Final figures released for AirVenture

OSHKOSH — More than 500,000 people attended last week’s AirVenture, according to officials with the Experimental Aircraft Association.

That’s about the same as last year, officials note.

“First, it was a safe AirVenture, which is always our top priority, plus we were blessed with a week of nearly perfect weather,” noted EAA Chairman Jack Pelton. “We also met a number of other objectives this year, including reconnecting with our volunteers and members on the grounds, upgrading the food concessions and options, and providing more value and activities throughout the day for attendees. We also had a tremendous amount of aviation innovation brought to Oshkosh.”

“We overcame some big challenges this year, including a lack of current military aircraft participation, to produce an outstanding event,” Pelton continued. “Attractions such as Jetman, the Terrafugia flying car and the screening of Disney’s Planes – which drew a record 15,000 people to the Fly-In Theater – were the most visible draws this year. But people come to Oshkosh for their own individual reasons, and there was a nearly unlimited supply of unique experiences throughout the grounds. We also received reports that many exhibitors had record sales, showing renewed optimism and enthusiasm in the aviation community.”

More than 10,000 aircraft arrived at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh and other airports in east-central Wisconsin.

Total showplanes numbered 2,341, including 867 homebuilt aircraft, 858 vintage airplanes, 343 warbirds, 130 ultralights, 92 seaplanes, 27 aerobatic aircraft and 24 miscellaneous showplanes.

There were 821 commercial exhibitors, a record, according to EAA officials.

There were 2,115 international visitors registered from 64 nations, with Canada (562 visitors), Australia (257), and South Africa (187) the top three nations. (NOTE: This total includes only non-U.S. visitors who register at the International Visitors Tent, so the actual international contingent is undoubtedly larger, EAA officials said.)

There were 914 media representatives on-site, from five continents.

What’s ahead for 2014?

“There are some big aviation anniversaries next year, including the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I and the 75th anniversary of the jet engine,” Pelton said. “In addition, volunteers will build an airplane in seven days with the ‘One-Week Wonder’ project in which attendees can participate. And, of course, there will be plenty of additions for activities that can happen only at Oshkosh.”

Updates will be posted at


  1. Ian Leonard says

    I have been coming to KOSH for several years now. This was the first year I actually flew into the show with my newly completed Glastar. The thrill of that experience was everything I thought it to be over the years.
    After being there a couple of days I had the feeling that the atmosphere this year was different. I was shocked to see the lack of participation by government in the Federal Building. The airshow, without the speed and loud thunder from the military and other WW2 warbirds in large numbers etc was as Mr. Misegades describe.. tame.
    I must say as well, that selling mattresses, massage tables, pots and pans etc hold no interest, nor do they have a place at KOSH. It made it seem like a flee, not fly market.
    EAA was held hostage by government sequestering at the bottom of the ninth inning, and with those challenges I would say that they did a good…..but not great job this year.
    KOSH is a lot about people, and my experience in meeting new people there each year out-ways the mattress guy by a long shot. I will be back.

    • Dave Hill says

      Me too. I’ll be back. I do appreciate the swinging lounge chair guys. It was a great time to rest my tired feet (LOL). Nobody has mentioned the food vendors – I thought it was pretty good food. It was easy to get hooked on those A&W Root Beer Floats. Personally I think the EAA is brilliant. They’ve made AirVenture about all of aviation and that event helps them keep their doors open for the homebuilders. After all, if it wasn’t for the first homebuilders, the Wright Brothers, Curtis, Langley, and ET AL, who knows where aviation would be today. For me the Museum was the frosting on the cake. What a tribute to the pioneers of aviation. And at some AirVenture in the future I hope to arrive in my own homebuilt. Congratulations on completing your Glastar.

  2. Bill H says

    It was my first year. I’m glad I went but there was nothing to bring me back again. The trams closed at 8pm making movemnet between Vintage and N 40 impossible unless one wanted to walk the 2 miles. Same for seeing a movie. Getting in and out was a breeze. Food was resonable. Weather was great (cool). I thought the afternoon airshows had too much “dead” time between acts but the Wed nite show was good. Big delay before fireworks.

  3. Joseph says

    I would say make sure to see Planes in the theater even if you saw it at OSK, Hollywood bases what moves to make on previous movies and how they preformed the first 3 weeks in the theater. Just saying — I’m glad to see an aviation movie that isn’t a war movie or some attempt at a romantic movie that has airplanes. (or worse the combination of the two) Even animated a fun, under dog story I think will inspire kids to love aviation. I think Planes would make a good weekly show if Disney happens to see this :) I know my son would watch it.

  4. Kent Misegades says

    I did a quick survey of my EAA chapter who attend regularly, asked them for the real synopsis:
    – lots of empty spaces in aircraft camping all week
    – more exhibitors, but many selling snake oil, magic bracelets and other non-aviation items
    – popular LSA Mall replaced by college exhibits
    – essentially no military displays, tame airshows
    – empty FAA hangar
    – popular ‘donut tent’ next to IAC building disappeared
    – STILL no mogas available, despite Hightower’s making this his #1 priority last year

    In summary, a collective yawn was expressed over AirVenture 2013 from people who have attended regularly the past 10-20 years.

    • Dave Hill says

      Gee, maybe the old farts who have been coming 10 or 20 years would yawn at anything they’ve had for years. Maybe that’s what is wrong with GA. What do they want? Sonex introduced new personal jet that you don’t have to be rich to afford. Terrifugia made introductory flight. There were more new LSA’s than you could shake a stick at. New Innovation Pavillian speakers were the best in the world when it comes to being an Entrepreneur. GIVE ME A BREAK! Didn’t Bob Dylan sing about if you can’t lend a hand then get out out of the way? If 2013 was a yawner please stay home next year.

  5. Dave Hill says

    It was my first AirVenture. We drove up from Oklahoma, pulled a 5th wheel, and camped. It literally took me 5 days to see and do all that I wanted to see and do. The airshows were excellent. I really enjoyed the Wednesday night airshow. We couldn’t get in to see “Planes” because they’re were thousands of kids. Everywhere I went I meet great people and everyone is instantly your new friend. I’m already planning for 2014. I wouldn’t miss it for the world.

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