This year’s EAA AirVenture Fly-In marks the 50th year the organization has been putting on the event at the central Wisconsin city that was previously more famous for its overalls. To say that Oshkosh, a name that’s its own tiny poem, is perfect for AirVenture is an understatement. It is impossible to separate the two. In fact, until EAA came up with the AirVenture brand name many years ago now, the show was simply known as “Oshkosh.” The locals called it EAA. They still do, in fact.
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By the time EAA wound up in Oshkosh, the fly in was already a big show, so big, in fact, that it had outgrown its former home of Rockford, Illinois. But with room to grow at the expansive Oshkosh Airport, with its two large perpendicular runways, the show took off. The organization moved its headquarters to OSH in 1983, and the rest is history.
Every year at what is now known as Wittman Regional Airport, the expansive grounds are filled to slightly beyond capacity. Each year, around 10,000 airplanes fly into Oshkosh or one of its satellite airports to attend the show. And every year hundreds of thousands of airplane nuts like us go through the famous EAA AirVenture Arches to take part in the greatest fly-in in the world.
The theme at this year’s gathering is The Year of the Fighter, and, yes, we agree that while just about every year is the year of the fighter at Oshkosh, this year promises to be a special one.
- Featured aircraft will include the USAF F-15, F-16, F-22 and F-35, as well as the A-10 attack aircraft. Oshkosh will also host the first AirVenture showing of an XP-82 Twin Mustang.
- A special program honoring World War II ace (and incredible story teller) Bud Anderson, with every flying P-51 in the U.S. invited to Oshkosh to participate. While AirVenture can’t say with certainty how many P-51s will attend, it might wind up being the largest such Mustang romp since the war.
- There will also be a gathering of U.S. Navy fighters, including a few favorites, such as the F4U Corsairs.
- EAA will also commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day, when the Allied invasion of mainland Europe began in earnest. Featured aircraft will include numerous aircraft that actually participated in the June 6, 1944, action, including C-47s just back from a historic anniversary reenactment in France.
Other highlights will include a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the first flight of the Boeing 747, one of our favorite airplanes of all time; a salute to Apollo 11 Command Module Pilot Michael Collins; the remarkably popular night drone airshow—attendees raved about it last year—as well as a tip of the hat to aerial firefighting planes.
As usual, there is way too much planned for OSH to share it all here. So for more info to plan your Oshkosh getaway here.