Popular Science interviews Rich and Dee Gibson of Rich’s Incredible Pryo. They will be receiving the Bill Barber award for showmanship at Oshkosh.
Here’s a few of the interesting features coming up at our Fly-In convention that didn’t make the big press releases.
Honda will be bringing their Asimo robot, and will have a significant announcement regarding their HondaJet.
Several Apollo astronauts who are from the Navy will be present.
George Lucas will preview portions of his next film on the Tuskeegee Airmen
Chuck Yeager will speak at Theater in the Woods Friday night, before Gary Sinise, along with several other times during the week including the Young Eagles volunteer dinner on Wednesday.
Sunday before show, several flying cars and roadable airplanes will go to Ardy & Ed’s Drive in.
Monday – Salute to Chris Heinz and year of the Quicksilver ultralight, centennial of air mail.
Vintage area will have historical re-creators and the Bleriot reproduction of the first airmail plane that is powered by a 110 year old Anzani engine.
Tuesday – Salute to Bob Hoover. Air show will feature some planes that Bob flew.
One, and possibly three FW-190’s will be there. Bob Odegaard has a Shrike Commander painted similar to Bob’s plane, and will perform a tribute act.
B-29 Fi-Fi will arrive Tuesday.
Wednesday – Navy Day. Honor flight to Washington D.C., Curtiss E Pusher replica (1st plane to land on a ship), varied Naval planes through history on display. Every current Navy plane model will be there.
Thursday – Tribute to Burt Rutan. Estimated about 140 Rutan designed planes, including the Boomerang to arrive. 25th anniversary of Voyager flight with a program Friday at the museum.
Friday – Salute to Veterans. Boeing 787 will arive. Departure will be last act in the airshow with multiple Boeing planes in the air at the same time.
Saturday – Super Saturday. Dawn balloon launch, through night air show and fireworks. As an improvement from last year, there will be more to do between end of the day show, and beginning of night show, including a Blues Brothers tribute band, as well as the Aaron Tippin concert.
Two Ford Tri-Motor planes will be available for rides.
Oshkosh 365 has been plagued with slow speed since its release about two years ago. While there have been some good threads with useful information, they are too infrequent for a potential audience of over 100,000 EAA members.
Page refreshes are way too long for a message board, so there is major movement in replacing the current site.
Fox News story about NexGen air traffic control system explains the funding problem, and the lack of clear direction from the FAA, but skips over any mention of the majority of aircraft that will be affected by the new system; general aviation.
Since the trip to the Red Bull Air Races last summer was so successful, several people have been inquiring if we’re going to do a trip this year. We had considered going to the USS Intrepid in New York, but the Northampton chapter did that last April.
We’ve been thinking about a possible destination, and there’s always the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome. Another possibility is for an overnight trip to Washington DC to the Smithsonian museums. It would be about a six hour bus trip, which may be quite long for those seats. Another option is to go by train. We would be restricted on the times we go, but you could move around. We would then need to arrange group transportation within the city. I was thinking of leaving on a Thursday or Friday, and returning Sunday. Perhaps August 25-28 while school is still out.
Please give me some feedback if there’s any interest, or a different destination.
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.
I 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.
The 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.
Two 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.