More elements to the huge DC-3 75th anniversary celebration at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh have been added this week, creating more opportunities to enjoy a unique gathering of these aircraft at "Aviation's Family Reunion."
The latest addition is a DC-3 and C-47 "Max-Effort Day" on Tuesday, July 27, that will include formation flights and aerial displays from all DC-3 aircraft that wish to be flown that day. That includes groups of the aircraft type in both airline and military configurations, plus others. This activity will give more aircraft the opportunity to participate above the previously scheduled mass arrival on Monday, July 26.
"While everyone was originally anticipating a single mass arrival of these aircraft, months of discussions made it apparent that creating an experience to meet the standards expected at Oshkosh would be extremely difficult," said Tom Poberezny, EAA chairman/president and AirVenture chairman. "We also had DC-3 operators who want to participate in group flights but had indicated they would arrive separately from the independent 'The Last Time' reunion prior to AirVenture. Ultimately, everyone coming to Oshkosh wants to see as many of these venerable aircraft in the sky as possible. That'’s what we intend to do."
Among other highlights of the weeklong DC-3 celebration:
- A very special DC-3 / C-47 reunion evening at Theater in the Woods, hosted by David Hartman and including special guest Jim Douglas, son of DC-3 designer Donald Douglas;
- "Salute to Veterans" activities in cooperation with Disabled American Veterans (DAV) to include re-enactor displays and personal appearances by WWII veterans of "Easy Company" (known from the HBO series "Band of Brothers");
- Air Show programs throughout the week to include a parade of classic airliners, a unique heritage flight that pairs the C-47 with the modern C-17 Globemaster;
- An appearance by the aircraft and stars of hit Canadian reality TV series "Ice Pilots", still operating the DC-3 in daily passenger service;
- DC-3 movie screenings, including the John Wayne classic "Island in the Sky" at the outdoor Fly-In Movie Theater;
- Numerous public forums related to the people, history and operations of the DC-3;
- A major week-long effort by the EAA Timeless Voices of Aviation team to capture and preserve the video oral histories of all people connected with the DC-3.
- An exclusive DC-3 community cookout hosted by Basler Turbo Conversions of Oshkosh, which refurbishes DC-3s from its base at Wittman Regional Airport for continued use at locations around the world;
- A luncheon on Wednesday, July 28, in the EAA AirVenture Museum Founders' Wing for anyone who has even been connected with the DC-3, including pilots, mechanics, flight crew, veterans, etc. (Registration details will be forthcoming)
Many of the aircraft will be arriving at Oshkosh after first visiting the separate "The Last Time" DC-3 reunion at Rock Falls, IL, on July 24-25. Those airplanes, along with other DC-3 aircraft, will be arriving at Oshkosh just before AirVenture or on opening day, in time to participate in the many activities.
"The Last Time is an independently organized event that complements the activities at Oshkosh this year," Poberezny said. "We wish them success and look forward to welcoming the participating aircraft from that event to Oshkosh afterward."
In addition, a rare DC-2 aircraft will be
joining the assembly at Oshkosh, as well as a beautifully refurbished
EAA already has commitments from a large
number of DC-3/C-47 operators who intend to arrive at Oshkosh. Other DC-3
and C-47 operators who wish to participate should contact EAA at email@example.com,
and will be sent specific details on arrival procedures, aircraft parking,
accommodations, and other important logistics.