The Best Air Show in the Country!
Attend the EAA (Experimental Aviation Association) AirVenture show in Oshkosh. This is a top-notch, annual, week-long air show which must be the best in the country, if not the world! It is a showcase of what's going on in general aviation, and is enjoyable by all members of the family. All types of planes are represented; military, warbirds, antiques, home-builts, ultralights, seaplanes, etc. There are daily air shows, lectures, displays, merchandisers, a permanent museum, etc. You can buy practically anything related to aviation, from a T-shirt to a Lear jet! I understand last year's event had over 750,000 visitors and over 10,000 planes attend. AirVenture takes place annually around the end of July/beginning of August. Check out their website - www.eaa.org. Make plans to attend, you won't be disappointed!
"EAA AirVenture Museum"
Every summer, the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) hosts the largest aviation event in the world. Aviation enthusiasts come from as far as Australia to participate in the festivities. Camps are literally set up on the EAA grounds, local hotels and motels sell out, private homes rent out rooms or their entire homes, and neighboring universities also open up their dormitories just to accommodate the enormous number of visitors to EAA's annual AirVenture. During the week of EAA AirVenture, the Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh becomes the world's busiest airport.
The Museum offers a fun experience for both adults and children, be they aviation enthusiasts or not. Highlights of the Museum include a highly accurate replica of the Wright Flyer, an exact scale replica of SpaceShipOne, and an "Eagle Hanger" full of "warbirds".
"Paine Art Center and Gardens"
A historic mansion, art museum, and botanical garden all in one, the Paine is best known for its changing exhibits, which notable past exhibits have included "Fashion in Film: Period Costumes for the Screen", "Electric Tiffany", and "Nutcracker in the Castle". The Paine gardens are also a popular venue for weddings in the summer.
Airshow Aerobatic Aircraft at EAA AirVenture 2008
"Sean D. Tucker's Ride-2007 EXTRA EA300/L"
Sean Tucker is one of the most famous American airshow extreme aerobatics performers who has been at it a long time. One of his planes is this Extra EA300/L production aircraft made in Germany by Walter Extra Flugzeubau Gmbh. It is the only production aircraft certified by the FAA for unlimited category aerobatics with a load factor of +/-10 Gs. Walter Extra is a retired aerobatic pilot who designed the Walter 300 series of aerobatic aircraft.
The aircraft engine is a Lycoming AEIO-540-L1B5 of 300 horsepower. The "A" in the nomenclature means this engine has fuel and oil systems designed for inverted aerobatic flight. The "IO" signifies a fuel-injected engine without carburetor. N772TA is capable of performing all of the Aresti catalog standard aerobatic maneuvers as well as any other extreme aerobatics in flight. And, Sean can do them all rapidly and expertly in breathtaking performances.
"Ben Freelove's Ride-2006 EXTRA EA300/L"
This unlimited category aerobatic aircraft is the same Extra aircraft model as Sean Tucker's and they form part of a coordinated airshow act at AirVenture 2008 with two or three other aircraft flying in formation or separately but all at once in the sky. The aircraft may use smoke to help trace their movements and this forms patterns in the sky about them, helping the audience to visualize quick maneuvers and the smoke trails add to the excitement.
Coordinated aerobatics with other close aircraft requires skill, practice, and vigilance in superbly qualified, experienced pilots who must be in top physical condition to withstand the G forces involved. Daily aerobatic performances are one of the big crowd draws to Oshkosh during EAA AirVenture annually.
Please click on the small pictures to enlarge them.
"Mike Goulian's Ride-2006 EXTRA EA300/L"
Mike Goulian puts on an incredible solo extreme aerobatic act as well as teaming up to perform coordinated group aerobatics. Mike has also selected the Extra 300/L as his aerobatic aircraft. The /L means this is the low wing version of the Extra 300 series aerobatic aircraft. Walter Extra Flugzeugbau Gmbh also offers a midwing version and a short wing (by 19 inches) version in the 300 series. These aircraft use a symmetrical wing airfoil without dihedral to fly upside down as well as fly right side up. Mike's aircraft is registered as a production aircraft N821MG.
Please note the distinctiveness of these three otherwise identical EA300/L aerobatic aircraft that the different paint colors and schemes make. This is on purpose to identify an individual performer and is a great aid in following coordinated or opposing group extreme aerobatic maneuvers by the airshow crowd.
"Sean D. Tucker's Ride #2-1981 Oliver PITTS S-2S"
Sean Tucker also flies a small aerobatic Pitts biplane, a noted design by the late Curtis Pitts. The S-2S model has four ailerons, one on each wing and so is extremely maneuverable with a fast roll rate. This aircraft performs solo or coordinated group maneuvers in airshow routines. Engine is a Lycoming IO-540 of 260 horsepower. Aircraft is registered as N260SP, Experimental class. Sean Tucker's son also was performing team aerobatics in the airshow this year.
"2004 Kimball PITTS Model 12"
N393EC is a 2004 Kimball Pitts Model 12 aerobatic biplane, the largest of the late Curtiss Pitts' designs. It is powered by a Eastern Bloc Vedeneev M-14P radial engine of 400 horsepower. This is a two-place tandem seat biplane, considerably larger than the single place or two place smaller original Pitts designs. The Model 12 has the power to perform vertical maneuvers with ease. This Experimental class homebuilt aircraft is rated +9 and -7.5 Gs.
"2005 MX Aircraft MX-2 "HOODOO""
This radical Experimental class aerobatic aircraft serial number 001 is composite constructed with carbon fiber for strength. Registered Experimental class as N262MX. A two place tandem seat aircraft for extreme aerobatics with symmetrical wing airfoil, it is built to +10/-14 Gs and boasts a roll rate of 420 degrees/second. Engine is a Lycoming AEIO-540 of 300 horsepower. Whew! I think I am too old to even sit in it when parked.
"2008 MX Aircraft MX-5 "HOODOO""
Once you feel comfortable (a relative term here) checking out in the two place MX-2 HOODOO, you can earn a ride in the single place MX-5 HOODOO. With identical engine to the MX-2, this aircraft sports a +/- 14 G rating. Registered Experimental class as N65MX.
"2004 Chatman PITTS Model 12"
Another homebuilt PITTS Model 12 aerobatic biplane with same Vedeenev M-14P 400 horsepower radial, this aircraft was on display in the Aerobatic Aircraft area of EAA AirVenture 2008. Similar aircraft are grouped by prior request arrangement for viewing, so you can seek out many examples of the kind of aircraft that interest you at the annual Oshkosh air show, whether it be an executive jet or a vintage Piper CUB. Registered Experimental class, this is N75WU.
Warbirds at EAA AirVenture 2008
""Happy Jack's Go-Buggy""
Jack was a World War II Mustang pilot Ace recently deceased. His restored North American P-51D Mustang was the big warbird award winner this year at EAA AirVenture 2008. Beautifully restored N74190 was admired by all and awarded the Grand Champion World War II Award. Powered by a Packard-Rolls MERLIN V-1650 of 1,695 horsepower, registered Limited Class.
""Fork Tail Devil""
"Fork Tail Devil" was the begrudged moniker the Japanese bestowed on the feared Lockheed P-38 Lightning pursuit aircraft in World War II. N79123 is a 1945 Lockheed P-38L-5 Lightning "Ruff Stuff" restored for exhibit and flight. Engines are two Allison V1710s of 1,425 horsepower each. Please click on the smaller pictures to enlarge them.
"Curtiss Wright P-40E Warhawk"
This oldtimer from 1942 is like the P-40s flown in defense of our Chinese allies in southeast Asia early in World War II by General Claire Chennault's "Flying Tiger" Volunteer Forces. A restored 1942 Curtiss-Wright P-40E Warhawk registered Limited Class, this aircraft has one Allison V1710 of 1,425 horsepower. The big airscoop for the liquid-cooled engine radiator lent itself to the Tiger's nose art of toothy fangs in the P-40s. This one is typical with its decoration.
"1953 Hawker Siddeley FB11 Mk.10 Sea Fury"
This British warbird model was used effectively in the Korean War, 1950-1953. One Sea Fury is credited with downing a MIG-17 jet of the North Korean Air Force over Korea, a first for a prop plane. The original sleeve-valve Bristol-Centaurus radial engine of 2,480 horsepower driving a five-blade Dowty-Rotol prop has been replaced by a Wright R-3350-26WD radial engine of 3,000 horsepower in N18S. The Sea Fury is the ultimate development of a propeller-engined fighter, with sleek looks to match, and is one of my favorite fighters. Sea Furys have won the Unlimited Gold Class races at Reno.
"Curtiss-Wright SB2C-5 Helldiver, "The Beast""
This 1944 Helldiver is the only one in the world in airworthy flying condition, so you are looking at a unique World War II US Naval Aviation survivor. The engine is a Wright R-2600-20 of 1,900 horsepower. Armament is two 20-mm wing cannons, two .30 caliber machine guns and up to 2,000 pounds of bombs, internal and external. Displayed and featured one day on Aeroshell Square at Oshkosh, N92879 was hard to photograph on its sunny side because of the crowd interest in it. It is called "The Beast" by the Commemorative Air Force because it is huge and ugly, but it was designed to do a purposeful job, and only that. This attack dive bomber succeeded the Douglas SBD Dauntless dive bomber during 1944 and 1945.
"1945 Grumman TBM-3E Avenger"
N81865 is a restored Grumman TBM-3E Avenger torpedo bomber of US Navy use in World War II. Our first President Bush was a US Navy Avenger pilot in that war and was shot down in one in the Pacific campaign, surviving in a life raft until picked up. This aircraft is registered Limited Class and is powered by one Wright R-2600 Cyclone of 1,900 horsepower, shown with wings folded, as on a crowded aircraft carrier flight deck.
"1945 Chance Vought F4U-4 Corsair"
Another US Navy and Marine Corps aircraft from World war II, this Corsair fighter is beautifully restored. Corsairs were in production for 13 years, longer than any other of our prop fighters. Engine is one Pratt & Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp radial of 2,300 horsepower. The Corsair's wings fold for storage on a crowded aircraft carrier deck or hangar. Corsairs are distinctive with their inverted gull wings, and were called the "Whistling Death" by the Japanese opposition in WWII. Corsairs tallied 2,140 enemy aircraft destroyed in air combat in World War II, and over 64,000 air combat and ground attack missions were flown. The prototype Corsair exceeded 400 mph speed, the first American fighter to do so. Design was by Igor Sikorsky and Rex Beisel, using the largest propeller and biggest available engine ever fitted to a fighter aircraft. I was in a US Navy Corsair squadron during the Korean War, where they were still used effectively.
"1951 Beech SNB-2 Navigator"
More than 1,500 Beech 18s in various configurations were used by the US Navy for many years. I was occasional aircrew in one during the Korean War, with a lot of hours in them. The US Navy used them in the early 1950s as trainers and utility transports. Two Pratt & Whitney R-985 radial engines of 450 horsepower each. This restored Beech N7826L is finished in typical SNB-2 colors used by the US Navy in 1951. Nostalgic for me to see and photograph!