Information on EAA Chapter 1310, EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, and General Aviation

May 2011Monthly Archives

Summary of AirVenture 2011 Major Events

The pressure of this summer’s event made me finally finish catching up with old posts, so I’ll jump right into the first post for the 2011 convention information.

AirVenture will be part of the 100 years of Naval Aviation celebration. Navy Day will be on Wednesday, July 27, capped off by an evening forum featuring renowned astronauts, Capt. Gene Cernan and Capt. Jim Lovell. Adm. Gary Roughead, the current U.S. Chief of Naval Operations.

Former “Good Morning America” host David Hartman will moderate the evening program as Cernan and Lovell will recall how their experiences as U.S. Navy pilots forged their careers into NASA and space exploration. Additional special guests will be announced at a later date. Theater in the Woods programming is presented by M&Ms.

“Navy Day” will kick off with an “Honor Flight” that will transport approximately 80 World War II naval veterans from AirVenture on a Southwest Airlines 737 to Washington, D.C., where they will spend the day touring the memorials in their honor before returning to Oshkosh to a heroes’ welcome.

Among the dozens of unique aircraft anticipated are several World War II and Korean War-era naval warbirds, including the only flying SB2C Helldiver Navy dive bomber in the world, one of two airworthy PV-2 Harpoons, OY1/L-5B USMC Observation aircraft that saw combat during the Battle of Iwo Jima, a rare Temco Pinto jet trainer, TBM Navy torpedo bomber featuring the paint scheme of the aircraft flown by President George H.W. Bush, an award-winning SNJ Navy trainer, F8F Bearcat in a Blue Angels paint scheme, Grumman J2F Duck Navy amphibian, F4U Corsairs, FM2 Wildcat, and F7F Tigercat.

Vietnam War-era will be represented by a Douglas R4D, Douglas AD Skyraider, Douglas A-4 Skyhawk, and North American T-2 Buckeye, with more to be added. Bookending the centennial attractions are a replica of the Curtiss-Ely Pusher that made the first carrier landing on the deck of the USS Pennsylvania in 1911 and more than 25 current naval aircraft repainted in colors from previous eras.

“Super Saturday” is sponsored by Southwest Airlines. It kicks off at 6 a.m. with a mass hot air balloon launch in the Ultralight area,  and concludes with a feature film at the EAA Fly-In Theater, presented by Ford Motor Company and supported by Hamilton Watches, following the Daher-Socata Fireworks & Wall of Fire. The day also features the annual Runway 5K run/walk throughout the AirVenture grounds, beginning at 7 a.m.

The Saturday airshow will feature a Warbirds Extravaganza, then Aaron Tippin will take to the Theater in the Woods stage for an evening concert featuring many of his hits. Aaron appears in association with the Commerative Air Force who will be bringing FIFI, the world’s only airworthy B-29 “Superfortress,” to AirVenture after a 16-year absence. The Saturday night airshow will feature AeroShell Aerobatic Team (T-6s), Bob Carlton (Jet sailplane), Gene Soucy (Showcat), and Matt Younkin (Twin Beech) along with addition of Steve Oliver (Chipmunk). This will be followed by a fireworks show.

Southwest Airlines also will be supplying the aircraft for an “Honor Flight” that will depart from AirVenture on Wednesday, July 27, for Washington, D.C., where approximately 80 World War II veterans will have the opportunity to visit the powerful memorials dedicated in their honor.

The opening day concert, presented by Ford will present REO Speedwagon. The $60,000 Electric Flight Challenge will award prizes to aircraft that have the best endurance, speed and time to climb.

Tuesday July 26th will be Bob Hoover Day. Hoover, a 1988 inductee to the National Aviation Hall of Fame, and long-time EAA supporter,  is best known for his air show performances in a Shrike Commander and P-51 Mustang and in a flying career dating back to World War II. The day will feature an afternoon air show with many of the legendary aircraft flown by Hoover over the years, in addition to programs chronicling his experiences and achievements.

Thursday July 28th will be a Tribute to Burt Rutan. Rutan is the founder and chief technical officer of Scaled Composites in Mojave, Calif., recently announced his retirement effective April 2011. He is best known for his unique, innovative airplane designs, many of which were first seen by eager homebuilders annually at AirVenture,  like the VariViggen (his first), VariEze, and Long-EZ (his self-described “best” homebuilt); one-off marvels like the Boomerang, Voyager, GlobalFlyer, Grizzly, and SpaceShipOne; and, most recently, SpaceShipTwo and WhiteKnightTwo.

EAA is working with builder, owner, and pilot groups to encourage a major gathering of Burt Rutan-designed aircraft at AirVenture 2011, and will also create a special parking area for them on the flightline. Well-known Rutan aircraft designs will also be on prominent display and serve as a backdrop for various presentations during the week, as well as featured in the afternoon air show on Thursday, July 29.



Rod Hightower – Third EAA President

EAA PresidentsI know information is only news when you don’t know it yet, but I’m on my last post catching up with the EAA Convention (known as AirVenture by the marketing people.) So the final bit of information I’ll post is on the change in the organization’s President. There was a contentious process within the directors and management of EAA during the selection process. Interests that the next president needs the talent to grow a multimillion dollar organization with about 160,000 members needed to be balanced against the need to retain the personal interaction and programs that are the history of EAA.

Rod Hightower, who has extensive business experience and is a director in the National Stearman Foundation which holds an annual fly-in in Galesburg, Illinois.

Rod is expected to be in the Hartford area during the AOPA Summit this coming September. He will be visiting Sikorsky Aircraft to support UTC’s contributions to KidVenture.

Icon A-5

IconA5The Icon A-5 amphibious sport category plane was getting closer to production. They did flight demonstrations at the seaplane base and had a large exhibit at the main convention grounds. The A-5 is intended for the high end of the market since it features a luxury styled cockpit. It’s oriented toward the people who want to make the best use of their vacation time. The only cost savings they advertise is that the folding wings make the A-5 trailerable so no airport storage is needed.


I always like looking for new and unusual designs at our EAA Convention. One of them at last year’s event was the Skycar by OMA SUD. It’s a twin engine, pusher, T-tail design intended for many specialized missions such as surveillance. Since the engines are behind the passengers, it provides excellent visibility to the passengers and crew. It can hold five seats, and since it uses Lycoming IO-360 engines, it has a low operating cost. Design goals emphasize high reliability, low operating costs, and comfort.

Cargo Pod for RV-10

MotoPodTwo of the down sides of general aviation travel is the problem of getting around at your destination, and transporting larger items. MotoPod, LLC has created a storage system that mounts underneath an aircraft. The pod is currently designed to be attached under an RV-10, and they are planning on models that can be used on some popular certified aircraft. The pod is raised and lowered by an attachment of a cordless drill where it is latched to the aircraft bottom. The pod can be unloaded in about 90 seconds. It is placed near the aircraft’s center of gravity so weight issues are minimized. MotoPod also has a version of a Yamaha motorcycle that folds to fit into the pod which allows ground travel for two people.

Homebuilt Hangar Programs

Over the past years, the new, exciting features at the EAA Convention were related to commercial and military displays. While the roots of EAA didn’t get smaller,they didn’t get bigger either. 2010 saw a new presentation building inaugurated called the Homebuilders Hangar. Aircraft Spruce & Specialty provided funding for the renovation of the former hangar used for NASA exhibits.

Many kit and plan aircraft designers and manufacturers used this area to discuss their designs. Among them were Leonard Milholland of the Legal Eagle, Jonathan R. Trappe who flys a cluster balloon, Burt Rutan discussed his Long EZ, and Steve Williamson who talked about the Pietenopol.

V-22 Ospry at EAA Convention

The V-22 Ospry tiltrotor aircraft made an appearance at the convention. Due to the incredible downwash produced by this aircraft, any operation with the motors operating, needed to take place well away from the crowd and parked aircraft. The aircraft, based at Kirkland Air Force Base in New Mexico, performed demonstrations in Friday and Saturday.

Veterans Programs at 2010 EAA Convention

Veteran ParadeThe theme of the 2010 EAA Convention was a Salute to Veterans. The Disabled American Veterans had their B-25 Panchito there to promote their program of veteran services. Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band played there, and will be back at the 2011 event. Gary and his band have been associated with DAV, and support their programs and mission.

A Parade of Veterans took place on Friday of the convention. A bit of mis-coreography put several flags between the veterans and the speakers. 80 World War II veterans were taken to Washington DC for the day on the American Airlines Honor Flight to see the WWII memorial.


Butterfly Gyroplane Qualifies as Ultralight Aircraft

Ultralight ButterflyOriginally introduced at the EAA Convention in 2003, the Butterfly has been revised to include a new light weight pre-rotator electric motor, and a few other modifications, to allow the aircraft to be flown under ultralight rules. It has a 5 gallon fuel tank, and flies at 62 MPH. The pre-rotator motor is actually designed for model aircraft, and runs on 36 volts. it puts out 2.7 HP and weighs only 2.2 lbs.

Visit their web site for information on this aircraft, and their other models.

Dominican Republic Tourism

The Dominican Republic had a very significant display at the 2010 EAA Fly-In Convention. They provided information on the ease of flying to the island, as well as the customs procedures. They state that Miami provides services all the was to the DR, and English speaking controllers are at the destination. The 14 airports have no landing fee for aircraft under 30,000 lbs, and is only about $6 for a Cessna 172 at one of the larger airports. Flight plans can be filed by radio for domestic flying.