AirVenture 2005: Celebrating the past, looking toward the future

If your summer air show plans include shopping for a Light Sport Aircraft, picking up gadgets that enhance your aviation experience, admiring rare warbirds or basking in the glory of record setting aircraft, you’ll want to be at Wittman Regional Airport (OSH) in Oshkosh, Wis., July 25-31. This year’s EAA AirVenture promises all that, and more.

Start your day with a visit to AeroShell Square to see SpaceShip One/The White Knight, the first successful civilian aircraft to reach the edge of space and return. This may be the last public appearance of SpaceShip One/The White Knight as it is on its way to the Smithsonian for permanent display. Also slated for display at AirVenture is Steve Fossett’s Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer, in which he flew around the world, solo and non-stop, in March.

REMEMBERING WORLD WAR II

It would not be AirVenture without some classic warbirds on the ramp. As part of the celebrations of the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II, Glacier Girl, the P-38 dug out of the ice in Greenland and so painstakingly restored, will be on display. The last time the twin-tailed beauty was at the show was before the restoration, when it was nothing more than a pile of parts.

LSAPALOOZA

AirVenture 2005 marks the first year ready to fly, certified Light Sport Aircraft are available. According to AirVenture spokesman Dick Knapinski, LSAs will be prominently displayed.

“This year we plan to have a large display area located just south of AeroShell Square where we hope to have 25 to 50 Light Sport Aircraft, along with representatives from the companies that build and import them,” he said. “We think of it as a shopping mall type concept where people can see the different designs next to each other and get an idea of what is out there.”

KID STUFF

For the junior pilots in the family, EAA KidVenture has added kite construction and model spacecraft and aircraft building.

For the more kinetic big kid in all of us, the Armed Forces will have their simulators back for wanna-be fighter pilots, while the smallest aviators can fly pedal planes.

TIME TO SHOP

If you’re in the market for aircraft parts, electronic navigation goodies, or aviation inspired novelty items, you’ll probably find someone selling it in one of the four exhibitor hangars or outdoor display areas.

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