EAA Airventure was back in Oshkosh after being held virtually last year due to the pandemic. It’s the world’s largest aviation convention that draws thousands to Northeast Wisconsin every year. From July 26 through August 1, the event brought The World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration back as a magnet for aviation fans from everywhere.
“More than 10,000 airplanes came to the region. We could park as many as 5,000 at Wittman Regional Airport at any given time,” said Dick Knapinski, the EAA director of communications. “It was a celebration of flight.”
Masks were not required this year but they were recommended for those who are unvaccinated. The convention also made accommodations to maintain social distancing.
The 68th edition of the Experimental Aircraft Association’s fly-in convention again featured everything from the smallest ultralight to huge airliners and military cargo aircraft, flying and on display. EAA AirVenture, known simply as “Oshkosh” to the aviation world, also highlights the latest innovations and technology plus fun activities for the entire family.
“We missed seeing everyone last year and we discovered that the aviation world missed coming to Oshkosh just as much, so there was a tremendous level of enthusiasm for this year’s event,” said Jack J. Pelton, EAA’s CEO and Chairman of the Board. “AirVenture truly is aviation’s family reunion and an event we welcome the public to discover all the wonders and facets of flight.”
Among the highlights this year were:
- U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command: The aircraft and personnel of the Air Force’s specialized mission group that handle everything from secret missions to humanitarian aid efforts. The group arrives en masse at the start of the air show on Thursday, July 29.
- 75th anniversary (Plus 1) of the end of World War II: The aviation story of World War II, from the Flying Tigers to the B-29 missions over Japan, told in air show presentations on Friday and Saturday, July 30 and 31. Vintage warbirds aircraft were on display throughout the week as well.
- Salute to Humanitarian Aviation: Aviation provided almost instantaneous relief efforts to stricken areas around the world, with AirVenture activities led by the ORBIS flying eye hospital and the Samaritan’s Purse DC-8.
- Goodyear Blimp returns: For the first time since 2015, the iconic airship returned to Oshkosh to fly over the event throughout the week in one of its few air show appearances in 2021.
- WomenVenture: Special programming on Wednesday, July 28, highlighted women involved in facets of aviation and inspired girls and women who are seeking to pursue their own dreams of flight.
- Seven days/Nine air shows! AirVenture week included the daily afternoon air show plus the spectacular night air shows on Wednesday, July 28, and Saturday, July 31.
New in 2021, all kids age 18 and under were admitted free, with support from Boeing. This made all the excitement of the world’s largest fly-in convention available to families at a more affordable price. Young people also enjoyed the KidVenture area, included with admission, which was filled with fun hands-on activities that also inspired aviation curiosity.
Throughout the week there were forums, workshops, evening programs, and entertainment ranging from up-close presentations by aviation personalities to aviation films each evening at the Fly-In Theater.
EAA AirVenture Oshkosh is an annual air show and gathering of aviation enthusiasts held each summer at Wittman Regional Airport and adjacent Pioneer Airport in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, United States. The southern part of the show grounds, as well as Camp Scholler, are located in the town of Nekimi and a base on for seaplanes arrivals on Lake Winnebago is in Black Wolf. The airshow is arranged by the Experimental Aircraft Association, an international general aviation organization based in Oshkosh, and is the largest of its kind in the world. The show lasts a week and during the gathering, the airport’s control tower, frequency 118.5, is the busiest in the world.
For more information please visit: www.eaa.org/airventure
EuropeanLife Magazine 2021