EAA Airventure 2011 has been and gone and we've had the wrap up email from the press office. Here it is, with a few observations…
Comment from EAA president/CEO Rod Hightower:
"This year's event was a tremendous success. From the arrival of the Boeing 787 to our tributes to Bob Hoover and Burt Rutan, all the way through the huge crowd on the flight line for Saturday's night air show, the spirit of aviation was alive and well at Oshkosh this year. You could sense the enthusiasm for aviation and the future of flight throughout the AirVenture grounds."
I'd say that was a fair summary
Attendance: 541,000 - Increase of 1.3 per cent from 2010. Comment from Hightower:
* "The final attendance figure came in almost exactly where we thought it would. Opening day (July 25) was a tremendously successful day, while Friday (July 29) was very close to a record and Saturday (July 30) - with the superb lineup and night air show - was a big draw. Only some rainy weather in the middle of the week prevented the increase from being even greater."
Who knows how many people were there? I have no specific reason to disbelieve the EAA…
Total aircraft: More than 10,000 aircraft arriving at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh and other airports in east-central Wisconsin.
Total showplanes: 2,522 (up 142 aircraft from 2010). Total includes 974 homebuilt aircraft, 899 vintage airplanes, 367 warbirds, 94 ultralights, 92 seaplanes, 36 aerobatic aircraft, 30 rotorcraft, and 30 miscellaneous.
Really? Seems high to me.
Commercial exhibitors: 803 (up from 777 in 2010)
Now this I am struggling with - not only did exhibitor numbers look and feel lower than 2010, but many exhibitors had nothing to do with aviation.
International visitors registered: 2,098 visitors registered from 68 nations, with Canada (551 visitors), Australia (297), and Brazil (257) the top three nations. (NOTE: This total includes only non-U.S. visitors who register at the International Visitors Tent, so the actual international contingent is undoubtedly larger.)
Media: 861 media representatives on-site, from five continents.
…sounds a bit of a big number to me (although whenever a company offered a free breakfast or lunch journos suddenly appeared).
What's ahead for 2012? Comment from Hightower:
* "Next year, for the 60th annual EAA fly-in, we'll be honoring Paul and Audrey Poberezny for all that they have done for the aviator community. We'll also welcome the iconic Piper Cub on its 75th anniversary. We're encouraging all owners of this legendary airplane to come to Oshkosh and turn the field yellow. We are going to be hosting a tribute to the Tuskegee Airmen, inviting all surviving members of this renowned World War II unit to join us at AirVenture. In addition, we'll recognize Van's Aircraft founder Dick VanGrunsven, whose RV series of aircraft have become the most popular homebuilt aircraft kits in the world. And, of course, there will be plenty of additions and one-of-a-kind surprises that can be found only at Oshkosh."
Funny that Paul Poberezny's son Tom isn't mentioned. Tom suddenly 'retired' during the event, lots of rumours surrounding this…it seems that Mrs Tom and her daughter didn't quite hit it off with Mr Hightower.
Biggest show news was probably Avidyne's announcement of a slide-in GNS530 replacement, worst news was a double fatality at the Seaplane base.