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Military aircraft take AirVenture stageMilitary aircraft take AirVenture stage

Military aircraft—whether privately owned, meticulously restored warbirds, or aircraft from the current military inventory—have been a staple of EAA AirVenture, and the 2018 show in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, is no exception.

  • A Boeing B-1B bomber draws a crowd at Boeing Square during EAA AirVenture at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, July 23, 2018. Photo by David Tulis.
  • Aircraft painted in military colors pay tribute to the 80th birthday of the North American T-6 during the afternoon airshow at EAA AirVenture, July 24, 2018. Photo by David Tulis.
  • A quartet of North American T-6 aircraft perform a fly-by during the afternoon airshow at EAA AirVenture, July 24, 2018. Photo by David Tulis.
  • A double diamond formation of aircraft performs a fly-by during the afternoon airshow at EAA AirVenture, July 24, 2018. Photo by David Tulis.
  • Aircraft form a pattern representing the eightieth year for the North American T-6 trainer during a salute to the model in the afternoon airshow at EAA AirVenture, July 24, 2018. Photo by David Tulis.
  • A Pitcairn PA-39 autogiro is dwarfed by Honeywell's Boeing 757-225 avionics test bed during EAA AirVenture at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, July 22, 2018. Photo by David Tulis.
  • A Royal Canadian Navy pilot taxis a North American T-6 during the afternoon airshow at EAA AirVenture, July 24, 2018. Photo by David Tulis.
  • Richard Kosi, who flew the Bally Bomber—a one-third-scale Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress—to EAA AirVenture in Ohskosh, Wisconsin, answers a visitor's question about the airplane. Photo by Mike Collins.
  • Visitors to EAA AirVenture stand in line for a tour of a U.S. Air Force KC-10 Extender refueling tanker. The jet, similar in size to a Douglas DC-10, is based at Travis Air Force Base in California. Photo by Mike Collins.
  • Visitors to EAA AirVenture 2018 line up to tour a U.S. Army MH-47 Chinook helicopter. The special missions aircraft is operated by the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment. Photo by Mike Collins.
  • With its raised nose, a Lockheed C-5M Super Galaxy parked at Boeing Plaza during EAA AirVenture almost appears as though it wants to swallow the crowd. Photo by Mike Collins.
  • A Boeing C-17 Globemaster III departing EAA AirVenture towers above single-engine Cirrus jets on the ramp at FBO Basler Flight Service. Photo by Mike Collins.
  • A heritage flight during EAA AirVenture on Wednesday, July 25, featured (from top) a U.S. Air Force F-16, a Douglas A-1 Skyraider, and a North American P-51 Mustang. Photo by Mike Collins.
  • Perhaps the smallest warbird at EAA AirVenture 2018 was this pedal-powered P-51 Mustang. The "airplane" and its young pilot were captured during a parade of pedal-powered airplanes. Photo by Mike Collins.
  • The U.S. Navy Blue Angels perform a diamond break after making a couple of fly-overs of EAA AirVenture on Wednesday. The team was on its way to a weekend performance in Fargo, North Dakota. Photo by Mike Collins.
  • The U.S. Navy Blue Angels made a surprise fly-over of EAA AirVenture 2018, on their way to a weekend performance in Fargo, North Dakota. Photo by Mike Collins.
  • Attendees sit on the wing of a Boeing B-1B bomber parked near a B-17 Flying Fortress during EAA AirVenture at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, July 23, 2018. Photo by David Tulis.

The warbird community is marking the eightieth anniversary of the North American T–6, an advanced military trainer during World War II; more than 15,000 were built and variants served with the U.S. Army Air Forces, the U.S. Navy, and many allied air forces.

The U.S. Air Force is highlighting refueling tankers, with KC–135 and KC–10 aircraft—among many other active-duty aircraft—displayed in Boeing Plaza. Although they weren’t scheduled to perform, the U.S. Navy Blue Angels surprised airshow attendees with a few passes and a dramatic overhead break, while en route to weekend airshows in Fargo, North Dakota.

And a real head turner is the Bally Bomber, a one-third-scale Boeing B–17 Flying Fortress that weighs about 1,800 pounds, cruises at about 95 knots, can carry 42 gallons of fuel, and has a crew of one. 

Mike Collins

Mike Collins

Technical Editor
Mike Collins has worked for AOPA’s media network since 1994. He holds a private pilot certificate with an instrument rating.
Topics: Experimental Aircraft Association, EAA AirVenture, US Travel

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