The passion of Aviation was in the air at AirVenture Oshkosh 2011, and there was a sense of renewed excitement throughout the show grounds. With mixed weather – lots of humidity that followed our Virginia crew, and a mini dust-storm that followed the Phoenix crew – the heat was constant, but it didn’t discourage the crowds who turned out in great numbers – higher than the previous year! The Friday event day alone had overflow parking lots crammed with fans trying to get their eyes on the new Boeing 787.
From a business perspective, activity was excellent. Many of the attendees came through Hangar A (where AirFleet called home for the week) and wanted to talk financing for a purchase in the near future, or discuss options for refinance of their current aircraft. It was encouraging to talk with attendees that stopped by about their plans to move forward and some have already secured financing through us after the show. Further proof of eager buyers in attendance came in the form of manufacturers, from Piper to Flight Design, reporting multiple orders at the show. Hopefully, the activity we saw in Oshkosh is a precursor to a continued rebound through the second half of the year.
But enough about business, AirVenture is a place for the aviation enthusiast to immerse themselves in what they love – forgetting about everything else for 7 days (or more, for those brave campers that set up house at Camp Scholler in the beginning of July). From “FiFi” (the B-29) to the Boeing 787 Dreamliner’s debut; old and new aircraft were all on display, and the record crowds were eager to take it all in. EAA also uses AirVenture as a platform to salute those that have used the power of aviation to defend our freedom, with a special tribute to 100 years of Naval Aviation this year. There were other events throughout the week saluting Bob Hoover for his many achievements, or at forums with Chuck Yeager as he detailed his experiences as an Air Force Test pilot. Along with these events, there were rows upon rows of Warbirds, experimental aircraft, and newly manufactured aircraft on the grounds. For those camping out, there were plenty of evening events such as the night air show and the Theatre in the Woods showcasing aviation cinema and concerts.
We couldn’t possibly include all there is to see at AirVenture in this blog, but if you love anything aviation, there is something new for everyone to experience each year. In case you missed it, please visit our Facebook page to see pictures of some of the highlights at this year’s show taken by our staff and friends!
We hope to see you at next year at AirVenture 2012 – the World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration!