Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band will return to EAA AirVenture in 2013 as the grand finale of a daylong salute to veterans at Oshkosh, Wis., on Friday, Aug. 2. Performing for the fourth time at EAA AirVenture since 2008, the popular band will be hosted at by the Disabled American Veterans and the EAA Warbirds of America at the Philips 66 Plaza stage.
A second night air show will be added to the line up at this summer’s EAA AirVenture Oshkosh. Night air shows will be held Wednesday, July 31, and Saturday, Aug. 3.
The 75th anniversary of the Piper Cub was celebrated during AirVenture 2012. The vintage parking area looked like a field of buttercups for all the little yellow airplanes parked in the grass. But what was a J-3 Cub doing parked on the showcase pad in the Warbird area?
“That J-3 is an honest-to-goodness Warbird,” grinned Mike Porter from East Liverpool, Ohio.
There are certain traditions at airshows. For example, AirVenture is not complete for me until I see Ron Johnson’s 1941 PT-22.
Although it’s technically a Warbird, Johnson, who hails from Rockford, Ill., parks in the Vintage Area — and places toy rubber snakes on the wings of his airplane. According to Johnson, the snakes are an international way of saying DON’T TREAD ON ME. That’s important when you have a low-wing open cockpit airplane, he says, noting that some people aren’t respectful of the “Please don’t touch” placards issued by the Experimental Aircraft Association at the Oshkosh show.
“They look like a field of buttercups,” is how one visitor to AirVenture 2012 described the sea of J-3 Cubs parked in the vintage area of Oshkosh.
This year is the 75th anniversary of the popular Piper airplane and as part of the celebration Cubs arrived in droves at the big show, one after another like a disciplined line of butterflies. One of those belongs to Frank Swinehart, from Lock Haven, Pa., the very home of Piper Aircraft back in the day.
When it comes to aircraft production, timing is critical. The history of general aviation is replete with designs that had the misfortune of being introduced at the beginning of the Depression or World War II, and then being lost to a nose-diving economy or a change in resource allocation. If it was a good design, the airplane came back when fortunes changed.
The Swift is one of the designs that went dormant during World War II and came roaring back in the post-war years to become one of the more popular two-place designs on the market. The Swift is a low-wing tailwheel design with side-by-side seating. In some circles, it’s compared to a flying sports car or even the P-51 Mustang.
What grabs you about the Swift when you see them parked in disciplined rows at airshows and fly-ins is the number of subtle variations to the design and finish. [Read more...]
The quest to find some answers at Oshkosh
In my last post, I had the gall to be less than positive about things at the Oshkosh airshow. I was surprised at the positive feedback about similar experiences. However, our publisher, Ben Sclair commented that to see Oshkosh through the eyes of a new aviation enthusiast is like a kid on Christmas morning — it is one of the greatest experiences ever (A suggestion for keeping the magic of AirVenture alive) And he is absolutely 100% correct.
But where are they going to find 500,000 new aviation enthusiasts every year? Since they are not available, they are going to have to depend on repeat visitors. And why do pilots return to Oshkosh, pay for their transportation, fight large crowds, and pay $250 dollars for a small hotel room? Well, most of us do it to learn what is new and to get answers to our many technical questions.