Attendance at last week’s AirVenture was 541,000, up 1.3% from from 2010.
“This year’s event was a tremendous success,” said Rod Hightower, EAA president. “From the arrival of the Boeing 787 to our tributes to Bob Hoover and Burt Rutan, all the way through the huge crowd on the flight line for Saturday’s night air show, the spirit of aviation was alive and well at Oshkosh this year. You could sense the enthusiasm for aviation and the future of flight throughout the AirVenture grounds.
“The final attendance figure came in almost exactly where we thought it would,” he continued. “Opening day was a tremendously successful day, while Friday was very close to a record and Saturday — with the superb lineup and night air show — was a big draw. Only some rainy weather in the middle of the week prevented the increase from being even greater.”
More than 10,000 aircraft arrived at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh and other airports in east-central Wisconsin for the event. Total showplanes numbered 2,522, up 142 aircraft from 2010. That total includes 974 homebuilt aircraft, 899 vintage airplanes, 367 warbirds, 94 ultralights, 92 seaplanes, 36 aerobatic aircraft, 30 rotorcraft, and 30 miscellaneous.
There were 803 commercial exhibitors, up from 777 in 2010.
There were 2,098 international visitors registered from 68 nations, with Canada (551 visitors), Australia (297), and Brazil (257) the top three nations. EAA officials note this total includes only non-U.S. visitors who registered at the International Visitors Tent, so the actual international contingent is undoubtedly larger.
What’s ahead for 2012?
“Next year, for the 60th annual EAA fly-in, we’ll be honoring Paul and Audrey Poberezny for all that they have done for the aviator community,” Hightower said. “We’ll also welcome the iconic Piper Cub on its 75th anniversary. We’re encouraging all owners of this legendary airplane to come to Oshkosh and turn the field yellow. We are going to be hosting a tribute to the Tuskegee Airmen, inviting all surviving members of this renowned World War II unit to join us at AirVenture. In addition, we’ll recognize Van’s Aircraft founder Dick VanGrunsven, whose RV series of aircraft have become the most popular homebuilt aircraft kits in the world. And, of course, there will be plenty of additions and one-of-a-kind surprises that can be found only at Oshkosh.”
Next year’s show is slated for July 23-29, 2012.
For more information: AirVenture.org