EAA AirVenture: A Vintage Aircraft Paradise

This year’s event in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, features aviation anniversaries galore.

EAA ‘Vintage in Review’ [Courtesy: EAA]

One of the best parts of EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh is seeing all the vintage aircraft gathered in one place. Not only are the aircraft massed some of the finest restorations on the planet, the fact they are often privately owned and airworthy makes them that much more special.

Often organized by type, and parked in disciplined rows, these meticulously restored machines are something to behold—and learn about.

"Vintage in Review" is an informational interactive series presented during AirVenture that showcases specific airplanes built between 1903—the dawn of powered flight—and 1970. The presentations will take place July 22-26 next to the Vintage Hangar.

“Vintage in Review offers attendees an opportunity to see a rare selection of airplanes up close and hear stories about them directly from the owners, pilots, and other aviation personalities,” said Ray Johnson, Vintage in Review chairman. “Several of this year’s headline aircraft are more than 75 years old, making them quite rare to see airworthy today.”

This year, the presentations focus on antique and classic aircraft produced from the post-World War I boom of the 1920s to the 1940s when civilian aviation slowed considerably due to World War II before roaring back when hostilities ended and military trained pilots weren't willing to hang up their wings.

Vintage in Review Schedule

Each day, EAA will interview three pilots about their unique aircraft. There will also be a vocal performance of Ladies For Liberty at 10:45 a.m. CDT, followed by a running of antique engines at 11 a.m. The lineup of aircraft for the vintage talks includes:

Monday, July 22

  • Jim Hammond – 1931 Aeronca C-3

Tuesday, July 23

  • Kelly Mahon – 1929 Cabinaire Biplane

Wednesday, July 24

  • Edwin Remsberg – 1949 Stampe Biplane
  • Ron Johnson – 1938 Buhl Pup

Thursday, July 25

  • Laura Benton – Ladies Love Taildraggers
  • Jeri Barrientos – 1929 Rose Parrakeet

Friday, July 26

  • Ben Templeton – 1937 Spartan Executive

According to EAA, additional aircraft will likely be added to the schedule. You can find more information about vintage aircraft at the show here.

EAA AirVenture Vintage Area [Courtesy: EAA]

Special Anniversaries

There's a whole slew of aircraft celebrating a significant production anniversary this year, starting with ultralights Titan Tornado and Mini Max, both of which mark their 30th year. Small and light and fun to fly, you'll find them down in the Ultralight Area.

In the Homebuilt Area, the SX300, Kitfox, and Zenith have reached their 40th anniversaries. It can be fun to compare earlier models to the more recent designs to note the refinements  over the decades.

Marking its 70th anniversary, the Helio Courier, what many consider the beginning of the short takeoff and landing (STOL) movement as it was designed to be able to take off and land on a dime and give you back 9 cents change.

The North American T-28 celebrates 75 years in service. The T-28 premiered in the 1950s as a military trainer and is still used in that capacity by several nations around the world.

The Aeronca, the post-WWII high-wing taildragger marks 80 years in existence this year. The National Aeronca Association reports more than 70 of these classic taildraggers have signed up to attend the show.

Meg Godlewski has been an aviation journalist for more than 24 years and a CFI for more than 20 years. If she is not flying or teaching aviation, she is writing about it. Meg is a founding member of the Pilot Proficiency Center at EAA AirVenture and excels at the application of simulation technology to flatten the learning curve. Follow Meg on Twitter @2Lewski.

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