SpaceShipOne wows Oshkosh crowds

An estimated 700,000 people attended this year’s AirVenture in Oshkosh.

While the highlight of the week was the arrival on opening day of White Knight and SpaceShipOne, this year’s big show was non-stop, with the Global Flyer making an appearance, as well as the debut of the new HondaJet and the unveiling of many new products and aircraft.

More than than 10,000 aircraft arrived at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, as well as other airports in the Oshkosh area, during the show.

Among the companies making announcements or unveiling products during the week-long show were:

Cessna, which flew in the Mustang, its newest jet. First announced at AirVenture 2002, the jet is “on schedule and on performance,” according to Jack Pelton, president. First flight was April 23, ahead of schedule, and the prototype has since had 90 flights, totaling 167 hours. Certification flights are expected to begin later this year, with FAA certification slated for the fourth quarter of 2006. The jet is powered by the Pratt & Whitney Canada PW615F engine, which is expected to gain FAA certification this December.

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