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Airventure: Oshkosh 2013

The weather was great, the people were awesome, and the planes were too numerous to count. Oshkosh, Wisconsin was the place to be this week. Here's my quick report and photo gallery on Airventure 2013.

Splash

Background

EAA's Airventure is the world's largest aviation event, held each year in Oshkosh, WI. Over 500,000 people attend the celebration, which draws between 10,000 and 15,000 airplanes annually. Airventure (or "Oshkosh" as people tend to call it) is an airshow, a gathering, a campsite, a technology fair, a sales lot, a swap meet, and a concert venue, all rolled into one.

The Road to Oshkosh

I attended the show with my friend, Dennis. The purpose of my visit was to find a new plane to replace my Yak-54, Russian Thunder, which if you read my blog you'll know I recently sold.

Dennis and I started our journey from Corvallis at 4AM on Tuesday morning, stopped twice to switch planes (such a pain to fly out of Oregon...I miss the days I lived at a major hub), and made it to Appleton, WI at about 5PM. From there we took the rental car down to Oshkosh.

Oshkosh doesn't get a lot of tourism 51 weeks of the year so hotel rooms are in short supply. Thousands of the aviators who fly in each year choose to set up a tent and camp under the wings of their aircraft. Others rent out dorm rooms from the local university. Since we weren't flying ourselves in we didn't have a way to bring in a tent, and the dorms aren't air conditioned so I didn't like that idea. Fortunately, many of the residents near the airport get tired of all the commotion and choose to take the week off, which gives people like me a chance to stay in comfort. I rented a house right off the "North 40". We didn't spend much time in the house but we could see the event from the living room when we were there.

It turned out we didn't need air conditioning at all. The days were fairly mild with a bit of rain and the nights were pleasantly cool.

Moving Around

Armed with bikes we borrowed from the home owners, we pedaled our way down Knapp St, through the gate, and to the tram line at the end of the "North 40," where many thousands of airplanes are parked in an open camping area.

I've been to many state fairs and other highly attended events and I must say that getting around Oshkosh is a breeze. We couldn't take our bikes in to the show itself, but there are trams set up everywhere. No matter how busy the event was I never waited more than a few minutes for a ride, for food, or for a bathroom break. Everything was exceptionally clean and neat, also.

Despite the ready availability of trams and buses, we chose to walk a lot of the event so we could meander through all the aircraft displays. Only at Oshkosh can you see a dozen P-51 Mustangs tied down next to each other. It's worth the sore feet to gawk.

The Airshow

If you like aerial displays, Airventure does not disappoint! This year one of the big stars of the show was Yves Rossi, aka "Jetman". His jet suit is very impressive, allowing him to do rolls and loops after dropping out of a helicopter.

Other standouts of the show this year include Skip Stewart, David Martin, Kirby Chambliss, Patty Wagstaff, Sean D. Tucker, Greg Koontz, Gene Soucey, Rob Holland, and Matt Chapman.

During the show we also saw demos by manufacturers, including Sonex who showed off their new micro-jet, the SubSonex.

The Pics

There is no way to capture with photography an event of such size. Though I tried to take photos of as many things as I could, I still only photographed a small portion of the show. There are whole sections I didn't get to at all, such as the museum, Kidventure, or the float plane area. Below you'll find the photos I took with a few captions to guide you.

Results

During the event I decided which airplane to purchase to further my aerobatic "career" and even made a factory visit after leaving Oshkosh. I'll write up more about that in my blog later.

When Will You Go?

I strongly encourage every R/C airplane modeler to attend Oshkosh at some point in their lives. It's worth a long car ride or airplane flight to see the spectacle. In fact, I wager that even someone with little interest in airplanes would have a hard time coming away unimpressed. If you bring a family there is enough to do in the area that the non-airplane-lovers can busy themselves.

Discussion

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Old Aug 06, 2013, 09:15 PM
Registered User
United States, RI, Coventry
Joined Oct 2012
41 Posts
We just got back too. My Dad and I have been going annually since 1984. Always a great time- especially enjoy the night time air shows!
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Old Aug 07, 2013, 08:45 AM
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Fond du Lac, WI
Joined Mar 2005
562 Posts
In addition to all the 'eye candy' for adults there is also KidVenture with a hanger full of activities for kids including riveting, prop shaping, and flight simulators. I don't know what kind of aircraft they intend to construct, but next year the plan is to build and fly an airplane at the show.
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Old Aug 07, 2013, 09:07 AM
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United States, MI, Honor
Joined Dec 2005
5,117 Posts
Thank you for all your photos. That is a lot of work, appreciate your time to post all of them.

Conehead
Orrin Eldred
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Old Aug 07, 2013, 01:23 PM
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deshan's Avatar
United States, OR, Corvallis
Joined Mar 2012
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Here is another set of photos taken by Jim Bourke at the Airventure event:
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Old Aug 07, 2013, 01:55 PM
JustFlying
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Joined Dec 2005
2,437 Posts
Quote:
When Will You Go?


I strongly encourage every R/C airplane modeler to attend Oshkosh at some point in their lives. It's worth a long car ride or airplane flight to see the spectacle. In fact, I wager that even someone with little interest in airplanes would have a hard time coming away unimpressed. If you bring a family there is enough to do in the area that the non-airplane-lovers can busy themselves.

I wish I could go, but it is just to far for me.
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Old Aug 07, 2013, 05:34 PM
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Canada, ON, Kincardine
Joined Feb 2009
533 Posts
I made the trip down this year. My first time back since 1999.

Towed my Lazair the 1000 km do do a few demo flights. The older ultralight designs are getting pretty rare so I figured I should show mine off.

Lazair Circuits at Oshkosh (11 min 27 sec)
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Old Aug 09, 2013, 11:45 PM
Flutter-Bys are fun
Conehead's Avatar
United States, MI, Honor
Joined Dec 2005
5,117 Posts
I know I sound like a broken record, yet, Thank you for the photos. It takes time and energy to upload all of them so those of us who can't go. I appreciate the photos and helps us see it from afar.

Thank you.
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Orrin Eldred
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Old Aug 10, 2013, 12:58 AM
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United States, IL, Joliet
Joined Jul 2011
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I knew Tom Buck took his Avenger. I live very near its home port and heard him come in when it was dark. unsual since I never see warbirds in the dark
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Old Aug 13, 2013, 05:17 PM
ARFs make me BARF
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United States, MI, Roseville
Joined Dec 2000
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Dusty Crophopper lol
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Old Aug 15, 2013, 01:05 AM
Up-Out-&-Gone
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United States, SC, Charleston
Joined Mar 2007
16,312 Posts
Jim, Deshan

Thankyou SOOO much for all these amazing Oshkosh Pics!

We're VERY grateful!
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Old Aug 15, 2013, 10:35 AM
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United States, CA, Garden Grove
Joined Oct 2000
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Met a fellow RV'er on an internet forum in 2005, he and his wife let us park our motorhome on their estate in nearby Fremont, wined and dined us and our two dogs and showed us around. Mel and I went to Airventure for two days.We became good friends. It was fun hanging out in the tents during frequent showers. I was born in central WI and we also visited relatives. WI is a great place to enjoy forests and lakes, etc.
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Old Aug 28, 2013, 02:40 AM
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Carlsbad, CA
Joined Sep 2004
4,702 Posts
Thanks for posting pictures. I've been to a dozen Airventures starting in the late 70's early 80's . Flew in couple times, camping under the wing each time for a week of just planes, planes and more planes.

I'm gonna have to go back in 2014. EAA sure puts on a great show. Paul P passed away recently. I remember him flying his blue P-51. Another memory is watching Bob Hoover flying his routine in a Rockwell Shrike...
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