July 26, 2016
With nearly 5,000 volunteers working months in advance to make it happen, EAA AirVenture opened to clear blue skies on July 25 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. EAA Chairman and CEO Jack Pelton said there were a record number of exhibitors and pre-sale attendance was also up from last year.
Pelton’s opening day remarks struck a positive tone for general aviation. “It shows that GA is possibly on the rebound,” he said. The show welcomed 860 exhibitors, and aircraft camping had filled up and had to be closed at one point on Monday, something Pelton said he doesn’t remember seeing.
The show has a number of anniversary themes this year, including the 100th
anniversary of Boeing, the 100th
anniversary of Coast Guard aviation, and the twenty-fifth anniversary of Desert Storm. But at this early point in the week, the only thing anyone could talk about was the Martin Mars, which made a graceful landing in shallow Lake Winnebago July 23. Pelton said they had to sink a 10,000-pound concrete slab for the Mars to be moored to.
Highlights still to come are the ceremonial flight of the two millionth Young Eagle, who will be flown by Harrison Ford. And later in the week the Canadian Snowbirds will perform.