Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Air Show Roundup: Oshkosh!


Despite concern over fuel prices and the economy, more than 10,000 aircraft and 540,000 people attended EAA AirVenture 2008 in Oshkosh, Wis., between July 28 and August 3. Here’s a look at some of the event’s most exciting aircraft.


Headlining the air show was the Collaborators formation aerobatic team: Sean Tucker (Oracle biplane), Ben Freelove (Extra 300), Eric Tucker (Extra 300) and Bill Stein (Edge 540). The four-ship team’s performance combines the grace of formation flying with the drama of hard-core aerobatics. This year’s new maneuvers included an inside-outside 8, Cuban 4 and split S, all flown in diamond formation. Other crowd pleasers were the formation hammerheads and triple rolling rejoins.
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1 - Photo by Jessica Ambats
1 Headlining the air show was the Collaborators formation aerobatic team: Sean Tucker (Oracle biplane), Ben Freelove (Extra 300), Eric Tucker (Extra 300) and Bill Stein (Edge 540). The four-ship team’s performance combines the grace of formation flying with the drama of hard-core aerobatics. This year’s new maneuvers included an inside-outside 8, Cuban 4 and split S, all flown in diamond formation. Other crowd pleasers were the formation hammerheads and triple rolling rejoins.


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2 The first production Model 162 SkyCatcher was unveiled to the public—exactly one year from the date when Cessna officially launched its LSA program at AirVenture 2007. Since then, Cessna has accepted orders for more than 1,000 SkyCatchers and completed three airframes.

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3 - EAA photo by Dan Luft
3 Formerly known as simply “the-jet,” the single-engine Cirrus Vision SJ50 made its public debut at Oshkosh. Powered by a Williams International FJ33-4A-19, the SJ50 can seat seven and is expected to cruise at around 300 knots. The red and white, V-tail personal jet made a low pass along the flight line before landing and taxiing to AeroShell Square.

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4 The Flight Design MC (for Metal Concept) was unveiled by Flight Design. This is the company’s second all-new aircraft in 2008. The MC is similar in appearance to the CTLS, but is constructed mainly of aluminum and steel. The MC’s cockpit measures an impressive 52 inches wide.

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5 - Photo by Jim Wilson
5 The single-engine Eclipse 400, introduced as the Eclipse Concept Jet (ECJ) at AirVenture 2007, performed a flyby for the crowds at Oshkosh. With an estimated 330-knot max cruise speed, the Eclipse 400 uses less than one pound of fuel per nautical mile.

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6 - Photo by Scott Slocum
6 The Martin JetPack made its public debut at Oshkosh. The human flight machine from Martin Aircraft of New Zealand is powered by a 200 hp piston engine that runs on premium automobile fuel. The engine is mounted behind the pilot, who for the premiere was 16-year-old Harrison Martin—the son of JetPack inventor Glenn Martin.