“The week was upbeat, exciting, and filled with many ‘Only at Oshkosh’ moments,” said EAA Chairman Jack Pelton. Among them: a lineup of airpower over the last 75 years that included a U.S. Air Force F-35 Lightning II and ‘Doc,’ one of the world’s two airworthy B-29 Superfortress bombers.
Among the numerous warbirds at the show were a pair of P-40s featuring the shark/tiger mouth that suits them so well.
If a Yak-55 can perform world-class aerobatics, two joined together should do twice as well? No, but it’s twice as impressive, especially with a 3,000-pounds-thrust General Electric CJ610-6 turbofan strapped beneath the center section. Dell Coller of John Klatt Airshows, and championship aerobatic pilot Jeff Boerboon found two Yak 55s in good condition and joined them with a new center section. Hence the Yak-110 (two Yak-55s). Power also comes from two original Vedeneyev M14P nine-cylinder radials that each produce 360 hp. With all three engines at max power the Yak-110 exhibits astonishing performance.
Not one, but two Grumman F7F-3 Tigercat heavy fighters turned up at Oshkosh 2018. Each powered by two 2,800 hp Pratt & Whitney engines, the carrier-capable Navy fighters could reach 450 mph.
P-51s, perhaps more than any other fighter from World War II, would often wear their unit colors as well as colorful names and nose art chosen by their individual pilots. A wide variety of strikingly painted aircraft, mostly historically accurate, can be seen at Oshkosh every year.
BlackFly is Back
Driving unmanned aircraft technology back into autonomous manned flight, the Blackfly is a sport vehicle whose single passenger needn’t be a pilot. It was introduced last year as the first electric personal ultralight vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicle. BlackFly can easily takeoff and land on small areas and travel distances of up to 35 miles (25 miles restricted in the U.S.), at speeds of up to 75 mph (62 mph in the U.S.). BlackFlies have cumulatively flown over 23,000 miles during more than 2,300 flights. Prototype and production aircraft are on show here this year.
Three in a Row
SubSonex customers John Corneal and Tom Larkin brought their Sonex jets to Oshkosh last year, and flew them in this three-ship formation with Bob Carlton, well known for his night pyro airshows at AirVenture in the minijet.
Nowhere But EAA!
EAA AirVenture made history last year when no fewer than 60 drones took to the air for a synchronized light show that lasted nearly 15 minutes. The drones, each carrying LED lights that change between white, red, blue and green, formed and reformed complex 3D patterns that climbed and rotated, and eventually spelled out ‘EAA.’ Plans had called for the Great Lakes Drone Company, based in Watervliet, Michigan, to fly 100 drones together, but concerns over the proximity of pyrotechnics for the night fireworks show and the size of the FAA-required safety zone for a crowd of thousands led to the downsizing of the display. They’re back this year!
The AeroShell Aerobatic Team, flying four North American T-6 Texans, never disappoint. This year they will again perform both day and night air show aerobatics at Oshkosh.
Super Chipmunk with Pyrotechnics
Nate Hammond fired off more than 200 lb of pyrotechnics from his Super Chipmunk while performing in AirVenture’s dramatic night show.
Violent summer thunderstorms and heavy rain across the Midwest disrupted early arrivals for this year’s AirVenture. So we take a brief look at some of the highlights from 2018, when the show’s attendance topped 601,000 visitors. More than 10,000 aircraft flew to Oshkosh and surrounding airports; Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh alone logged 19,588 aircraft operations in the 11-day period from July 20-30.
The 2018 show attracted 867 commercial exhibitors, and the event generates $170 million in business for the surrounding area according to an economic impact study by the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.
This year’s show, the 50th at Oshkosh, promises to be just as intense.