The Helicopter Maintenancemagazine team was at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh last month. The one-week show was a great success. EAA Chairman Jack Pelton says, “AirVenture 2015 exceeded our expectations on many levels. With near-perfect weather for the entire event, we filled Wittman Regional Airport and our convention site to capacity with aircraft, campers and cars by mid-week. The depth and variety of our features and attractions ensured something for every aviation enthusiast. Whether it was the static displays and the number of ‘firsts’ at AirVenture such as the B-52, F-35, and A-350, or the packed exhibits, forums and workshops across the grounds, everyone left knowing that aviation is alive and well in Oshkosh and around the world. The spirit of aviation is strong and the culture of EAA was on full display all week.”
EAA says this year’s attendance was Approximately 550,000, with a total attendance increase of approximately two percent from last year.
“Our final attendance figure continues to demonstrate strong excitement and renewed optimism for the wide variety of aviation activities offered throughout the week for our members and guests,” says Pelton. “Highlights included the very popular day and night air shows, the Apollo 13 crew presentation and the return of legendary designer Burt Rutan. The EAA Young Eagles program took delivery of ICON Aircraft’s first production A5, and the premiere of EAA’s new Aviation Gateway Park drew standing room-only crowds to investigate new aviation innovations, including exhibits and demonstrations on drone technology. On Thursday alone, there were more than 3,100 aircraft movements (takeoffs and landings) over 14 hours, the highest total in at least three years. You could sense the buzz among the attendees, exhibitors and our 5,400 volunteers whose work made the event possible.”
Facts and Figures
Total aircraft: More than 10,000 aircraft arriving at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh and other airports in east-central Wisconsin.
Total showplanes: 2,668 (up 1 percent over 2014) – including 1,031 homebuilt aircraft, 976 vintage airplanes, 350 warbirds, 130 ultralights and light-sport aircraft, 101 seaplanes, 30 rotorcraft, and 50 aerobatic aircraft.
Commercial exhibitors: More than 800, including more than 140 new exhibitors this year.
Forums and Workshops: A total of 1,048 sessions attended by more than 75,000 people.
Social Media, Internet and Mobile: Nearly 600,000 AirVenture web sessions from around the globe; 40,000 downloads of the EAA AirVenture app; AirVenture social media posts reached 82 countries; and EAA’s 1,000 photo uploads were viewed nearly 8 million times.
Guests registered at International Visitors Tent: 2,299 visitors registered from a record 80 nations, with Canada (485 visitors), Australia (266), and Germany (204) comprising the top three represented nations. (NOTE: Actual international counts are higher, as these are self-reported figures collected at the International Visitors Tent alone.)
Media: 970 media representatives on-site, from five continents.
What’s ahead for next year (July 25-31, 2016)?
“We’re not resting, as we’re already planning for 2016, with more details available as soon as they’re finalized over the coming months,” says Pelton. “There were aircraft in process that couldn’t make it this year, including Burt Rutan’s new SkiGull and B-29 ‘Doc,’ that we hope will make an appearance next year. In addition, it’s the 30th anniversary of the iconic RV-6 design. We’d like to have a big reunion of these airplanes at Oshkosh. And, of course, there will be plenty of other highlights that you can only see at Oshkosh. Based on the momentum from this year’s fly-in, AirVenture 2016 is already one to eagerly anticipate!”