Article by Richard Mallory Allnutt
As many of you will have guessed from watching our Facebook page, most of the CAF Headquarters Staff was in Oshkosh for AirVenture 2016. It was an extraordinary year, with some exceptional performances and rare attendees. We got to see the Martin Mars strut her stuff both on and off the water. WWII veterans like Doolittle Raider Col. Dick Cole, Tuskegee Airman Col. George Hardy and several former WASPs, including Dawn Seymour. The Commemorative Air Force brought their full Tora! Tora! Tora! display for a spectacular night show for the very first time. We saw a U-2 Dragon Lady make a flypast. The world famous Royal Canadian Air Force Snowbirds aerial demonstration team performed each day following their Wednesday arrival. And what’s more, we had an F-4 Phantom II two-ship for probably the last time ever at a major public air show in the USA. We thought you might like a run-down of the numbers from EAA Chairman, Jack Pelton… along with some photography highlights by Warbirdnews.com's chief editor, Richard Mallory Allnutt.
Comment from EAA Chairman Jack Pelton:
“It was a magical week at Oshkosh this year. You could sense the enthusiasm throughout the grounds no matter where you were. From the aviation anniversaries we celebrated, to the magnificent performances by the Canadian Forces Snowbirds, to the airplanes and aviators who were here, there was an energy that reinvigorated everyone involved in aviation. We premiered our annual Founders Innovation prize and celebrated the flight of our 2 millionth Young Eagle with thousands of EAA-member pilots who made that remarkable achievement possible. Our industry partners conducted more than 70 news conferences in Oshkosh, launching countless new products and technologies that benefit the aviation community.”
Attendance: Approximately 563,000, an increase of nearly one percent over 2015.
Comment from Pelton: “Our attendance was particularly outstanding, since we had some weather challenges mid-week compared to seven perfect days in 2015. Our grounds crew and our volunteers, who number more than 5,000, did a superb job keeping the site ready for visitors and campers who arrived by ground or by air.”
Total aircraft: More than 10,000 aircraft arrived at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh and other airports in east-central Wisconsin.
Total showplanes: 2,855 (up 7 percent over 2015): 1,124 homebuilt aircraft (up 11 percent), 1,032 vintage airplanes (up 7 percent), 371 warbirds (up 6 percent), 135 ultralights and light-sport aircraft, 101 seaplanes, 31 rotorcraft, 41 aerobatic aircraft, and 20 non-categorized aircraft.
Commercial exhibitors: Final total of 891, a 10 percent increase over EAA AirVenture 2015.
Forums and Workshops: A total of 1,050 sessions attended by more than 75,000 people.
Social Media, Internet and Mobile: More than 35 million people were reached by EAA’s social media channels during AirVenture; EAA AirVenture app had 1.6 million screen views; EAA video clips during the event were viewed 957,000 times; and EAA’s 1,100 photo uploads were viewed more than 7.4 million times.
Guests registered at International Visitors Tent: A record 2,369 visitors registered from a record-tying 80 nations. Top countries represented: Canada (578 visitors), Australia (340), and Argentina (167). [NOTE: Actual international attendance by country is undoubtedly higher, since these are self-reported figures only.]
Media: 750 media representatives on-site, from six continents.
What’s ahead for EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2017 (July 24-30, 2017)? Comment from Pelton:
q “The planning for EAA’s 65th annual fly-in convention begins now. There are people already coming forward with ideas that we’ll consider in the coming weeks. Next year, for instance, is the 80th anniversary of the iconic Piper Cub airplane and the 70th anniversary of the U.S. Air Force. We also want to continue to be the place where new aviation technology and innovations are unveiled to the world. Our evening lineups continue to provide attendees with additional reasons to stay throughout the night, and 2017 will be no different as we’ll kick off the week on Monday, July 24, with an evening concert by the Grammy-nominated alt-rock band Barenaked Ladies, presented by Ford Motor Company. Although the lineup of features, attractions and anniversaries is still developing, it will be a collection of aircraft and people unmatched anywhere in the world.”