With the wrap-up of EAA AirVenture 2018 July 30, EAA officials are calling the event a huge success.
“A ‘perfect’ event may be unattainable, but AirVenture 2018 came about as close as one could imagine,” said Experimental Aircraft Association Chairman Jack Pelton. “The combination of outstanding programs, aircraft variety, a robust economy, and good weather combined to complement the efforts of our staff and 5,000 volunteers throughout the grounds. The week was upbeat, exciting, and filled with many ‘Only at Oshkosh’ moments.”
EAA officials report that attendance was approximately 601,000, nearly 2% above 2017’s record total.
“EAA members and aviation enthusiasts attended in large numbers, even without the presence of a military jet team as we had in 2017,” Pelton said. “Our efforts to create unique attractions and aviation highlights across the grounds were incredibly successful. Attendance on opening day was the best in our history, as the vast majority of our guests came to Oshkosh early and stayed throughout the week.”
More than 10,000 aircraft arrived at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh and other airports in east-central Wisconsin. At Wittman alone, there were 19,588 aircraft operations in the 11-day period from July 20-30, which is an average of approximately 134 takeoffs/landings per hour.
As for showplanes, there were 2,979 — the second straight year over 2,900, EAA officials noted.
Of the total, 1,160 were homebuilt aircraft (a 5% increase), 1,094 vintage airplanes, 377 warbirds (7% increase), 185 ultralights and light-sport aircraft, 75 seaplanes, 22 rotorcraft, 52 aerobatic aircraft, and 14 hot air balloons.
Other figures of note:
- Camping: More than 12,300 sites in aircraft and drive-in camping accounted for an estimated 40,000 visitors.
- Commercial exhibitors: 867.
- Forums, Workshops, and Presentations: A total of 1,500 sessions attended by more than 75,000 people.
- EAA aircraft flights: 2,800 people flew aboard EAA’s Ford Tri-Motors, while 3,032 people flew aboard EAA’s Bell 47 helicopters and 680 flew aboard EAA’s B-17 Aluminum Overcast.
- Social Media, Internet and Mobile: More than 12 million people were reached by EAA’s social media channels during AirVenture, including 5.5 million via Facebook videos; EAA’s website had more than 1.7 million page views; EAA video clips during the event were viewed 2.2 million times; and EAA’s 2,400 photo uploads were viewed more than 12.4 million times. Additionally, EAA web streams were accessed nearly 800,000 times by viewers in more than 200 countries, who watched more than 170,000 hours of activities from the AirVenture grounds. The AirVenture app was downloaded and used by nearly 50,000 attendees.
- Guests registered at International Visitors Tent: A record 2,714 visitors registered from 87 nations, also a record total. (Actual counts may be higher since international visitor registration is voluntary.) Top countries represented by registered visitors: Canada (538 visitors), Australia (386), and South Africa (277).
- Media: 976 media representatives on-site, from six continents.
- Economic impact: $170 million for the five counties in the Oshkosh region (Winnebago, Outagamie, Fond du Lac, Calumet, and Brown). This is based on a 2017 University of Wisconsin Oshkosh economic impact study, according to EAA officials.
What’s ahead for 2019?
Next year’s Oshkosh is slated for July 22-28, 2019.
“We are celebrating our 50th consecutive year in Oshkosh during 2019, so we’ll be looking back on a half-century of unforgettable highlights at Wittman Regional Airport, and planning activities that involve EAA’s hometown and its unique place in aviation history,” Pelton said. “While 2018 is barely in the record books, we’re talking to many groups and individuals with intriguing new ideas for aircraft, innovations, exhibits, and events. We’re already planning for 2019 and looking forward to announcing features and attractions very soon.”