EAA AirVenture Museum

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EAA AirVenture Museum
Eagle Hangar at the EAA Air Adventure Museum

The EAA AirVenture Museum is a museum dedicated to the preservation and display of historic and experimental aircraft as well as antiques, classics and warbirds. It's located in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, adjacent to Wittman Regional Airport, home of the museum's sponsoring organization, the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), and the organization's EAA AirVenture Oshkosh event (the world's biggest fly-in and airshow) that takes place in late July/early August.

With over 200 aircraft, indoors and outdoors, and other exhibits and activities (including occasional aircraft rides nearby), the AirVenture Museum is a key tourist attraction in Oshkosh and is a center of activity throughout the AirVenture fly-in and airshow each summer. The museum is open year-round with the exception of a few holidays.

History[edit]

EAA founder Paul Poberezny proposed the idea of the EAA Air Museum-Air Education center in August 1958.[1] In 1982, Paul's son, Tom Poberezny, led the campaign to build the current updated museum and headquarters, which was opened in 1983.

Features & Exhibits[edit]

The museum's collection displays more than 200 aircraft[2] and 20,000 artifacts,[3] including civilian and military aircraft of historic importance, and aircraft popular with aviation hobbyists—vintage, homebuilt, racing and stunt aircraft.

Some of the more historic and unusual planes include a Curtiss Pusher, Bleriot XI, Curtiss Jenny, Pitcairn PCA-2 autogyro, Sikorsky S-38 amphibian flying boat, and the Taylor Aerocar flying car, as well various warbirds and Golden Age aircraft.

Other exhibits include functional replicas of the Wright Flyer and its predecessor, Octave Chanute's hang glider, French and German World War I fighters, Lindbergh's Ryan NYP "Spirit of St. Louis" replica (flown in the movie), and a replica of the historic Laird Super Solution 1931 racer.

A large section on Burt Rutan's aircraft includes a portion of his homebuilts, replicas of his globe-circling Rutan Voyager and the first private spacecraft, Space Ship One, crafted by Rutan's own shop.

The museum has a variety of donated aircraft, including the Church Midwing, Funk B, Monnett Moni, and many homebuilt and kitplane aircraft (some foreign)—many built by the original designers. Notable homebuilts on display consist of Van's Aircraft's Van's RV-3, designed by Richard VanGrunsven, Christen Industries' Christen Eagle II, designed by Frank Christensen, and Cirrus Aircraft's first model, the Cirrus VK-30, designed by the Klapmeier brothers.

Pioneer Airport[edit]

Pioneer Airport and EAA Museum during Airventure 2011

Pioneer Airport, an old-time grass airstrip immediately behind the museum, displays some of the oldest aircraft the museum has, including "Golden Age" (1920s/1930s) biplanes and vintage monoplanes such as Swallow and WACO biplanes, Travel Air, Curtiss Robin, Fairchild FC-2, Stinson Aircraft, Spartan C-3, Great Lakes 2T-1A acrobat, Aeronca K, Monocoupe, Howard DGA, Heath Parasol, Pietenpol Air Camper, and many others, most in special vintage-style hangars. Located behind the museum and adjacent to Wittman Field, Pioneer Airport is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Rides[edit]

Aircraft rides are offered through various EAA programs at the Museum's Pioneer Airport, or at the adjoining Wittman Field, especially during AirVenture Fly-In and Airshow, typically in late summer.

Ford Tri-Motor rides[edit]

A 1920s/1930s vintage Ford Tri-Motor airliner sells rides occasionally at adjoining Wittman Field.[4] A particular program is the Fall Colors Flights, short flights to view colorful fall foilage in the area.[5]

Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress rides[edit]

The EAA's 1940s-vintage Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress World War II bomber, the Aluminum Overcast, sells rides occasionally at adjoining Wittman Field.[6]

Helicopter rides[edit]

Helicopter rides, typically in Bell 47 ("MASH") helicopters are availalble occasionally at adjacent Pioneer Airport, or from adjoining Wittman Field.

Young Eagles Program[edit]

The Young Eagles Program is designed for children between the ages of 8 and 17. Young Eagles may receive a free flight from EAA's network of volunteer pilots.

Kids Section[edit]

The museum includes a childrens' section which provides extensive hands-on aviation-related exhibits and activities, plus a "control tower" observation platform overlooking Pioneer Airport.[2]

Library[edit]

The EAA library has been open to EAA members since 1985.

Location & Accommodation[edit]

The EAA Museum is near the northwest corner of the grounds of Wittman Regional Airport, on the southeast side of the interchange connecting U.S. Highway 41 with Wisconsin state highways 44 and 91. A "Park and Ride" lot is available on the other side of the interchange.[7] (see map). The airport receives commuter airline service, and is normally open to private aircraft.

During the late-summer EAA AirVenture fly-in and airshow, camping is available on the airport grounds (a campground on the south side of Wittman Field, accommodating both vehicles and tents, includes extensive public accommodations such as limited electric hookups, free shower facilities, a convenience store, food service and a cottage providing free internet wi-fi connections).

Numerous hotel and motel accommodations, and campgrounds, are in the area (for visits during AirVenture, reservations well in advance are mandatory throughout the area). Additionally, during AirVenture, many locals rent out their homes to visitors, by prior arrangement (the Oshkosh Convention and Visitors Bureau provides connections).

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sport Aviation. February 1960.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ a b "Visitor Information" topic, EAA AirVenture Museum section, EAA official website
  3. ^ "Collections" topic in "EAA Museum" section, official EAA website
  4. ^ Ford Tri-Motor Tour topic, "Flight Experiences" section, EAA official website, as retrieved 2015-04-02
  5. ^ "Of fall flights, sights, and frights", Wisconsin Traveler Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine, October 2009, as retrieved 2015-04-02
  6. ^ B-17 Aluminum Overcast Tour topic, "Flight Experiences" section, EAA official website, as retrieved 2015-04-02
  7. ^ "Winnebago County park and ride lot 70-01, Oshkosh", Wisconsin Department of Transportation, retrieved 2015-04-02

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 43°59′16″N 88°34′40″W / 43.987813°N 88.577785°W / 43.987813; -88.577785