A flying car, night air shows, and veggie options show AirVenture’s inclusiveness
An RV-4 homebuilt settles in for its AirVenture 2013 visit. Builders and owners often camp with their planes. Courtesy: EAA
The foremost aviation gathering is now underway in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Seven days, 10,000 aircraft, 500,000 people, nine air shows including two at night, 800 exhibitors, and over 900 registered media are all you need to know that the Experimental Aircraft Association’s AirVenture event (July 29-August 4) is the world’s largest fly-in and convention.
This year is the 61st annual gathering of the most diverse collection of aircraft in the world. From the very rare vintage, warbird, and one-of-a-kinds; to thousands of familiar production aircraft to the thousands of homebuilt (amateur-built) aircraft that EAA was first founded to promote.
Wisconsinites know it as “The Big Air Show” but its much more than that as its the largest gathering of aviation enthusiasts and the most democratic as anyone can fly-in. Of EAA’s 170,000 worldwide members only a fraction actually attend with most wishing they could.
But as has been the case for the last 16 years, you can attend via EAA Radio which began its seven days of live programming at 6 a.m Central time today (July 29).
Listen to EAA Radio to hear 24/7 coverage of all the events on the field, as well as interviews and diverse programming. EAA Radio also has a live video feed from their studios. LISTEN
(program note: I will be returning as a guest host on EAA Radio July 29 and Aug 1-4 12-1 p.m. Central time)
Watch the live tower cameras that show sweeping views of north, central, and south parking and runway approaches. WATCH
Watch the Air Show camera that follows the daily air show live. You especially don’t want to miss the night air show. WATCH
Watch Theater In The Woods, EAA’s evening programming. WATCH
Listen to the Air Traffic Controllers handle the rush via LiveATC.net. LISTEN
First woman since 1944 to qualify on the B-29 to appear at Air Power tour event
Debbie King at the controls of “FIFI”, the CAF’s B-29. King is the first woman to qualify on the World War II bomber since 1944.
Its been sixty five years since Dora Dougherty and Dorthea “Didi” Moorman became the first women to be fully qualified in the B-29, the most advanced in the World War II Allied aircraft bomber fleet. Last summer Debbie King, 44, became the first woman since that time to become a qualified pilot on the Commemorative Air Force’s (CAF) B-29 “FIFI”, the only remaining airworthy B-29 in the world.
Beginning today thru Sunday (July 26-28) in Madison the CAF will have military aircraft from that era including “FIFI” andtwo other bombers, four fighters and a trainer on hand for people to see and also hop rides. The Air Power History Tour is a traveling showcase of CAF aircraft that in total number 160 and are operated and maintained by the nearly 9,000 members of the organization.
Felix Baumgartner is preparing to break 52 year-old freefall altitude and speed record. Courtesy: Red Bull Stratos
A project that has been ongoing since 2005 may soon culminate in a record-setting human freefall attempt from 120,000 feet above New Mexico. Felix Baumgartner has been working with Red Bull on the Red Bull Stratos project that will not only try and set a record but also test supersonic human limits through the air without a vehicle.
The reason there is a record is because someone has done it before. Joe Kittinger set the current record (102,000 feet) in 1960 while testing spacesuits for the American space program and high speed ejections from aircraft. Kittinger, who is consulting on the Stratos project, used a balloon to get to altitude; the same method Baumgartner will use. Continue reading →
Women pilots in WW II helped men conquer fears of flying the B-29
Former B-29 Pilot Dora Dougherty (left) and Lt. Col. George Hardy ret. a Tuskegee Airman flew the B-29 in Korea. Photo by: Steve Schapiro
In World War Two women were not allowed to fly in combat, and African-Americans were only begrudgingly permitted toward the end of the conflict. But women did perform an incredible amount of military flying as Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs).
The Boeing B-29 “Superfortress” was the best bomber of the war, but it had some serious teething problems that made male pilots reluctant to fly it. Enter two WASPs who were plucked by Colonel Paul Tibbets to demonstrate that the plane was safe. Tibbets took this extraordinary step because he had a big mission to accomplish; train a bomber group to drop atomic weapons, which at that moment was still a big “if”.
Overhead at EAA AirVenture, the largest fly-in anywhere. Courtesy: EAA
Seven Days, 10,000 aircraft, 500,000 people, eight air shows including one at night, 800 exhibitors, and over 900 registered media are all you need to know that the Experimental Aircraft Association’s AirVenture event in Oshkosh, Wisconsin (July 23-29) is the world’s largest fly-in and convention. Continue reading →