & Rescue, Apollo 13 and Battle of Britain.
“Super Saturday” to Feature Hotel California, The Original Eagles Tribute Band
Ford welcomes the ultimate Eagles cover band, Hotel California, during EAA’s “Super Saturday” at 6:30 p.m. on July 25, next to the Ford Hangar, between the afternoon and evening air shows. Hotel California will recreate the legendary sound that defined a generation from the Grammy Award-winning Eagles. Ford will also be handing out free ice cream while supplies last, to enhance the party experience.
The Hotel California line-up features Andy Lapointe on bass and vocals; Mike Dimoulas on electric guitar, acoustic guitar, keyboards, double neck guitar, talk box and vocals; Dean Young on drums and vocals; and Rick Spyder on electric guitar and vocals.
Model T Experience
Henry Ford’s Model T revolutionized the consumer automobile industry when it hit the market in 1908. Nearly 110 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 Dairyland Tin Lizzies Model T owners club. Guests can experience a ride in a Model T on Monday through Friday during AirVenture, from 10 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Ford Hangar.
A Truly Unique Destination
The Ford Hangar is one of the most popular attractions at AirVenture each year for activities and new vehicles. The Ford Hangar will feature the entire Ford lineup and include the all-new Ford GT Concept, F-150 Raptor Concept, Shelby GT350 Mustang, Focus RS and ST vehicles. The Lincoln Pavilion will showcase the stunning Lincoln Continental Concept and allow visitors to view the entire Lincoln collection of vehicles.
Visitors can experience a three-dimensional orbit in the amazing, self-propelled “No Boundaries” Gyrotron, scale the Raptor Rock Wall, soar on the Tough Tumblers Bungee Trampolines and pilot the Ford Performance Driving Simulator, a race-inspired ride pushing drivers’ skills to the max. Kids can enjoy overcoming the obstacles in mini-replica, F-150 Lil’ Truckers Power Wheels, digging in the sand box next to a full scale F-750 Tonka Truck and the many interactive elements at the Ford Hangar.
The Lincoln Pavilion will offer attendees a relaxing “Lincoln Touch” Upper Body Massage, as well as free email stations to keep in touch with friends, family and colleagues.
The Ford Hangar area 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.
The always-popular Ford cowboy hats will be distributed each day at the Ford Hangar. Campers should watch for the Ford Transit Connect distributing free ice cream each evening in the campgrounds.
Social media fans should head to the Ford Hangar, as they could win prizes every 30 minutes for their on-site photography and creative messaging. One lucky winner will receive the grand prize, a Hamilton X-Wind watch ($1,595 MSRP).
To stay connected to all Ford EAA AirVenture news, follow the Ford EAA AirVenture team on Twitter at www.twitter.com/FordAirventure or visit www.FordAirventure.com.
For more information on EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015, visit www.AirVenture.org.
Ford and Flight: A History of Firsts
Ford Motor Company’s association with flight dates back to the company’s founding 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 EAA AirVenture Oshkosh
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.eaa.org/airventure. EAA members receive the 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. Immediate news is available at www.twitter.com/EAA.
About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Michigan, manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 194,000 employees and 66 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 and its products worldwide, please visit http://corporate.ford.com.