Greetings from The Aero Experience Team


The Aero Experience is a celebration of Midwest aviation and aerospace achievement. We invite you to join us as we explore the treasures of Midwest aviation through first-hand experiences. Our contributors take turns flying lead, and we are always looking for new destinations. Check in with The Aero Experience frequently to see where we will land today, and then go out and have your own aero experiences!

Blue skies,

Carmelo Turdo, Mark Nankivil and Fred Harl - The Aero Experience Team

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016: A New Season Begins

Fred Harl and Carmelo Turdo Aero Experience Team is back from spending ten days at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016 and, yes, it took another week to sort and record the thousands of photos and videos we gathered while covering the nation's largest aviation event.  We are again proud to be sponsored by Air Associates for our unique, year-round presentation of the sights, sounds and aero experiences of EAA AirVenture Oshkosh for our fourth season.   

Our coverage of EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016 will include a wider variety of topics and venue areas around the event grounds than in the past, with greater emphasis on the daily operations and the people that make this event possible.  Rather than just including the glamour shots of the thousands of interesting aircraft (don't worry there are plenty), we will also incorporate the everyday scenes of ground crews at work, views from the crowd, changes in weather and even rides on the trams as we moved about to the various display areas.  The stories will include more dialogue, context and historical background of the activities presented, and links to further information will be provided when available.  Attendees may remember the scenes, while those who have not attended as of yet will gain some insight into the week's activities.  The Aero Experience Team also hopes that each offering is informative and entertaining, and that they inspire you to have your own aero experiences in your area.  

To begin our coverage of EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016, we picked some representative photos from various areas that will be covered in more depth in future posts.  Check back frequently as we roll out more introductory photos soon!

The Aero Experience Team again stayed at Sleepy Hollow Farm not far from the main gate.  The owners and staff are friendly and helpful, and we highly recommend their RV park and cabins for EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2017 attendees.

The iconic control tower looms over the airport grounds and serves as an orientation marker for navigating through the expansive airport grounds.  The banner proudly proclaims itself "The World's Busiest Control Tower."  

The "Brown Arch" is another unique cultural icon at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh.  It is often seen as "proof" of attendance, but more importantly it includes the floor bricks that commemorate those who have passed away.

Boeing Centennial Plaza is the central point of reference for aircraft static displays and the central road (Celebration Way) to the exhibit tents.  This midweek photo shows the USAF C-5M Galaxy in the center. 

Ground level at Boeing Centennial Plaza, to the left of the C-5M, featuring the US Coast Guard HC-130J Super Hercules, USN Super Hornet and NASA legacy Hornet.

The US Coast Guard featured these aircraft in addition to the Super Hercules - HC-114A Ocean Sentry, MH-65D Dolphin and MH-60T Jayhawk.

The A-10C Thunderbolt II from the 122nd FW, Fort Wayne, Indiana Air National Guard.

Major Ben "Evil" Cook, Director of Operations for the 122nd FS, Louisiana Air National Guard based in New Orleans, tells the crowd about the F-15C Eagle.    

QF-4E Phantom II pilots Lt.Colonel Ron "Elvis" King and Jim Harkins with one the of QF-4Es on display in Boeing Centennial Plaza.  2016 will be the last year for U.S. Phantom II operations. 

Cathay Pacific Boeing 747-867F cargo aircraft was on display in Boeing Centennial Plaza the last weekend.

Ford Motor Company was a major sponsor of EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016, and donated another theme Mustang for auction to raise funds for EAA education programs.  This year's theme was "Ole Yeller," named for the P-51D Mustang flown by legendary airshow pilot Bob Hoover. 

The owner and restorers of this rare Ryan ST-A in the Vintage Aircraft Area.

The legendary Colonel Bud Anderson meets with World War II reenactors following a program in the Warbirds Area.

Former winners of the Bill Barber Award join the 2016 awardee, Manfred Radius. 

Greg Shelton and Ashley Key perform their Stearman wing-walking act.  

Heritage flight flown by the Viper Demonstration Team and Vlado Lenoch in the P-51 Baby Duck.

Lt. Colonel Ron "Elvis" King pulls the QF-4E Phantom II hard on the break for landing upon arrival on Monday. 

The Canadian Forces Snowbirds were the airshow headliners during the weekend shows.

The Seaplane Base hosted numerous small aircraft and (below) the giant Martin Mars.  The Mars appeared in several airshows, performing a firefighting water drop demonstration.

The STOL competition runs were held at the ultralight field.  

Thousands of visiting aircraft come and go throughout the week.  This Cessna 210RG is departing on Saturday.

Aviation conglomerate Textron hosted a large display that included examples of their current aircraft lines, including this King Air.

Exhibitors in the Innovation Center complex included Motion RC, makers of large flying model aircraft. 

EAA honored those chapter members who have passed away in the last two years in a ceremony on Sunday.  Family members often rub the names of their loved ones on special paper.

These scenes are just a small glimpse of what we will cover in the coming year.  The Aero Experience Team thanks our sponsor, Air Associates, for their generous support of our reporting on EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2013-2016.  We also thank the EAA staff and those we met during our stay for their participation in the stories we will post throughout the next year.  We thank you, our audience, for your continued readership and support of Midwest Aviation.  Please check back often as we continue this series along with other Midwest Aviation stories.

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