OSHKOSH — Experimental Aircraft Association officials report that attendance at this year’s AirVenture topped 500,000, an increase of 5% to 6% over last year.
“It was a tremendous week on many levels,” said EAA Chairman Jack Pelton. “We filled Wittman Regional Airport with aircraft for the first time in several years, with both aircraft camping and parking areas completely full at mid-week. The cooperation and support of the airport’s east side community made possible the historic first appearance of the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds at Oshkosh, which brought in many people to our event. Exhibitors reported outstanding business throughout the week, with some selling out of product. We also had a tremendous amount of aviation innovation brought to Oshkosh with new airplanes and aviation technology, and our KidVenture youth area had a record attendance year.”
“Certainly the Thunderbirds’ first performances at Oshkosh helped the attendance, as Saturday and Sunday saw 20% attendance increases from similar days in 2013,” he continued. “There was another factor too – a renewed sense of optimism that was reflected in people coming to Oshkosh to celebrate the world of flight. You could feel it among the attendees, exhibitors and our 5,400 volunteers whose work made the event possible.”
Officials report that more than 10,000 aircraft arrived at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh and other airports in east-central Wisconsin.
Showplanes totaled 2,649 (308 more than in 2013), including 997 homebuilt aircraft, 1,050 vintage airplanes, 303 warbirds, 122 ultralights and light-sport aircraft, 91 seaplanes, 40 rotorcraft, 38 aerobatic aircraft and 8 hot-air balloons.
“We’re already planning for 2015, with more details coming as soon as we finalize them,” Pelton said. “Legendary aircraft innovator Burt Rutan indicated he would like to return to Oshkosh in 2015 to share some innovations with the aviation community. We’re eager to bring the soon-to-be-restored B-29 “Doc” here for a public showing as part of the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. And, of course, there will be plenty of other highlights that you can only see at Oshkosh.”
For more information: Airventure.org