Richards will answer your questions in AirVenture Today throughout the
Please drop your questions (with your
name and where you are from) off at the AirVenture Today office located
near the old FAA control tower and the First Aid Station or via e-mail
and he will do his darndest to answer them.
are the dates of next year’s AirVenture?
M.S., Escanaba, Michigan
year’s hasn’t even started. Besides, you ask me that every year. The
dates are July 27-August 2. Get your reservations in early. You can find
this kind of information on the EAA’s website, www.EAA.org,
or on AirVenture’s site, cleverly named www.AirVenture.org.
are ailerons and what do they do?
you speaking of illegal ailerons? Are they the ones who slip over the
border and control our airplanes in ways that our own ailerons are
unwilling to? That’s just silly.
Like so many aviation
terms, aileron’s heritage is French. (The word "aviation"
comes to us from Latin via French.) It refers to wing or maybe even an
armpit. Ailerons are the flaps on the back edge of an airplane’s wings
that control roll. They are not to be confused with the flaps on the
back edge of a wing that are called "flaps," which are between
the ailerons and the fuselage and generally are used to increase drag or
recall that the Young Eagles program aimed to get a million young people
in the air by the 100th anniversary of powered flight. Where does that
F.S., Atlanta, Georgia
It doesn’t stand; it soars. The one-millionth Young Eagle took to the
air in October 2003, right on schedule, thanks to the efforts of 85,000
volunteers. Since then, the numbers of kids 8-17 who have been
introduced to the thrill of flight have grown at the rate of about
100,000 a year. In fact, the program just crossed the 1.4 million
In case you just arrived
from another planet, Young Eagles is a program to give those youngsters
an opportunity to go flying in a general aviation plane. They are
offered free. Young Eagles have been registered in more than 90
I’m making my first trip to Oshkosh, and I understand that
Wisconsin’s mosquitoes are fierce and frequent. Is this true?
G.V.B., Orlando, Florida
There are those who say that the mosquito is Wisconsin’s state bird.
That is not true. While the state’s mosquitoes in some areas this damp
spring and summer have experienced a surge in population, they are not
permitted on the AirVenture grounds. They are headquartered on a carrier
in Lake Winnebago, just beyond the EAA Seaplane Base. By the way, we
have mosquitoes, but we don’t have alligators as you do where you come
from. At least not a lot of them.
Is there Wi-Fi availability at the convention?
R.R., San Francisco,
Yes. I suppose that you want more of an answer than that. There are 14
Wi-Fi hot spots at various locations in the camping areas. See the map
in this issue, or when you get back to the campsite, you can log in via
the WiFi and view areas on the AirVenture website, www.AirVenture.org.
This access is free to EAA members and their guests in the campgrounds,
though be cautioned that any number of conditions, ranging from your
computer to weather can affect the signal.
Also, EAA members can
check their e-mail at 20 online stations in the EAA Welcome Center
(formerly EAA Member Village). Six stations and two ports for laptops
are also available in the Welcome Center area of the campground.
I know that Harry Houdini, the magician and escape artist, called
Wisconsin home and that he was the first person to fly an airplane in
Australia. What kind of plane was it?
C.C., Benton Harbor,
Is this for second place in a trivia contest? As a resident of Appleton
(25 minutes north of here), where he grew up, I know way too much about
Houdini. For example, he often said that Appleton was his birthplace,
but it actually was Budapest, Hungary. (He also was quoted as saying his
greatest escape was from Appleton.)
The plane was a Voisin,
which he purchased in Europe, sometime around 1909, perhaps for $5,000.
Houdini could be a little creative with the facts. The craft resembled a
box kite as much as anything. After his successful flight in Australia,
the plane, with HOUDINI painted on its wing and tail, was never seen
again. Or at least there is no record of it.
And, in case you run out of things to do
here in Oshkosh, the History Museum in Appleton includes the AKA Houdini
Exhibit, an award-winning exhibit featuring Houdini paraphernalia and