AirVenture 2014: One of the 'Best Ever'

EAA puts on a show to remember.

AirVenture 2014 Thunderbirds

AirVenture 2014 Thunderbirds

** Thunderbirds performing at AirVenture 2014
(Photo by: Jim Koepnick)**

This year's Oshkosh Airshow will rank as one of the best of all time based on attendance figures, the number of airplanes that flew in for AirVenture and the mood of visitors and exhibitors, EAA chairman Jack Pelton proclaimed on Sunday as the big Wisconsin aviation extravaganza wrapped up.

"Overall attendance was up," he said. "As you can imagine, on certain days it was way up."

Aircraft arrivals were also up significantly from a year ago, he said. As of Sunday morning there were more than 1,000 additional registered aircraft in Oshkosh compared with last year. And on Tuesday, Wittman Regional Airport was full for aircraft parking and controllers had to turn airplanes away. That, said Pelton, hasn't happened in many years.

An improving economic picture certainly had a lot to do with making AirVenture 2014 memorable, but credit also must go to Pelton and the rest of the leadership at EAA for putting on a world-class event. The show had hundreds more volunteers than last year to go along with improvements among food vendors and the general layout of the show.

The first-ever appearance by the Air Force Thunderbirds was a big draw at AirVenture this year, as were the ever-popular night airshows and moving tributes to EAA founder Paul Poberezny, who passed away last year. For the second year in a row, the weather was good, with only a few stray thunderstorms interrupting the show.

Official visitor numbers aren't in yet, but Pelton is predicting that when the final tally is complete AirVenture 2014 will rank among the "best of all time."

Check out some of our photo galleries from the show.

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