It's that time again!

FL0704oshkoshentrance

FL0704oshkoshentrance

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The 2004 edition of AirVenture Oshkosh is just around the corner. If you're heading out for the festivities, or if you just want to follow along, check out all the news at flyingmag.com.

While last year's EAA AirVenture celebrated the achievements of the past 100 years of aviation, this year's event (which runs from July 27th through August 2nd) looks to the future, with the theme "Launching the Next Century of Flight." Visitors to Oshkosh will be able to discuss the upcoming changes in aviation and see aircraft that portend what the future of aviation might hold.

As you might expect, the FAA's Sport Pilot/Light Sport Aircraft Rule (which some speculate will be announced at Oshkosh, and which the EAA hopes will play a significant role in the future of recreational aviation) will be highlighted. The EAA will offer an array of Sport Pilot activities, and the headquarters for those activities will be the Sport Pilot Center, now located just west of Aeroshell Square. Visitors can stop by to ask questions of EAA staff and to check out the Sport Pilot eligible aircraft that are on display there.

Of course, for visitors with other interests, there is plenty to do at Oshkosh. The EAA will host more than 500 forums and workshops, and more than 700 exhibitors will be on hand to showcase the latest innovations in the industry. There's a long list of airshow performers, including Kirby Chambliss, Mike Goulian and Sean Tucker, and Bruce Bohannon will attempt to break the all-time altitude record for piston aircraft as he plans to fly his Exxon Flyin' Tiger to 50,000 feet.

And what would Oshkosh be without rare or unusual airplanes? This year includes a look back and a look ahead. The flight line includes a Curtiss TP-40 World War II fighter; a Beech Starship; Russian transports from WWII, an LI-2 and an IL-14; a Grumman F6F Hellcat; a U.S. Army unmanned aerial vehicle; and a U.S. Marine Corps Harrier Jet.

For the notam that details the procedures for flying into and back out of Oshkosh home field Wittman Regional and its satellite airports, visit www.eaa.org. For updates on the AirVenture schedule, visit www.airventure.org.

Don't forget to stop by the big red-and-white Flying tent near Aeroshell Square to say hello. See you at the show!