After a few months traveling about by motorcycle, it was time to make the pilgrimage to Oshkosh with the Faust brothers.
Since 1970, Oshkosh, Wisconsin has been the home of the annual Experimental Aircraft Association Airventure fly-in. I had never been before, but tagged along with Rich and Mark this year. Rich has been a pilot for many years and Mark is about half-way through building an RV-10. Both had been to Oshkosh before.
Wow. About 590,000 people attended during the week and over 10,000 aircraft landed there and at nearby airports (we landed at Fond du Lac). Air show performances and fly-bys were non-stop and it was fun just to walk through the fields looking at the planes. I caught a few forum sessions and even got a chance to ride (virtually) a BMW S1000RR motorcycle. From the official tally:
Total showplanes: 2,991: 1,107 homebuilt aircraft, 1,162 vintage airplanes, 351 warbirds, 168 ultralights and light-sport aircraft, 79 seaplanes, 54 rotorcraft, 60 aerobatic aircraft, and 10 hot air balloons.
Commercial exhibitors: 881.
Forums and Workshops: A total of 1,050 sessions attended by more than 75,000 people.
One of the highlights for me was the concert by the Barenaked Ladies on Monday. That’s Rich playing with a fidget spinner (booth swag) as he patiently waits for the concert to start.
Barenaked Ladies play the theme from The Big Bang Theory.
There was so much to see at the show. In no particular order…
Doc and Fifi, the only two B-52s still flying. Nighttime balloon launch.
SpaceShipOne in the EAA museum, an RV-10 dash panel compared to a biplane panel.
A spacesuit at the NASA research building and a glider outfitted with two pop-up jet engines.
I happened to run into Lenny, an old friend from Amgen. He’s building a wooden biplane.
Enjoying Oshkosh with Michael and Steve, Mark/Rich’s nephew and former brother-in-law.
Many people like to camp at Oshkosh, with little villages springing up and the same people camping in the same spots year after year. We spent most evenings enjoying the hospitality of Sheri and Tal, friends of Mark from North Carolina.
Travel by small plane may not be faster or cheaper than an airliner, but it’s a lot more fun.
N62AU coming in for a landing:
Also had a chance to get together with John while in NC, doing a little Minecraft “fishing” and helping John with his workbench project.
We walked through the campus of Lawrence University, where both Mark and Rich attended. The hexagon is a starter bee hive.
One last day in Texas with Rich and Nancy, with a great morning ride for breakfast and a little sight-seeing. Founded in 1824, San Felipe de Austin served as the capital of Stephen F. Austin’s first colony and the founding spot of the Texas Rangers.