With less than a month until the start of the world’s largest General Aviation Celebration, we’re pleased to be making our own final preparations for attending AirVenture 2012. Oshkosh is the largest aviation event in the United States, so it seems fitting to consider some of the fun facts about the show. Keep in mind that this is an event catering to US-based pilots (representing less than 0.2% of the US population), a plethora of international pilots, and of course, plenty of aviation enthusiasts.
– AirVenture is a week-long event in Oshkosh, Wisconsin – a city with a population of roughly 66,000 people (and 160,000 in the greater Oshkosh metro area according to the city website). AirVenture attracts 500,000 people from around the globe, increasing the size of the city by over 300% during the week. This represents nearly 9% of the total population of Wisconsin.
– Over 10,000 aircraft fly-in (or in some cases are driven or carted in) to Oshkosh- Wittman Regional Airport (OSH) during the week. According to the FAA’s 2010 Statistical Databook, there are roughly 223,000 FAA-registered aircraft flying today. That means, roughly 5% of this active fleet is represented at AirVenture each year.
– Oshkosh-Wittman Regional Airport records over 25,000 traffic movements (operations) the week of AirVenture. By comparison, Chicago O’Hare Airport has approximately 16,900 operations a week [http://www.ohare.com]. During the week of the show, OSH takes claim as the most active airport in the world (note: and it’s not even open at night!).
– Wittman Regional Airport is named after Steve Wittman, an air-racer, test pilot, aircraft designer and builder who grew up in the Oshkosh area. Wittman owned his own aviation businesses from 1925 through WWII, and was a decorated aircraft designer. He was the manager of the airport in Oshkosh for over 37 years from 1931 to 1969, and was instrumental in relocating the AirVenture EAA fly-in there in 1970. He died pursuing his life’s passion, still flying at an age of 91.
– The town of Oshkosh is named after Chief Oshkosh, a Menominee Chief who’s name means “claw”. According to Wikipedia, he died in a drunken brawl in 1858. Somewhat unfittingly, in 1900, Oshkosh Brewing Company started distributing a beer nationally in his name, “Chief Oshkosh”. While Chief Oshkosh beer is no longer available (the brewer went out of business in the 1970s), we’re pleased to see that many pilots support the tradition of the city’s namesake after-hours during AirVenture. 😉
We look forward to seeing you at AirVenture in less than a month – July 23rd-29th! We’ll be onsite with some new aircraft loan programs and expanding capabilities. Stop by and see us in Hangar A, Booth 1143.