Aviation and Oshkosh
Where do you go to experience aviation history, aviation in its present-day form, and innovation all at the same location? EAA AirVenture is one place. On display and in the air you will see examples of aircraft from yesteryear, today’s most modern aircraft and accessories, and innovative ideas from the entrepreneurs and designers of what may be tomorrow’s aircraft technology. Numerous attractions and events are planned for attendees to become immersed aviation. A few highlights for this year’s event that caught my attention are the salute to Naval Aviation, the World Symposium on Electric Aircraft, and a tribute to Burt Rutan.
Decades ago Burt Rutan began regular trips to Oshkosh where he’d display his unique experimental aircraft. His designs were always innovative creations, most of which were a departure from typical design and construction practices of the day. Over the decades several of his designs became hugely popular and I’d guess hundreds are flying all around the world. I myself have never flown a Rutan aircraft – but I’d like to. His team’s more recent creations are designed to experience flight into space and safely return, and yes examples of these aircraft and spacecraft have been on display at previous AirVenture gatherings. Burt Rutan has been one of those entrepreneurs and innovators with deep roots to EAA and Oshkosh.
Visit AirVenture; there really is something for every interest. Embrace the future; unmanned aircraft, electric powered airplanes; private space flight they all appear to coming our way. Look for the entire staff of AMT taking in the sights, sounds, exhibits, and forums at this year’s AirVenture Oshkosh.
KidVenture expands its activities and featured attractions for 2011, hoping to attract tomorrow’s aviation professionals at an early age.
Among the new features are two additional A&P booths where kids are able to learn basic building skills as well as “Condor flight simulators” and “Kiddie Hawk flight trainers.”
Located at Pioneer Field across from the AirVenture Museum, KidVenture allows young people to explore aviation from several different fronts. They can receive logable flight instruction on a simulator, earn FAA credit toward an A&P certificate through hands-on building projects, learn how to fly a radio-controlled airplane, modify a P-51 Mustang on a computer then find out how fast it flies, even see what it’s like to land on Mars.
The Future A&P Section has expanded its activities so the kids can learn a number of building tasks. After completing each station, kids get their card punched.
Kids who complete the Future A&P booths will receive a Future A&P pin, two hours of official FAA credit toward their A&P license, and, if they are among the first 500 kids to complete the skills, a Gear Wrench tool kit from Apex tools along with Apex/Gear wrench work gloves.
• The Riveting Booth, supported by Van’s Aircraft, teaches how to buck solid rivets, using top-grade tools supplied by Avery tool company. Those wanting to learn more can work on a real RV-12 kit donated by Van’s. The kids also can make a personalized metal riveted name badge.
• The Engine Booth will have conventional four-cylinder engines and new this year with Pratt & Whitney’s help will be two PT-6 turbine engines that the kids can inspect and work on under the guidance of skilled A&P mechanics and the Pratt & Whitney volunteers.
• The Electronic Troubleshooting Booth shows kids how to make simple wire circuits and also teaches about working with electricity. This event is sponsored by Nida Corporation just like at the AMTSociety Maintenance Skills Competition.
• In the Prop-Shaping Booth, supported by Hartzell Propeller, kids take a wooden prop blank and shape it into a finished propeller. Adult KidVenture volunteers then burn the EAA and Hartzell logos into the wood, and the kids can collect autographs from aviation greats around the grounds. Majka anticipates the kids will make about 1,000 propellers during the week.
• AMTSociety is sponsoring the “Safety Wire Boxes” event. And Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology is refurbishing the boxes.
• The Wooden Rib Building Booth, supported by Wick’s Aircraft and run by EAA Chapter 43 (Denver), teaches kids how to make a 20-inch wooden wing rib exactly like a homebuilder does using the same material, jigs, and tools required for a full-size rib.
• At the Composite Booth kids can produce a composite helicopter blade under the supervision of Sikorsky Helicopter staff.
• At a booth run by Hamilton Sundstrand, kids can make a wind-powered generator (RAT). Hamilton Sundstrand will supply 3,000 units and its staff to oversee construction.
Other events include:
• Two “Condor flight simulators” supported by Soaring Society of America.
• Two “Kiddie Hawk flight trainers” brought to KidVenture by the Legends of Flight.
• Hot Seat helicopter and airplane flight simulators.
• Through simulated Mars landings, the Dream Flight space bus/exhibit shows kids what flight outside the atmosphere is like.
• In “Area 51½,” kids build a balsa glider along with a wooded model of EAA’s B-17 Aluminum Overcast and the legendary P-51 Mustang of EAA founder Paul Poberezny.
• The Hero Stage will feature speakers and air show pilots interacting with the kids and signing autographs.
• Kids can talk on the KidVenture ham radio station to other people around the country and the world.
• 5,000 Scotts Warbird Alley T-shirts for kids to color and take home, courtesy of Scotts.
World War II Showcase
Aircraft that played a key role in one of the greatest military and industrial achievements during World War II will be showcased at EAA AirVenture 2011 thanks to the support of Vintage Wings of Canada.
Vintage Wings of Canada, an aviation museum based in Quebec that acquires, restores, maintains, and flies classic aircraft significant to the early history of powered flight, will bring four aircraft from its Yellow Wings Tour honoring the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP) – North American Harvard IV, Fleet Finch II, Fairchild Cornell MK II, and de Havilland Tiger Moth, all painted in the distinctive yellow scheme for training aircraft. Additionally, Fairey Swordfish Mk III and Westland Lysander IIIA will also appear courtesy of Vintage Wings of Canada.
BCATP was a massive exercise in planning, construction and community involvement that trained hundreds of thousands of airmen from Canada, the British Commonwealth and the United States between 1939 and 1945. It remains the single largest aviation training program in history and was responsible for training nearly half the pilots, navigators, bombardiers, air gunners, wireless operators and flight engineers who served in their respective air forces.
The Fairey Swordfish MK III biplane was considered one of the finest naval aircraft of World War II and was the only Allied aircraft in continuous production from before the start of hostilities through the end of the war. The Westland Lysander IIIA equipped six RAF squadrons in France for artillery spotting, reconnaissance, and other communications tasks during the first year of the war, and went on to become a significant multi-role aircraft after the fall of France.
Centennial of Naval Aviation
AirVenture 2011 has been classified a Tier 1 event by the U.S. Navy as it celebrates the Centennial of Naval Aviation throughout next year. Several top-level attractions will commemorate this notable anniversary as well as 100th anniversary of air mail service. Special themed days planned are “Tribute to Bob Hoover” Day on Tuesday, July 26, Navy Day on Wednesday, July 27, and “Tribute to Burt Rutan” Day on Thursday, July 28.
From unique restorations and replicas to today’s modern fighters, the legacy of naval aviation will be on display and in action all week at AirVenture 2011. Flying examples will be featured on ConocoPhillips Plaza, as well as a special parking area dubbed “NAS Oshkosh” located just east of Scotts Warbird Alley.
Among the dozens of unique aircraft anticipated are several World War II and Korean War-era naval warbirds, including the only flying SB2C Helldiver Navy dive bomber in the world, one of two airworthy PV-2 Harpoons, OY1/L-5B USMC Observation aircraft that saw combat during the Battle of Iwo Jima, a rare Temco Pinto jet trainer, TBM Navy torpedo bomber featuring the paint scheme of the aircraft flown by President George H.W. Bush, an award-winning SNJ Navy trainer, F8F Bearcat in a Blue Angels paint scheme, Grumman J2F Duck Navy amphibian, F4U Corsairs, FM2 Wildcat, and F7F Tigercat.
Vietnam War-era will be represented by a Douglas R4D, Douglas AD Skyraider, Douglas A-4 Skyhawk, and North American T-2 Buckeye, with more to be added. Bookending the centennial attractions are a replica of the Curtiss-Ely Pusher that made the first carrier landing on the deck of the USS Pennsylvania in 1911 and more than 25 current naval aircraft repainted in colors from previous eras.
From sunrise to well past sunset, a “Super Saturday” filled with must-see features, attractions, and activities awaits attendees on July 30 at EAA AirVenture 2011, including country star Aaron Tippin in concert followed by the widely popular Night Air Show and Daher-Socata Fireworks.
Following the expanded “Warbirds Extravaganza” afternoon air show, Tippin will take to the Theater in the Woods stage for an evening concert featuring many of his hits, including “Where the Stars and Stripes and the Eagles Fly,” “You’ve Got to Stand for Something,” and “Kiss This.” Tippin’s appearance is part of the Commemorative Air Force’s “Red, White & Loud Tour” and coincides with the much-anticipated return of CAF’s FIFI, the world’s only airworthy B-29 “Superfortress,” to AirVenture after a 16-year absence.
Tippin’s performance leads into the Night Air Show and Daher-Socata Fireworks & Wall of Fire, which drew tens of thousands to the flightline for last year’s inaugural event, beginning at approximately 8:30 p.m.
AirVenture offers a vast array of training sessions and workshops. Sheet metal, fabric covering, composite, welding, and wiring sessions are offered daily. Engine balancing and maintenance are also covered. Check the schedule when you arrive or plan ahead by visiting www.airventure.org.
General Aviation Award Winners
In each of the past 48 years, the General Aviation Awards program and the FAA have recognized a small group of aviation professionals in the fields of flight instruction, aviation maintenance, avionics, and safety for their contributions to aviation, education, and flight safety.
This awards program is a cooperative effort between the FAA and more than a dozen industry sponsors (including AMTSociety). The selection process begins with local FAA Safety Team managers at Flight Standards District Offices (FSDOs) and then moves on to the eight regional FAA offices. Previous national awards winners from each of those four fields then select national winners from the pool of regional winners.
Recipients of this year’s national awards are:
• Joseph “Joe” Morales of Lakewood, CO, Aviation Maintenance Technician (AMT) of the Year;
• Russell John “Russ” Callender of Houlton, WI, Avionics Technician of the Year;
• MCFI-Aerobatic Judy Ann Phelps of Santa Paula, CA, Certificated Flight Instructor (CFI) of the Year; and
• MCFI Vicki Lynn Sherman of DeLand, FL, FAA Safety Team Representative of the Year. Previously, this award was the Aviation Safety Counselor (ASC) of the Year.
The awards will be presented at the Theater in the Woods, and an awards luncheon will be held with gifts from the sponsors.
The Boeing 787 Dreamliner is scheduled to make an appearance at EAA AirVenture 2011 on Friday, July 29, giving aviation enthusiasts a glimpse into the next generation of commercial airliners.
For one day only, attendees can tour the Boeing 787 Dreamliner while it is on static display on ConocoPhillips Plaza and witness it in flight during its arrival and departure. It is scheduled to arrive at 9:30 a.m. on July 29 and depart following that day’s afternoon air show, at approximately 6 p.m.