Wittman Regional Airport will soon become the world’s busiest airport – at least for one week.
From July 24-30, more than 10,000 aircraft and a half a million flight enthusiasts will descend for the 65th annual Experimental Aircraft Association fly-in convention, EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2017.
Known to many simply as “Oshkosh,” this year’s event will feature performances by some of the nation’s top stunt pilots, as well as by The Blue Angels, the official jet team of the United States Navy.
(In just four months, aviation enthusiasts from all over the world will make their annual pilgrimage and gather at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh. Courtesy of EAA and YouTube)
First formed in 1946, the Blue Angels team of Boeing F/A-18 Hornets reaches speeds up to 700 mph, while flying as close as 18 inches to one another.
Full performances are on Friday and Saturday afternoon, July 28-29, as part of the afternoon air show.
“The Blue Angels carry tradition and innovation with them wherever they fly,” said Dick Knapinski, EAA’s director of communications. “Their power and precision will be on full display during AirVenture 2017.”
(EAA recently visited the Blue Angels’ spring training in El Centro, California, in preparation for their performance at #OSH17. We can’t wait for their AirVenture debut! Courtesy of EAA and YouTube)
AirVenture will also commemorate the 75th anniversary of the famous World War II Doolittle Raiders mission.
In addition to welcoming the lone living member of the 80 Doolittle Raiders, 101 year-old Richard Cole, 16 B-25 bombers will fly during a reenactment of the historic raid on the evening of Wednesday, July 26.
(The lone remaining veteran of the famed Doolittle Raiders mission of April 1942 and at least 16 B-25 bombers will be part of the raid’s 75th anniversary commemoration and air show activities at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2017. Courtesy of EAA and YouTube)
On Wednesday, July 26, the grounds will host WomenVenture, a national initiative to close the gender gap in aviation.
Highlights will include a “Power Lunch” with remarks by pioneering EAA member and pilot, Dr. Janet Lapp, as well as the Women Soar You Soar aviation camp sponsored by Honda, which offers teen girls pilot mentorship opportunities.
Friday, July 28 will feature an unforgettable reunion by nine of the original fifteen living Apollo Mission Astronauts, including Buzz Aldrin, Frank Borman, and Jim Lovell.
(Astronauts from most of the Apollo missions that put humans on the moon for the first time are expected to be at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2017 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo program. confirmed astronauts attending the event include Frank Borman (Apollo 8), Walt Cunningham (Apollo 7), Buzz Aldrin (Apollo 11), Fred Haise (Apollo 13), Jim Lovell (Apollo 8 and Apollo 13), Al Worden (Apollo 15), and Harrison “Jack” Schmitt (Apollo 17). Courtesy of EAA and YouTube)
Other major performances and experiences include Oracle pilot Sean D. Tucker; the AeroShell Aerobatic Team; NASA exhibits; travelling Huey helicopter and a variety of plane and aviation product introductions from the more than 800 exhibitors.
The action in the skies is matched on the ground.
AirVenture also includes learning centers for children and aircraft enthusiasts; aircraft of nearly every size, shape and era to view (including more than 300 warbirds, homebuilts and vintage craft); nightly activities, like a “fly-in” theater and concerts; and flight experiences on a B-17, Ford Tri-Motor and Bell 47 Helicopter.
(If you ask someone about the Boeing YL-15, all but the hardest of the hardcore aviation nuts will greet you with a blank stare. After all, with just 12 built and only one currently flying, most of us have never seen one. All that will change this July when Keith Brunquist brings his to display it at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh. Courtesy of EAA and YouTube)
The EAA Aviation Museum is also open for tours during the week of AirVenture.
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 purchases, is available online at http://www.eaa.org/airventure.