August 05, 2008

Oshkosh Recap.

I had sincerely hoped to post during our Oshkosh Airventure last week but technical difficulties prevented me from doing so. Although our campground claimed to have wireless Internet available the position of our scenic camping spot located behind the metal shed next to the antique combine prevented reception. Secondly, after 8 or 9 hours of strolling through the miles of aircraft and acres of displays we were more interested in nursing sore feet and having a juicy steak and several beers:) In any event here is a short recap of our journey.

We departed the banks of the Cedar and arrived on the shores of Lake Winnebago late Monday afternoon. We set up camp under the final approach to Runway 36 with the steady drone of aircraft arriving at Oshkosh overhead. (Including the Boeing Dreamlifter)

On Tuesday we arrived at the gate at 08:00 and as expected we were stunned and amazed at the shear quantity of things to see and do. We proceed to spend the morning walking the flightline from the main entrance to the end of the field admiring the myriad of of aircraft that had flown in for the event.

The afternoon was spent strolling through the four huge hangers at Aeroshell Square that houses vendors selling everything aeronautical from avionics to wingtanks. The daily airshow commenced at 2:30 with a salute to the military featuring a variety of war bird demonstrations capped off by the Redbull aerobatic helicopter (See Video).

We returned to the airport early Tuesday and began our inspection of the the new planes offered by the various manufacturers. Prominent this year was the new Light Jet aircraft sucb as the Cessna Mustang and the Eclipse 400 which looks and flys like a V-tail Bonanza on steroids.

Later we toured the swap meet, the home builts, and the warbirds sections of the field. What always impresses me about the warbirds is the love, dedication, and attention to detail that goes into the restoration and maintenance of these classic aircraft. Certainly most of the P51 Mustangs look better now than when they came off the assembly line during WWII.

On the final day we made our way out to the Oshkosh float plane base and spent a leisurely morning watching the departure and arrival of a variety of aircraft. The most unique of these being a turbine equipped DeHaviland Beaver sporting an American Flag paint job on the left side and the Canadian Flag on the right side. The flag motif was carried through to the interior with stars and stripe upholstery on one side and the maple leaf on the other.

Later we journeyed back to the field and spent the remainder of the day admiring the static displays at the Oshkosh Museum and the Classic Aircraft hangered at Pioneer Field. I was amazed at the tremendous number of people either camping under the wing of thier aircraft or in the campgrounds. It seemed to far outnumber the attendance of my last visit. That said, Oshkosh is so big that you never have the feeling that you are fighting a croud or traffic during the event. Once again it was superbly organized. Hats off the EAA organizers, and many thanks for another outstanding event. I will be sitting by the phone anxiously awaiting the announcement that I have won the Cirrus 20 the EAA raffled off this year.

I also want to thank Gray for making the trek down from Alaska for a great week!

No comments: