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 Airventure.org