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Oshkosh Airshow

The Oshkosh Airshow is an annual gathering of Aviation enthusiasts held each summer at Wittman Regional Airport, in Oshkosh, Wisconsin[?].

The event is presented by EAA (the Experimental Aircraft Association), a national/international organization which is based in Oshkosh. For many years the official name of the event was The EAA Annual Convention and Fly-In. In 1995 (date?) the name was changed to AirVenture Oshkosh. But, much to the chagrin of EAA, most regular attendees still refer to it as The Oshkosh Airshow, or just Oshkosh.

EAA was founded in 1953 as a support organization for people who were building their own recreational aircraft (homebuilders). Homebuilding is still a large part of EAA, but the organization has grown over the years to include almost every aspect of Aviation and Aeronautics.

The Fly-in consists of:

  • Displays of visiting aircraft of all sizes and types
  • Commercial exhibits
  • Large exhibits by NASA and FAA
  • Showcase fly-bys
  • A daily aerobatics airshow
  • Informative lectures by professional & amateur presenters
  • ...and more.

For many attendees, an equally important aspect of the Fly-in is the opportunity to socailize with other aviation enthusiasts. Lots of people meet up each year with Oshkosh friends who they only see at the Fly-in. For many years these Oshkosh friends had no contact during the rest of the year, but recently many of them have begun to stay in touch throughout the year via email.

The official event is seven days long and typically begins on the last Tuesday in July. But it is common for many attendees to arrive for the event 3 - 4 days before the official start, and for others to stay a few days after the end. The value of these extra days is in the opportunity to relax in an aviation environment, and to socialize with other aviation enthusiasts from around North America. Also, a very large contingent of volunteer workers arrive as early as a month before the event, and stay long after the end, to help with presenting the event.

AirVenture Oshkosh 2003 will be held from July 29 to Aug 4.

It is estimated that 10,000 - 15,000 aircraft visit Wittman Field each year during the Fly-in. Attendance is estimated at over 750,000 people who arrive by both air and ground transport. The large number of aircraft arrivals and departures during the Fly-in week officially make the Wittman Field FAA Control Tower the "busiest in the world"... for that week anyway.

Most of the aircraft on display at the Fly-in are in one of these categories:

  • Homebuilt aircraft, built both from scratch and from kits
  • Vintage aircraft
  • Restored and replica former military aircraft, aka "Warbirds"
  • Active duty military aicraft from the U.S. and other nations
  • Notable aircraft from commercial aviation and the airlines
  • Ultralights
  • Rotorcraft
  • Amphibians and Float-planes

Hotels, dormitories, and many private guest rooms in the region are almost always filled to capacity during the Fly-in. But the large majority of visitors camp, under the wing of their airplane, or in the conventional campgound which is adjacent to the airport and convention grounds.

Notable Dates

  • 1953 EAA was founded
  • 1953 First EAA Fly-in held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • 1959 EAA Fly-in moved to Rockford, Illinois
  • 1970 EAA Fly-in moved to Oshkosh, Wisconsin

External Websites

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