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Event Report
Event Reports - EAA AirVenture 2005

Sunday, July 24 - Setup Day July 24, 2005
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Article by Steen Staff
 
After some severe weather on Saturday, Sunday was calmer... though the heat index was 114 degrees! Everyone in our crew had arrived by Sunday, so we got busy with setting up our display (it's in the same location as last year, between the main gate and Paul's Park.) We were also pleased to have the opportunity to take part in a special event... Steen Aero Lab, Kevin Kimball of Jim Kimball Enterprises, author and Pitts afficianado Budd Davisson, Allan Westby of EAA, and the IAC teamed up to create a display to honor everyone's beloved friend Curtis Pitts, who passed away in June. The tribute includes prototypes, replicas, and early copies of nearly all of Curtis' designs, arranged around a tent, where visitors can view historical photos and read about the life of the world's greatest aerobatic aircraft designer. The display also includes video showing the early flights of the first Pitts Special, the first S1-C N8L, and some very special (not to mention entertaining) tributes to Curtis by several well-known airshow performers. Also on display under the tent is the 1990 replica of the first Pitts Special and the first S-2 "Big Stinker".


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The setup of the Curtis Pitts memorial tent begins on Sunday.  
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We just bet that this builder owns a Harley too.  
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Pete Clinton talks to Paul Goetsch. Pete flies his beautiful Skybolt to Oshkosh just about every year.  
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This car window sums up the determination of the many thousands of aviation enthusiasts who make the yearly pilgrimage to AirVenture via plane, trains, and automobiles.  

Monday, July 25 - Opening Day July 25, 2005
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Article by Steen Staff
 
Monday was a good start to the show, a little slower than in other years (since they previously started Oshkosh on Tuesday) but that should pick up as the week goes on. The weather was nice, but warm, though some bad weather started moving in very late in the day. There were a good number of folks who went through the Curtis Pitts memorial area, with many folks sharing stories of time with Curtis or his airplanes. The White Knight and SpaceShipOne arrived at 3PM, right on schedule, and really stole the show... it was a virtual mob scene... albeit an incredibly polite and nearly organized one... as thousands of admirers jockied for position to see, photograph, and meet the aircraft and the team that won the X-prize. They all signed a few autographs and had a great time, you can tell that they really enjoyed "coming home" to a bunch of EAA folks on the only public stop for SpaceShipOne before it goes into the National Air and Space Museum in Washington.

We're looking forward to a great week!


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This year, we're displaying the Yellowbird Skybolt and a structurally complete Skybolt fuselage.  
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There are at least 3 B-17s here this year.  
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Some visitors read all about Curtis Pitts in the Curtis Pitts tribute display tent.  
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Curtis Pitts t-shirts were a popular item. Proceeds benefit IAC.  
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The memorial board has many photos of Curtis and his planes, with a set of his original S1-C plans as a backdrop.  
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This is a faithful replica of Caro Bayley's famous Pitts Special named 'Black Magic', circa 1951. All the planes at the tribute display have a nice sign with it explaining information about the model of aircraft.  
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The Black magic replica is a really well-done airplane. Caro Bayley's original was the third Pitts Special.  
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The cockpit of Black Magic.  
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Jim Klick's S1-S is a very attractive aircraft.  
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Chuck Strauch's fine plane represented the S-2A line.  
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This is an example of an S2-S.  
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N80XP is the prototype of the Pitts Model 12 "Macho Stinker" line. It's still in nice shape.  
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The C-54 was used extensively in the Berlin Airlift.  
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Teddy is signaling to the arming crew... he's upholding our constitutional right to arm bears.  
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The Dornier Do-24ATT is a pre-WW2 seaplane, converted (much) later to use three turboprops. Very unique... this plane has a ton of character!  
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The B-17 'Thunder Bird' being towed into AeroShell Square.  
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The famous P-38 'Glacier Girl' had a large crowd around it constantly.  
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The PBJ-1J was a US Marines version of the B-25. This is an unusual and good-looking color scheme for this airplane.  
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The MG-2 is a nice-looking sport biplane.  
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Steve Culp's Sopwith Pup reproduction is stressed for +/- 10G and has a 400hp M-14 radial engine.  
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Steve also instealled a real Lewis machine gun which weighs 60 lbs.  
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We aren't sure what this Segway-riding robot was doing... but it was amusing to watch. You see a little bit of everything at Oshkosh!  
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The Javelin is a very attractive jet.  
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The USAF brought two F-4s that are used for weapons evaluation. This is a beautiful (and LOUD!!!) sound that is rarely heard nowadays.  
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We have a fully decked-out Skybolt S fuselage on display at our tent... a lot of onlookers have enjoyed seeing it.  
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Our friends just up the road in Rockledge FL, Bob Boswell and Aero Adventure, not only offer the excellent Aventura II light amphibian, but they've come up with this rip-roaring trike. I couldn't get Bob to admit to a top speed, but it has 280 horsepower... no question it's REAL quick!!!!  
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Bob poses with the machine.  
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At 3PM, the White Knight appeared overhead with SpaceShipOne underneath. This sight pretty well electrified the entire convention!  
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White Knight and SpaceShipOne made several impressive passes down the runway.  
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The White Knight actually has a pretty good climb rate.  
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WK and SS1 taxi in to a very eager crowd.  
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Oshkosh attendees are often a bit jaded, but the reaction to the arrival of the X-Prize winners can only be described as near pandemonium.  
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WK and SS1 are towed into AeroShell Square very slowly.  
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After the landing of the WK and SS1, the airshow continued on.  
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(L-R) First commercial astronaut Mike Melville, designer/homebuilding legend Burt Rutan, entrepreneur/financial sponsor Paul G. Allen, commercial astronaut Brian Binnie, and EAA president tom Poberezny. They all had some neat things to say to a very enthusiastic crowd.  
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Save the RV-3s (collect the whole set!) Nice airplanes.  
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Jim Simmons' Skybolt sits in the IAC area.  
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Next to Jim Smmons' Skybolt sat Tim Paul's Skybolt.  
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Steve Jones' Skybolt serves as a runway for an experimental biplane design, with his son at the controls.  
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Bob Dobry's matching Great Lakes trainers are a sight to see!  

Tuesday, July 26 July 26, 2005
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Article by Steen Staff
 
Tuesday saw the trailing edge of Monday's cold front clear out, with temperatures in the low 70's and a good breeze... after the 114 degree day on Sunday, it was a very welcome change! The booth continued to be quite busy. Several of us headed over to the EAA Museum to hear our friend Cliff Robertson speak (Cliff owns and flies several planes)... unfortunately for us, his talks have become so popular that they have had to start issuing tickets to limit the number of folks trying to get in. By the time we found out about that, it was too late to get a ticket! He did however have a meet & greet session afterwards so we were able to say hello after all. We saw a bit of the Museum, as a first-time visitor, I can say that it's truly an amazing place for anyone with even the slightest bit of interest in aviation. Another thing that impressed us was seeing KidVenture... there are many aviation-related activities for the younger ones that helps spread the adult's excitement about aviation to them. There were even control-line model airplanes and piltos available to help the kids get a taste of "real" model flying. AirVenture is a true class act all the way through. One amazing thing you'll notice about the character of the event is that no matter where you look, you'll be very hard-pressed to find a speck of trash on the grounds... not just because the voluteers are active in keeping things clean, but the visitors just don't drop trash on the grounds. This Mecca of aviation is truly held in hgh esteem by those who attend. The town of Oshkosh embraces the visitors and AirVenture with open arms, and we've been treated to a very positive experience all the way through.


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Monday night's storms did cause minor damage... a tent fell on this Ercoupe and damaged the rear canopy. Oshkosh got 2.11 inches of rain during the night.  
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In the EAA Museum, a Park Service guide was telling all about the Wright Brothers, and even introduced a relative of Orville and Wilbur.  
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This is an early glider design - it was the first aircraft with true three-axis control.  
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The museum has a lot of educational and interesting displays.  
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The Cosmic Wind is a very famous racer.  
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The Pober Sport is a really attractive sport plane. It's good to see the roots of homebuilding being so well preserved and presented to the public.  
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The Spirit of St. Louis replica has a ncie display. (It's likely the only place int eh world where you can see a diorama of Paris at night that's made of Legos!)  
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Ray Stits' famous Sky Baby was the smallest flying plane in the world (later, Bob Starr built a slightly smaller one called the Bumble Bee.)  
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The homebuilt Cirrus VK-30 is the plane that started it all for Cirrus Design, which is now selling more single-engine planes than Cessna. It's also one of the prettiest aircraft built in the last couple decades.  
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The original BD-5 hangs on the wall. Newer versions have a different horizontal tail shape.  
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This is a full-scale, cutaway replica of the Rutan Voyager, the first plane to make it around the world nonstop. It's amazing that two people stayed in this aircraft for over nine days!  
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One wall has a really neat display of propellers. They all rotate, of course.  
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The Red Devils' Pitts Specials and the Eagles's planes (Christen Eagles) share spots of honor in the front lobby of the museum. Both teams represent the epitome of formation airshow performances.  
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One of the Devils' Pitts Specials... a really slick aircraft.  
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The famed Bugatti racer never had the chance to fly... but boy, would we all love to see a flying replica take to the air!  
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Pioneer Field is an airport within an airport, and sits across a grass runway from the museum. Three Bell 47 helicopters are continuously offering rides from the field... it sounds like you're living in an episode of M*A*S*H.  
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The AMA partnered with the EAA to offer kids a chance to fly control-line models. This is a stunt model demonstration.  
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The cavalry heads out for the airshow.  
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Large formations are the rule at Oshkosh.  
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A Skyraider performes during the airshow. BOOM!  
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An OV-1D Mohawk shows it's stuff.  
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The P-38 'Glacier Girl' gets ready to take off. Very graceful curves on these planes.  
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... and here we have the 'Glacier Girls'... a lot of pilots enjoyed having their picture taken with these attractive young ladies.  
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A flock... er, pack... er.. bunch oo Bird Dogs and other liason airplanes fly the circuit in the warbird show.  
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A squadron of Mustangs flies by. Unfortunately, one of these pilots and his P-51D was lost a short while later when his P-51D crashed (well away from the airport) in a staging area before a formation assembly... no details are yet available on what happened.  
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The performers enjoy watching the airshow.  
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A Stealth fighter taxies in.  
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The Red Bull monoplane is almost ready to perform.  
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An L-39 takes to the sky.  
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The Heritage Flight includes a P-51, P-38, F-4, and F-16. The rare F-4 and P-38 were real stars of this part of the show.  
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The Heritage Flight flies over. We all got goosebumps!  
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The F-4 is one of the last remaining Phantoms in USAF service... it's painted in Vietnam colors and it's "real job" involves weapons evaluation.  
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A C-47 and the Aeroshell T-6's prepare to drop parachuters... they were skimming through the bottom of the clouds.  
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The third Pitts S-1-11 Super Stinker arrived and was added to the Curtis Pitts memorial display area. The only plane that couldn't make it was the Samson Replica, which was down for mechanical issues.  
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A parachuter comes in with colorful smoke.  
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Kirby Chambliss hangs on the prop on takeoff... you REALLY have to trust your engine to do something like this.  
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Famed Georgia aviator and FBO owner Pat Epps performs in his aerobatic Bonanza.  
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We had a surprise party earlier in the month, but Paul's real birthday was Tuesday... we celebrated a bit Tuesday night.  
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The recent issue of Sport Aerobatics had a tribute to Curtis Pitts (it's the same article that was recently published in Sport Aviation).  
 

Wednesday, July 27 - Part 1 July 27, 2005
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Article by Steen Staff
 
The weather on Wednesday was beautiful! We're really having a good time and are enjoying the chance to talk to many friends and customers. There is just so much to see! We're trying to bring you a good snapshot of all the neat stuff that's going on, but the truth is, you really have to be here to appreciate the scope of everything that's here. It seems that everytime you turn around, you see something new or discover a whole new section that you didn't realize was there.

So without any further ado, here's part one of today's photos.


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There are a variety of B-17s on display. This one is named "Thunder Bird".  
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This rare post-war Goodyear-built Corsair is a very attractive airplane. This one is configured as a racer, the unusual scheme confuses folks since most people have never seen a Corsair that wasn't blue.  
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Kristin poses with the Corsair (she likes these birds so much, she even had one on her wedding cake!)  
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The Kreutzer Air Coach is the smallest of the seven tri-motors present, but certainly one of the prettiest.  
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A lot of detailed restoration work went into the Air Coach.  
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This is a Stout Bushmaster 2000, a "modernized" and certificated update of the famed Ford Trimotor. Only two were built between 1960 and 1980, and the other one was lost recently in a takeoff accident in California. It's essentially a Ford with a taller cabin, different engines, and a different tail, and was intended to be a heavy-duty bush plane.  
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Greg Herrick's Ford 4-AT-A has newly-manufactured corrugated wing skins, but it's still nearly impossible to believe that anyone would actually polish an entire Ford Trimotor! This is one of the most beautiful aircraft we've ever seen.  
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The Trimotor is an enormously strong airplane... and many folks find it quite beautiful too. This view shows the corrugations that gave it much of its strength and distinctiveness.  
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The sun sets behind the Ford. Beautiful!  
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Many famous people have flown in this aircraft. Harry Brooks was a close friend of Henry Ford (he lost his life in a Ford Flivver crash in Melbourne FL during a publicity tour) and Floyd Bennett was a pilot on Richard Byrd's polar expeditions (When Byrd became the first man to reach the South Pole, his Trimotor was named "The Floyd Bennett" in his honor, Bennett having died shortly before the trip.)  
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The 4-AT-A has a whole lot of character, even more than later versions of the type.  
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This beautiful Stinson Trimotor is quite a bit different from the Fords, but it was almost as well known in it's day.  
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The Stinson and Ford Trimotors were a great combination to see together.  
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Glacier Girl taxies in after a mission.  
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The Breezy lives up to its name. This design became popular in the 1950s and 60s, and they're still being built today. What a view!  
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The Piaggio Avanti is a very sleek-looking aircraft.  
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Three Bell 47s are constantly overhead giving rides, even during the airshow.  
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One of the two F-4s that the Air Force brought to AirVenture on display in AeroShell Square.  
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Paul, Sherry, and Ethan Goetsch enjoy the EAA Museum. It's a truly fascinating place and is something you shouldn't miss!  
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Actor Cliff Robertson had a meet & greet session after his talk at the museum. (We know him because his Stampe needed some flying wires a while back.) A truly nice guy!  
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This ornithopter-like "thing" put on quite a show.  
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Lots of people continued to go through the Curtis Pitts tribute tent.  
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The Shockwave Jet Truck makes a blisteringly-fast run down the runway during the airshow.  
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There are a variety of current military aircraft on display.  
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The Steen banner flies high for all to see.  
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The P-51 'Cloud Dancer' heads out for a flight to demonstrate air racing.  
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The Sea Fury unfolds its wings (it flies a lot better that way) while heading out for the mock race.  
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The Goodyear Corsair joins the racing group.  
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Two Eclipse jets fly by for the crowd.  
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Where else can you see a wingwalker move from a Stearman to a helicopter in midair?  
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Steve Fossett's Global Flyer arrived on Wednesday.  
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The Global Flyer was greeted by a very enthusiastic crowd.  
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The Global Flyer is a very elegant airplane.  
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Every type of aircraft is represented at AirVenture, including gyrocopters.  
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The Star Spangled Banner was sung as the flag was carried in by a parachutist.  
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Paul shares a moment with his son Ethan.  
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Even after we closed up, people were still coming by looking at the plane.  
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We were treated to a beautiful sunset.  
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The "shoe farm" at the house... we have 13 people staying in the house! (Actually it works out just fine.)  
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Our friends at Liberty Aircraft are in a nearby display.  

Wednesday, July 27 - Part 2 July 27, 2005
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Article by Steen Staff
 
Here are some more photos of Wednesday's activities at Oshkosh.


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The famous gate... entrance to the largest sport aviation event in the world.  
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Mike Jones, our master welder, stands next to the fuselage that he recently completed. The quality of Mike's work is outstanding.  
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Lots of folks stopped by the booth to check out the Skybolt.  
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Todd Ashcraft discusses the finer points of biplane construction with Paul.  
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Our friend Gordon Penner of IAC 34 in Ohio discusses acro with Barrett.  
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The Skybolt fuselage was a popular attraction.  
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The almost-owner of the Skybolt fuselage, Dave Dugan, poses by it with his daughter Sarah.  
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Robert Luther and his wife Suzie stopped in. Robert is the author of the novels "Skybolt" and "Corporate Space"... we sell "Skybolt" (now, signed by the author!)  
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Lots of folks looked over our Yellowbird.  
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The Pitts memorial tent was busy.  
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The Virgin Global Flyer arrives.  
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The Global Flyer on display.  
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A P-51 waits to fly in the afternoon airshow.  
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Bill Rewey's Pietenpol Air Camper sits in the Light-Sport Aircraft section. The Sport Pilot rule is only a year old, and it's clearly having a big effect upon the direction of sport aviation as we know it.  
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The B-17 'Thunder Bird' displays Old Glory proudly.  
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The USAF Heritage Flight breaks off. Very impressive!  
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Paul is reflected in a DC-9 table at the Moto Art display.  
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How about a table made from F-4 engine parts? Only $4,200.  
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Ethan had a good time!  
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The first commercial astronaut, Mike Melville, answers EAA'ers questions about SpaceShipOne and the X-Prize.  
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Back in 1944, you didn't want to attack a B-17 from the rear... or from any other direction, for that matter.  
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Kristin is caught in a lighter moment.  
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A Hellcat waits for the next mission.  
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There are two P-40s here!  
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The B-25 'Panchito' performs regularly.  
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The Shockwave jet truck makes a run at 300mph.  
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Lots and lots of formations are seen during the warbird airshow.  
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This is the world's busiest control tower during the show... competition is very keen for FAA folks to be a part of it (and, they're all volunteers.)  
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The Lockheed PV-2 Neptune is a somewhat lesser-known, but significant, anti-submarine airplane.  
     

Thursday, July 28 - Part 1 July 28, 2005
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Article by Steen Staff
 
Thursday - more great weather and lots of folks in the tent. What a neat place... new things to see and do every day! We'll get right to the pictures...


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This is Elaine Larsen's jet engine-powered dragster... yeeehaaaawww!!!  
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The Woodworking forum allows folks to practice the art of building a wooden airplane wing.  
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There is a Knight Twister on display in the Children's Activity Hangar.  
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The Twister is a unique-looking airplane.  
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NOAA had an interesting display.  
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This is an old-fashioned weather station. Some of these are still in use, though most weather stations have moved to automated equipment.  
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This Cherokee Six looks like it's about to fall over on its backside.  
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This Curtis P-6E Hawk replica is a real eye-catcher.  
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Don Stewart is the proud designer, builder, and pilot of the Stewart 265. This is a really beautiful airplane that really captures the feel of the Golden Age of aviation.  
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The 265 draws inspiration from Don's memories of seeing a Ryan STA when he was a young boy.  
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The Radial Rocket is a very popular plane. It looks fast even when parked.  
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The Radial Rocket is actually pretty large inside.  
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Barrett Brummett gave a talk about our planes near the IAC Building. Lots of folks had some good questions.  
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Barrett shares his knowledge with the crowd.  
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The IAC building has seen a lot of traffic this week.  
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The composite MX-2 is one of the newer monoplanes available.  
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The Twister is a very elegant composite aerobatic airplane.  
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The Twister's wing lights are high-intensity LED's with a clear resin molded right around them. Very neat idea, which a resourceful homebuilder should be able to duplicate.  
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The Polen Special is one of the sleekest planes out there, and it's even faster than it looks.  
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An couple of A-10s arrived in a most impressive fashion.  
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The pedal planes were very popular with the Junior Pilots (and their parents!)  
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Vrooom! Vrooom!!  
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A PZL Wilga takes off.  
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Lots of helping hands are available to move planes into position.  
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These Hyperbipes were on display in the IAC area.  
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This is a turbine-powered Cub... you really do see everything at Oshkosh.  
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The Davis DA-2A is a classic, all metal homebuilt design that is designed to fly just like a Cherokee.  
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EAA's Ford Trimotor hopped rides throughout the day.  
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This Sonex is a popular plane for the new Sport Aircraft category.  
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Bill Clapp's Corvair-powred KR-2S only cost him $7,300 to build.  
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This was a nice Fly Baby.  
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This Fly Baby was also quite attractive.  
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The American Wings Air Museum brought their fully restored OV-1 Mohawk.  
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Lots of fighters are here, some are uncommon...  
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The well-known P-51 'Old Crow' was flying in the daily airshow.  
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EAA's B-17 is on the mend after a gear collapse in California earlier this year.  
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This Junkers Ju-52 Trimotor, aka the "Iron Annie", was the German counterpart to the C-47 during WW2. Today these are quite uncommon.  
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The Ju-52 was a real workhorse of the German wartime military machine.  
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Back in the late 1970s, Martin Caidin used to do a routine with a Ju-52 where he would stand outside the cockpit while the autopilot flew the airplane down the runway at low level. You sure couldn't get away with doing that today!  
 

Thursday, July 28 - Part 2 July 28, 2005
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Article by Steen Staff
 
Here are some more pictures from Thursday...


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This Hawker Hunter has smoke generators installed on each wing.  
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This immaculate, highly polished F-86 Sabre had all the panels open. Many folks consider this one of the most beautiful airplanes ever built.  
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This FJ Fury is a very rare example of an early jet fighter. This was the predecessor to the F-86 Sabre.  
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The Dornier seaplane is seen over a T-28.  
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Chuck Burin stands next to a Turbine Legend. Chuck flies Bird Dogs and Mohawks for the American Wings Air Museum.  
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You can find nearly anything at AirVenture. This is one of the popular message posting boards.  
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This gentleman entertained the crowd with fascinating tales of his time with the B-17.  
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It's always good to talk to those who were there and hear about their experiences.  
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Honda was displaying its newly-developed turbofan designed for high efficiency in small jet aircraft.  
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The HondaJet only appeared for afew hours, but attracted a great deal of attention. This sleek plane is only a test aircraft, but was designed taking the possibility of production into account.  
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The engines are mounted over the wings to reduce cabin noise.  
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The HondaJet is very, very quiet in the air, even at high speed.  
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The Global Flyer remained a popular display.  
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The White Knight sports distinctive mission markings.  
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Old and new: two aircraft that revolutionized aviation history.  
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A C-130 crew member watches the airshow from atop the Hercules.  
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Van's Air Force is seen over an A-10.  
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Van's Air Force treated attendees to a fine display of formation flying.  
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These folks are admiring a real OX-5 engine, the motor used in the Curtis Jenny and other WW1-era planes.  
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Cheryl, Dave, and a customer enjoy the airshow.