Unique flying warbirds, special programs will honor legacy of naval aviation all week
EAA AVIATION CENTER, OSHKOSH, Wis. — (May 19, 2011) — Celebrating 100 years in one week, the largest collection of naval aircraft spanning all eras ever assembled in one location is coming together for EAA AirVenture 2011 during its week-long Centennial of Naval Aviation commemoration.
The 59th annual edition of “The World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration,” scheduled for July 25-31 at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, will feature special attractions, appearances, and forums as part of its Tier 1 event status from the U.S. Navy for the year-long centennial festivities.
From unique restorations and replicas to today’s modern fighters, the legacy of naval aviation will be on display and in action all week at AirVenture 2011. Flying examples will be featured on ConocoPhillips Plaza, as well as a special parking area dubbed “NAS Oshkosh” located just east of Scotts Warbird Alley.
Among the dozens of unique aircraft anticipated are several World War II and Korean War-era naval warbirds, including the only flying SB2C Helldiver Navy dive bomber in the world, one of two airworthy PV-2 Harpoons, OY1/L-5B USMC Observation aircraft that saw combat during the Battle of Iwo Jima, a rare Temco Pinto jet trainer, TBM Navy torpedo bomber featuring the paint scheme of the aircraft flown by President George H.W. Bush, an award-winning SNJ Navy trainer, F8F Bearcat in a Blue Angels paint scheme, Grumman J2F Duck Navy amphibian, F4U Corsairs, FM2 Wildcat, and F7F Tigercat.
Vietnam War-era will be represented by a Douglas R4D, Douglas AD Skyraider, Douglas A-4 Skyhawk, and North American T-2 Buckeye, with more to be added. Bookending the centennial attractions are a replica of the Curtiss-Ely Pusher that made the first carrier landing on the deck of the USS Pennsylvania in 1911 and more than 25 current naval aircraft repainted in colors from previous eras.
A listing of aircraft confirmed is available at www.airventure.org/attractions/aircraft.html, with more to be added in the upcoming weeks.
“There is no other place where you can see a gathering of aircraft of this magnitude representing all eras of naval aviation over the past 100 years,” said Tom Poberezny, EAA and AirVenture chairman. “This epic event will not only honor the heritage of these legendary warbirds, as well as the brave men and women who served and sacrificed in them. You’ll hear their stories and see their beloved aircraft come to life.”
Several forums and special programs, including the always popular Warbirds in Review, highlight activities each day, along with afternoon air show showcases, and a naval-focused Living History Encampment featuring wartime reenactors. To mark its 25th anniversary, the naval aviation classic film “Top Gun” is scheduled to be shown at the EAA Fly-In Theater. The Fly-In Theater is presented by Ford Motor Company and supported by Hamilton Watches.
On Wednesday, July 27, a themed “Navy Day” will feature a full day of activities surrounding the centennial, including dedicated forums on ConocoPhillips Plaza and Warbirds in Review, a special tribute during the afternoon air show, an “Honor Flight” featuring approximately 80 World War II naval veterans departing AirVenture for Washington, D.C., on a Southwest Airlines 737, and a special evening program featuring very notable naval aviation figures and guests at Theater in the Woods, whose programs are supported by M&Ms.
Additionally, Navy veterans will lead the “Salute to Veterans” parade from Scotts Warbird Alley to ConocoPhillips Plaza on Friday, July 29, as part of that day’s salute activities.
AirVenture 2011 is filled with must-see features and attractions all week, including tribute days dedicated to aviation legends Burt Rutan (Thursday, July 28) and Bob Hoover (Tuesday, July 26) as well as several attractions and events commemorating the 100th anniversary of air mail service.
Entertainment lasts well into the evening each day, including a couple premier concerts that all ages will enjoy. REO Speedwagon will get AirVenture 2011 off to a rocking start with the Opening Day Concert presented by the Ford Motor Company on Monday, July 25. Highlighting the weekend is “Super Saturday” presented by Southwest Airlines on Saturday, July 30, which will feature country star Aaron Tippin in concert leading into the widely popular Night Air Show and Daher-Socata Fireworks.
Advance purchase admission tickets at a discounted rate as well as camping for all dates are now available at www.airventure.org/tickets.
EAA AIRVENTURE OSHKOSH is The World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration and EAA’s yearly membership convention. Additional EAA AirVenture information, including advance ticket and camping purchase, is available online at www.airventure.org. EAA members receive lowest prices on admission rates. For more information on EAA and its programs, call 1-800-JOIN-EAA (1-800-564-6322) or visit www.eaa.org. Immediate news is available at www.twitter.com/EAAupdate.