July 26, 2009 - Oshkosh, Wisconsin -
Change, the only constant, has really
landed at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh
2009, something veterans will notice
upon arrival and newcomers will learn
about from the old-timers.
Photo by Randy
Crews ready one of
two Pratt & Whitney 1830 engines at the new EAA AirVenture
Oshkosh 2009 Main Gate. Dedication ceremonies are at 1 p.m. today.
From the removal of the landmark
tower, to the relocation of some buildings,
to the installation of new pathways
and pylons, the differences share a major element: they result from EAA’s
long-range planning to improve the
Among the changes to be celebrated
are the dedications Monday of a new
main entrance design and a renewal of
the Brown Arch that marks the entry
from the flightline.
Change has been an element of EAA’s
annual convention since its second
gathering in Milwaukee back in 1954,
through its move to Rockford, Illinois,
a few years later, and the 1970 move
that brought the fly-in to Oshkosh.
But AirVenture boasts significant constants:
the unchanging dedication of
the EAA membership and the pilots and
volunteers who flock to Oshkosh out of
a shared love of aviation and to reunite
with old friends while making new ones.
This family reunites to share those
special moments of each year that live
on in their memories.
AirVenture 2009 will witness a celebration
of a century of Canadian aviation,
with appearances expected by a vintage Lancaster bomber; a Westland
Lysander and a Hawker Hurricane,
one of the designs that helped win
the Battle of Britain in 1940; and the
diminutive DHC-1 Chipmunk, a trainer
still in use decades after its introduction
by de Havilland Canada.
Reunions are another constant at
AirVenture beyond the personal level,
and this year offers some special ones:
a gathering of passengers who flew to
Oshkosh on the Concorde supersonic
airliner, a collection of Pietenpol Air
Campers in celebration of its 80th anniversary,
and another to commemorate
the milestone of 60 years for the T-28,
an early mainstay of the U.S. Air Force.
Resurrection is also a recurring element
at AirVenture, this year bringing
the return of the Commemorative Air
Force’s Red Tail Project, a rare P-51C
dubbed Tuskegee Airmen. This Red Tail
Mustang returns to AirVenture following
a five-year rebuild undertaken after
it was badly damaged in an unfortunate
EAA AirVenture Oshkosh is also
about firsts, and this year it offers
excellent variety with the first visit
of Airbus Industries’ massive A380
airliner and the first public appearance
of WhiteKnightTwo VMS Eve, the
launch platform for Virgin Galactic’s
SpaceShipTwo suborbital vehicle.
Firsts in personal aircraft also abound
at AirVenture, with the first public
appearances expected for the Terrafugia
Transition, a roadable aircraft; Cessna’s
new SkyCatcher light-sport aircraft
(LSA); the ICON amphibious LSA; and
inaugural appearances by a collection
of LSA-category machines powered by
electricity instead of aviation fuels.
From new personal airplanes to very
light jets, a celebration of business aviation,
advances in homebuilt aircraft,
and innovations in aircraft avionics,
EAA AirVenture arguably offers the widest
selection of aviation options of any
event in the world.
Ranging across the grounds from
Pioneer Airport and the EAA AirVenture
Museum’s new Founders’ Wing to
KidVenture, to the hundreds of free
forums and craft workshops, to music
concerts and nightly movies in Camp
Scholler and the variety of evening
programs in the Theater in the Woods,
EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2009 provides
its fans with a choice of activities
unparalleled in aviation.
The flying action that draws so
many to attend ranges from the passing
parade of planes arriving by the thousands
to the daily afternoon air show
filled with the world’s finest air show
performers and aerobatic aces performing
aerial maneuvers of skill.