There were a number of truly incredible stories at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2019. From Number 10 to Number One, here they are.
10. Pilot Proficiency Center: Once again, the EAA’s center for keeping those pilot skills sharp rocked it. With more than a dozen sims and CFIs galore, as well as regular Jeppsen Tech Talks with overflow crowds, the PPC was a huge draw once again.
9. Night Airshow. EAA has created a reason for folks who wouldn’t otherwise attend AirVenture to head to the show and a reason for thousands of others not to leave the field. In some universe where this wasn’t the #9 story, it’d be a show all to itself
8. XP-82: The coolest new plane at the show hands down was the XP-82 Twin Mustang, one of only five ever built and the only flying Twin ‘Stang in the world. It made its world debut at AirVenture, the result of a ten-year project by Tom Reilly. Incredible stuff.
7. The Weather: Most years when the weather is a top story, it’s for all the wrong reasons. Not so this year. It was the most picture-perfect weather week for the show in a quarter of a century, if not longer. Let’s schedule that for 2020, too.
6. WomenVenture: Everyone says we need more people in aviation. WomenVenture shows that when women give aviation a try, they find it an incredibly rewarding career and lifestyle. More than 1,000 women showed up for the annual photo of WomenVenture attendees. The joy and enthusiasm was palpable, as it was at the Women In Aviation breakfast and WomenVenture lunch, which thousands attended.
5. Year Of The Fighter: Even though it seems as though every year is the Year of the Fighter at OSH, this year really was special, with so much incredible hardware, some of it frontline fighters turning the taxpayers dollars into beautiful noise. Our favorites were the mash-up flyovers, with planes from different eras flying formation together. It’s unforgettable.
4.EAA Dries Out: After huge rainstorms soaked much of the upper Midwest, including and especially OSH, the EAA had its work cut out for it, getting the field back in shape for the arrival of thousands of planes and tens of thousands of campers and attendees It wasn’t easy, but they crushed it, and the show enjoyed record numbers under a week of blue skies and light winds.
3. Old Glory Honor Flight: A crucial part of EAA history and its DNA is honoring the veterans who served and who flew. This year’s Old Glory Honor Flight flew hundreds of Vietnam Vets from KOSH to Washington, D.C. and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Big crowds gathered on both sides of the trip to say “thanks.”
2. 75 Years Since D-Day: Fresh off their triumphant return to Normandy for a re-enactments of the D-Day invasion, a number of C-47s and other warbirds were at Oshkosh doing their thing. Think about it. Mustangs, Gooney Birds, Corsairs and many others, all in perfect condition still doing their thing 75 years after the day. Incredible.
1. Salute to Apollo 11: On the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 first moon walk mission, EAA paid tribute to the men and women who made it happen. Included was command module pilot Michael Collins, who made a special, standing-room-only appearance at AirVenture. We’re still tingling all over.