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
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
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
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
"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
Developing the schedule for Warbirds in
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,
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.