EAA AirVenture Oshkosh - The World's Greatest Aviation Celebration

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EAA AirVenture Today is published by the Experimental Aircraft Association for EAA AirVenture from July 27 - August 3. It is distributed free on the convention grounds as well as other locations in Oshkosh and surrounding communities. Stories and photos are copyrighted 2008 by EAA AirVenture Today and EAA. Reproduction by any means is prohibited without written consent.


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The official daily newspaper of EAA AirVenture Oshkosh

Volume 9, Number 3 July 29, 2008     

Dave Klages honored for work on EAA site plan
By Barbara A. Schmitz

Dave Klages

As an EAA member who has attended AirVenture Oshkosh, Dave Klages knows how educational, inspirational, and just plane fun—pun intended—the annual fly-in convention is.

But the architect and master planner also knows firsthand some of the frustrations of how the convention grounds are laid out; however, those frustrations are about to come to an end.

Klages has been instrumental in a site development plan for the AirVenture grounds, and for his work he will receive the President’s Award Tuesday in a presentation at the Theater in the Woods.

"EAA is recognizing Dave for his outstanding work on the EAA site redesign project," said EAA President Tom Poberezny. "This project will provide for the event’s long-term viability and its future in Oshkosh."

Klages, of Corona del Mar, California, said he was excited to receive the award. "To take my talents and participate in something I think is worthwhile is thrilling."

After graduating from the University of Southern California, Klages worked for Los Angeles area architects until opening his own office in 1969. In 2000, after 31 years of running his own business, he merged with RNL and is now semi-retired. Klages is internationally respected for his talents in planning, design, and concept development of resorts and hotels as well as large-scale residential, commercial, and entertainment developments such as the Kuala Lumpur City Centre master plan and the MGM Grand Cascata Golf Clubhouse.

Klages said the AirVenture grounds site plan addresses the many audiences who come to Oshkosh for the fly-in convention. The first priority is to make it easier to get around the grounds.

"Right now you have to zigzag to get to any of the major venues, such as warbirds, homebuilts, or vintage," he said. "We started taking a site plan, doodling with ideas, and came up with the fact that if we moved show center slightly to the west where the existing gate is, we could draw lines that would get you directly to each of the venues."

For someone coming in the gate, that means they could walk directly at 45 degrees to go to Warbirds and save one-fourth to one-half of a mile by walking in a straight line.

In fact, that’s what most excites Klages about the site plan. "It’s going to make it more user-friendly and not so overwhelming."

The plan also calls for more air-conditioned exhibit space, better dining facilities, improved campground facilities, better signage, and more.

"Everybody always wants to live on the lakefront. The idea is to create more ‘lakefront’ property that is easier to find and give more reasons for people to visit those areas," Klages said.

Klages, who has logged about 2,800 hours and is an instrument-rated commercial pilot, has also built two airplanes—an RV-8 finished in 2001 and a Piper Cub PA-11 finished earlier this year.

He learned many of the things he needed to know to build his own airplanes at AirVenture.

"Wandering around and looking at the various flying contraptions is what makes AirVenture so much fun," he said. "I think the site plan keeps the culture of EAA and allows it to grow and make it an easier place to get around."

FUTURE AIRVENTURE DATES: 2014: July 28-Aug. 3; 2015: July 20-26; 2016: July 25-31; 2017: July 24-30
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