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Barnstormers Logo ISSUE 452 - October 2016
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EAA AirVenture 2016 - General Aviation
By Kevin Moore, Contributing Editor & Photographer
Watford, Ontario, Canada
This beautiful Beech 18, wearing Navy markings, made the trip into AirVenture 2016.
AirVenture isn't just about warbirds, jets and performers, it's about an experience. As much as it's an experience for most aviation nuts, it's a mecca and a must for many pilots. Having said that, flying in and out of Whittman Regional Airport for AirVenture can be a daunting experience for even the most experienced of pilots. There can be several dozen aircraft, if not more, entering or exiting the airspace at any given time which can overwhelm even the best and/or very experienced pilot.
A Canadian registered Cessna 195 departs, left, while a Bellanca Citabria arrives. While slower, civilian aircraft come and go, controllers have to deal with faster, high speed military jet aircraft such as these US Navy Super Hornets arriving, right.
The air traffic controllers utilize two main runways for most civilian and military aircraft arriving and/or departing but there are alternate runways often in use for launching and retrieving other aircraft all while the ultralight runways are in use with ultralight and some light sport aircraft buzzing around. During most of the day, except during the actual airshow portion of the day, there's probably not a minute when aircraft are not using at least one of the main runways.
A lovely old Beech Twin Bonanza departs AirVenture, left.
Cessna 180, right, taxies past the crowd, heading for the only parking area with space.
The variety of aircraft that attend AirVenture is almost unlimited. From ultralight to light sport, warbird to helicopter, military to general, civilian aviation aircraft are coming and going throughout the day. You may see a Cessna 180 taxiing out while a Rutan Cozy is departing on one runway and a Bellanca Citabria arrives on another as two P-51 Mustangs arrive in an overhead break. The biggest decision most spectators have is where to look at what to point the camera at!

A Rutan Velocity, left, takes to the air, departing AirVenture. Owning & operating a Grumman Tracker, right, isn't within every pilot's budget, but what a machine it would be if you had the funds!

While at AirVenture, you're bound to see aeroplanes you see almost daily such as the Cessna 150, 170, 172, 180 and 182 and assorted versions of the Piper Cub but you'll also see more unusual or less common aircraft such as the Cessna 195, Globe Swift, the Rutan Velocity and even former military aircraft such as the Grumman Tracker. There's no limit to what type of aircraft you'll see.
US Coast Guard helicopters, Jayhawk in yellow and the Dolphin in white and red, left, put on a display showing their SAR capabilities. A US Navy Grumman C-2 Greyhound, right, landing at Oshkosh mid-week.
Even outside of general aviation, unusual military aircraft such as the US Navy Greyhound and rescue helicopters such as the MH-65 Dolphin and MH-60 Jayhawk have heads turning with their arrival and/or display. The American public always show their appreciation for military and other service personnel as well as their equipment and they enjoy the displays that they perform at airshows and other events.
The Cessna 195 "Businessliner" is one of the classiest Cessna aircraft ever made
and are a very popular vintage aircraft.
As mentioned, Cessna seemed to be well represented at Oshkosh and one of the most beautiful of their line of aircraft is the Cessna 195 "Businessliner," from Canada and the US. These sleek looking 4 seat aircraft were originally designed for use by businessmen, allowing them to cross the country or their territory faster. They were designed and built in the mid 1940s with the first flight in 1945. Though they were designed for use in a civilian world, they were also utilised by the US Air Force and US Army. The 195 could be flown with skis or floats.
Two Rutan designs, the Quickie, left, and the Cozy, right.
Rutan aircraft were also well represented with several of his aircraft designs on hand such as the Cozy, Velocity, Long EZ and the Quickie. Though his aircraft designs still look quite radical today, they are very popular aircraft around the world. One of the most popular of his designs is the Long EZ, a tandem, 2-seat single engine pusher. Though the EZ designs are all similar, it seems each builder has come up with his/her own unique design features that they've modified or added to the aircraft such as drop tanks, an extended fuselage, re-designed engine nacelles/intakes, etc. The Rutan line up of aircraft can be seen at almost any gathering of aircraft in North America.
North American P-51D Mustang, Pecos Bill, landing at Whittman, left.
Titan T-51D Mustang, taking to the air, right.
Though warbirds are always popular and are often associated with museums or orgainisations, there are many in civilian hands with one of the most popular being the P-51 Mustang. The Titan T-51D is the 'poor' man's fighter. Well, "poor" might not be entirely apropos as they can still run you close to $100,000 USD to build depending on the engine type as well as mods and additions you make. Still, it has the look & style of a P-51 Mustang and, though not as fast as the original version, it can still rip along at 150mph to close to 200mph depending on your engine.
An odd looking aircraft is this Sisler SF-2A Cygnet, left. If it's speed and performance you want you'll find it in a Performance Aircraft Legend, right, such as this one in from Canada.
There are the slowest of flying aircraft to among the most high performance single engine aircraft that make an appearance at the event. Ultralight and light sport aircraft are becoming more and more popular with pilots because they are so much more affordable and often easier to build and maintain but many still prefer aircraft with more speed, more bells & whistles and more style. Whatever your choice, and whatever you can afford, it doesn't matter at Oshkosh because there's a parking space for most every aircraft.
Not a colour you often see an aircraft painted in, the Lancair, left, is an aircraft that has speed to take you long distances comfortably. Looking sleek and sexy, the Turbine Legend, right, will get you where you need to go, and quickly.
If you want something with some speed, style and sensation you might want to look at something like a Lancair Legacy or a Performance Aircraft Legend. Depending on the engine type, whether piston or turbine, you could have an aircraft that can take you places at a cruise of more than 330mph with the Legend Turbine. Not to be outdone, the Lancair Legacy, outfitted with a piston engine, will still have you cruising along at speeds of 275mph. These aircraft, among other speedy single engine aircraft that are available, can have you taking your own aircraft on longer trips than you would in, say, a Piper Cub or a Cessna 172.
The Piper Cub, left, won't get you anywhere fast, but it'll get you there with fun.
This AirCoupe, right, flies in the Light Sport category.
Of course, flying isn't always about time, distance and speed, it's about simply enjoying a slower pace of life, and at a lower altitude. If that's what you want then maybe a Piper Cub, Aviat Aircraft Husky or an old Aircoupe is more your style. There were a number of each type, and many other similar flying aircraft that attended AirVenture that are perfect for those early morning flights around the patch or the late afternoon/evening sunset flights, just enjoying the smooth air or the fall or spring landscape below.
A Beech Baron, twin engine aircraft, left, departing Whittman Regional Airport. Registered in the United Kingdom, this Glasair, right, came a long way to visit AirVenture 2016.
EAA AirVenture Oshkosh is a truly fantastic place for aviation minded folks to gather with like-minded people, whether for a day visit or the entire week, there's enough to see and do to keep you busy the entire time you're there. You can camp on-site, stay locally or even if you're within an hour, Whittman Regional Airport is easy to get to and the experience is worth whatever travel means you take to get there. Make plans to visit AirVenture 2017 and a world of aviation like no other.
A lovely Piper Supreme Cub replica on floats, landing long.


US Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter.

This unusual looking aircraft is a Karl & Dot Inc CA 7 and carries 7 people.


Visiting Rutan Long EZ taxies out for departure.


One of several Cessna 195s that attended AirVenture 2016.


US Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter.


Another stunning example of the Cessna 195 Businessliner.
For more information on EAA AirVenture visit:
By Kevin Moore, Contributing Editor & Photographer
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