Air­ven­ture re­port

Air­ven­ture, the US Ex­per­i­men­tal Air­craft As­so­ci­a­tion’s great an­nual show was a show­case for home- and fac­tory-built air­craft, new and old − and one or two no­table de­buts

Pilot - - CONTENTS - Words & pho­tos: Nigel Hitchamn

Nov­el­ties at Oshkosh (Air­ven­ture electrics ‘ex­tra’ p. 52)

Oskosh en­joyed per­fect weather through nearly all the week of Air­ven­ture, which was a big con­trast to the massive storms which left five inches of rain on the grounds the Fri­day and Satur­day be­fore the fly-in started. The rain left many ar­eas wa­ter­logged, with some air­craft park­ing ar­eas closed un­til Tues­day to al­low them to dry off. De­spite this there were still 2,758 ‘show planes’ reg­is­tered, in­clud­ing 1,057 home­builts, 939 vin­tage air­craft and 400 war­birds. The event at­tracted a record 642,000 vis­i­tors, who came to see not just the air­craft but 863 com­mer­cial ex­hibitors, plus fo­rums, work­shops, pre­sen­ta­tions and, of course, the air­show.

The EAA was celebratin­g its fifti­eth Oshkosh fly-in and there were a good num­ber of air­craft present that had been to the first event and even some that had

flown to all fifty. While high­lights among the war­birds and vin­tage air­craft are re­ported in ‘Old Timers’ (p.56) sec­tion, there were also many great home­builts on show, both vin­tage and new, and some ter­rific fly­ing dis­plays, not the least be­ing the ‘Air At­tack’ demon­stra­tion of fire bombers, which starred the Vik­ing Aerospace (Canadair) CL-215, sup­ported by a Colorado ANG C-130, Air trac­tor 801, Ae­ro­com­man­der spot­ter plane and a flyby from a vin­tage A-26

This was an­other fan­tas­tic year for Oshkosh and Air­ven­ture: a week spent im­mersed in avi­a­tion with plenty for ev­ery­one to see, but never enough time to see it all.

For your di­aries, next year’s dates have al­ready been an­nounced: 20 to 26 July

2019 marks fifti­eth time the EAA has held its grand, and ever-ex­pand­ing fly-in at Oshkosh Wittman Re­gional Air­port (OSH)

1932 Pi­eten­pol Air­cam­per, which flew to the very first EAA con­ven­tion at Oshkosh in 1953 be­fore the event moved to Rock­ford and then back to Oshkosh in 1970

CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE: Game Bird duo (de­signed by Philip Steinbach and first pro­duced in the UK at Wick­enby, th­ese air­craft are now made in Arkansas); Cub Crafters’ tri-gear NXCUB, in­tended to be eas­ier to han­dle; Czech Koinzer Ex­plorer, an all-com­pos­ite, PT-6 en­gined six-seater flown across the Pond for Air­ven­ture; Curti Zefhir – first he­li­copter with a bal­lis­tic parachute re­cov­ery sys­tem; Texas Colt, a Ro­tax 912 en­gined, tube frame and com­pos­ite LSA with a 485 lb use­ful load and 75% cruise speed of 110kt; a ‘new old’ aero­plane in the form of the KIP Aero Sop­with 1½ strut­ter kit­plane, pow­ered by a su­perb replica Gnome Monosoupap­e 100hp ro­tary en­gine man­u­fac­tured by CAMS (Clas­sic Aero Ma­chin­ing Ser­vice) in New Zealand; Vik­ing Aerospace (Canadair) CL-215 in dis­play ac­tion; this year’s Grand Cham­pion plans-built home­built, Ru­tan Long Ez N82EZ; an­other ‘new old’ aero­plane – al­beit more of a looka­like than a true replica – Tim­ber Tiger’s 95% scale Ryan ST-L, de­signed for D-mo­tor LF-39, Ro­tax 912 or Wal­ter Mikron III power; and the ‘quantum leap for­ward’ NG, lat­est aer­o­batic de­sign from Ex­tra – an all car­bon com­pos­ite air­craft with a 315hp Ly­coming AEIO-580 en­gine

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