With increases in attendance, airplanes, and mostly ideal weather, EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2011 was declared a tremendous success by EAA President/CEO Rod Hightower. The final figures for the recently concluded event showed attendance of 541,000 - a 1.3 percent increase over 2010 - and more than 10,000 aircraft arriving at Wittman Regional and other airports in east-central Wisconsin.
That figure includes including 2,522 showplanes - up 142 aircraft from 2010 – 974 homebuilts, 899 vintage airplanes, 367 warbirds, 94 ultralights, 92 seaplanes, 36 aerobatic aircraft, 30 rotorcraft, and 30 miscellaneous.
“This year’s event was a tremendous success,” Hightower commented. “From the arrival of the Boeing 787 to our tributes to Bob Hoover and Burt Rutan, all the way through the huge crowd on the flightline for Saturday’s Night Air Show, the spirit of aviation was alive and well at Oshkosh this year. You could sense the enthusiasm for aviation and the future of flight throughout the AirVenture grounds.”
Hightower indicated that the final attendance figure came in “almost exactly where we thought it would,” and called opening day “tremendously successful.” Meanwhile, Friday’s attendance was very close to an all-time record.
“Only some rainy weather in the middle of the week prevented the increase from being even greater,” he said.
Commercial exhibitors numbered 803, up from 777 last year, and many reported robust sales.
Attendees from abroad registered at the International Visitor’s Tent numbered 2,098 from 68 nations. Once again, Canada led international attendees with 551 visitors, followed by Australia (297) and Brazil (257). (The actual number of international attendees is likely larger as not all international visitors were registered at the International Visitors Tent.)
Media registered at Press Headquarters numbered 861 representatives from five continents.
Looking to next year, EAA will celebrate the 60th annual EAA fly-in and honor Paul and Audrey Poberezny for all that they have done for the aviator community. Other themes developing for AirVenture 2012, July 23-29, include:
- 75th anniversary of the iconic Piper Cub, in which all Cub owners will be invited to Oshkosh to turn the field yellow;
- A tribute to the Tuskegee Airmen, inviting all surviving members of this renowned World War II unit to AirVenture;
- Recognition of Van’s Aircraft founder Dick VanGrunsven, whose RV series of aircraft have become the most popular homebuilt aircraft kits in the world;
- And plenty of additions and one-of-a-kind surprises to be announced in the weeks and months ahead.