Oshkosh 2014 will go down in history due to the half-million attendees walking the AirVenture grounds this year. The general aviation parking areas were full to capacity, while Whittman Regional Airport controllers had to turn away aircraft to land at other airports. People of all ages crowded the hangars to see the newly featured aircraft and lined up for the first-ever appearance of the Air Force Thunderbirds. Whether you were meeting up with old time pals, stopping by your favorite booths, or this was you first ever Air Venture experience, you were sure to have an unforgettable time.
The amount of aircraft that came to Oshkosh this year was unbelievable. We were able to witness over 2,649 aircraft- including Ultralights, Seaplanes, Light-sport aircraft, Warbirds, Rotorcraft, Aerobatic aircraft, Homebuilt, Vintage airplanes, and Hot-air balloons. The One Week Wonder was also being assembled at Oshkosh by EAA members’ and any Oshkosh attendee wanting to help with the 25,000 rivets needed to complete the airplane. The aircraft was then cleared for take-off on August 5th, for its first flight.
The airshows were incredible this year. If you stayed around after the Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday shows, you were able to see Air Ventures first Valdez STOL demonstration competition flights. Although everyone cheered each other on, a competition is still a competition! Frank Knapp took first place with a winning distance of 134 feet. Knapp stated, “The people here really care about general aviation, and I think the normal guy can really relate to this and our lifestyle.”
There has been a lot of talk about the new aircraft coming out and we have answers. At a press briefing on July 28th, Dale Klapmeier, CEO and founder of Cirrus Aircraft, said the company is on track to deliver the first production examples of the SF50 Vision personal jet to customers before the end of 2015. The seven seat, single-engine jet has been under development for a number of years, and currently has 550 orders waiting for production. EAA’s French diesel-engine manufacturer SMA updated the attendees on its new 4 cylinder engine offerings. The company is working with Cessna and Lycoming to prepare for deliveries of Cessna’s Turbo Skylane 182 JT-A certification. Last year, SMA presented SR460, a six cylinder concept diesel, which was designed to offer 350-400 hp. The world’s fastest certified single-engine piston aircraft is the Mooney M20TN Acclaim Type S with a cruise speed of 242 knots. The first new Mooney aircraft was on display throughout the fly-in and was sold through an online auction for $646,000. The entire amount will be donated toward the Mooney History Museum at the company’s Kerrville, Texas, campus.
Air Venture at Oshkosh was definitely one to remember. We want to thank the 5,400 volunteers and all of the passionate aviators who made this all possible. All of us at AirFleet Capital enjoyed meeting with you and thank you for stopping by our Airplane Financing booth- we value our passionate aviation enthusiasts who enjoy general aviation and the community as much as we do. See you all next year and safe travels!