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EAA AirVenture Oshkosh RSS FeedA Closer Look: EAA Warbirds in Review
  
Warbirds in Review became part of the EAA AirVenture scene in 2003, bringing a close-up look at some of the most storied military aircraft to ever darken the skies. An instant classic, the program soon expanded from one to two daily presentations. This year, a total of 13 presentations are scheduled as Warbirds in Review enters its seventh year at Oshkosh.

Chairperson Connie Bowlin has arranged another stellar line-up of aircraft and aviators, with two presentations (10 a.m. and 1 p.m.) set for Monday, July 27 through Saturday, August 1, and one at 10 a.m. on Sunday, August 2, at 10 a.m. Warbirds in Review sessions will be held in the Warbird area, (location #31 on your EAA site map); just south of the Warbirds Café near the EAA Ford Tri-Motor base of operations. Returning, as program moderators will be Dan Bowlin and Sam Bass.

Connie explained that Warbirds in Review coordination is much like putting together a puzzle. "The idea developed from observing that people quickly gathered when an owner was seen working on an aircraft, or explaining something to a bystander," she said. "They always drew a crowd. Why not designate a time and a specific location where people could come to hear about Warbird aircraft?"

The idea quickly expanded to include a veteran to tell what it was like to fly the aircraft. Aircraft owners, veterans and volunteers enthusiastically support the program.

"In the beginning I brought a tiny 'Karaoke' amplifier from home. The only recordings were handheld video cameras. The features are now professionally filmed in high definition with a video crew, sound system; bleachers, etc. Two years ago, a group of sponsors stepped forward to help with our expense, so we have come a long way."

Last year, Sleeping Dog Productions produced an award-winning DVD that captures the spirit of the event. Warbirds in Review: In Their own Words is available from Warbirds and EAA.

"It is humbling and rewarding to see the spirit of Warbirds in Review captured and presented with extended interviews for people to enjoy and share with friends and family who cannot attend AirVenture," Connie said. "One of the most memorable moments in the years of presentations is when the crowd of observers joins the moderators in saying, 'Welcome Home' to the Vietnam veterans. Why do I spend hundreds of hours putting this together? That's why!"

Developing the schedule for Warbirds in Review
There are three distinct questions to be considered when scheduling a feature. The aircraft, the restoration/operation, and the veteran/speaker. Is the aircraft one that people would like to see, or hear about? Is there a unique or interesting restoration story? Is there a veteran associated with the aircraft who has a unique or interesting story? Can we entertain and educate those who are already interested in aviation and history? More importantly, can we engage the young people and educate them with the hands-on observation of those who are a part of our history, or work to preserve the equipment that "is" our history?

Any Warbird aircraft attending AirVenture Oshkosh qualifies. Putting the ideas and the three parts together is where the puzzle begins.
With the addition of the Warbird Training Command, the Warbird educational area continues to develop. Visitors will see a few changes this year, with even bigger plans for development in the near future.

Thanks again to the Aircraft owners, pilots, veterans, volunteers, sponsors, EAA and EAA Warbird Directors for the tremendous support in making this a top feature of AirVenture 2009. Be sure to mark your schedules for the presentations and the autograph sessions that follow.

And don't forget the DVD In Their Own Words. This is a story of passage…and of a place where a departing generation entrusts its cultural legacy to those who will carry on. A place where they tell - in some cases, for the last time - what it was really like. The stories are as countless, yet as distinctive, as snowflakes.

For just a little while longer we can hear them directly from the mouths of those who wrote them. We can hear many of them here, in a forum called Warbirds in Review.

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