50 years of Airventure
Finally this year, I had the opportunity to attend Airventure 2002. It was well worth the effort to travel to Oshkosh, Wisconsin. We arrived in Oshkosh on Friday afternoon. The place was brimming with people and with luck we found a decent site to pitch tent and settle in. Camp Scholler is not only a fun place to camp but is also very close to the action, within walking distance to the airport and the airshow. There are shuttle buses that operate on a regular basis between the campground, the entrance to the airshow, seaplane base and the EAA Museum.
This year marked the 50th anniversary of Airventure. It is estimated that more than 750,000 attended this year; an estimated 10,000 aircraft were flown with a total of 2503 showplanes. This year’s air show performances included among others:
- Spectacular performance by the Liberty Parachute team, well orchestrated descent to the singing of the Star Spangled Banner
- Splendid performance by Julie Clark accompanied to a fireworks display
- Ethereal performance by Manfred Radius in his sailplane beautifully synchronized to music that soothes the soul
- Is this for real? Is that really a woman on my wing? Bob and Pat Wagner in their wing walking act.
- The most incredible airpower of all – a demonstration of the Harrier II, a Vertical Take-off and Landing aircraft (VTOL) that can hover
- Performances by Patty Wagstaff though not as spectacular as anxiously awaited owing to weather. But hey she did go up and do some of her tricks!
- Masterful performances by Sean Tucker in his Oracle Challenger II.
- Mike Mancuso finding new heights to flying. If it can be done, he can do it dare-devil act.
- The War birds of America had a daily extended show. The most spectacular was the recreation of “Wall of fire”
- Daily racing by the Aeroshell team in their T-6’s
Airventure Oshkosh is a must see event. It is the place once a year that aviation enthusiasts converge. With shows, workshops, booths, aircraft displays, dare-devil aerobatics and best of all the people who make it all happen. With most people it is a tradition. People come year after year to share the joy of flying.
There are other places to see and visit if you are in the Madison area. One such place is Taliesin built by reknowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright.
If you have never been to Oshkosh, Wisconsin, visit http://www.airventure.org and start planning for your trip in 2003 now. From what I hear all the best places are all gone early. But you will always find a campsite at Camp Scholler.