About 550,000 people attended this year’s AirVenture, a jump of about 2% from last year, according to officials with the Experimental Aircraft Association.
“AirVenture 2015 exceeded our expectations on many levels,” noted EAA Chairman Jack Pelton.
“With near-perfect weather for the entire event, we filled Wittman Regional Airport and our convention site to capacity with aircraft, campers and cars by mid-week. The depth and variety of our features and attractions ensured something for every aviation enthusiast. Whether it was the static displays and the number of ‘firsts’ at AirVenture, such as the B-52, F-35, and A-350, or the packed exhibits, forums and workshops across the grounds, everyone left knowing that aviation is alive and well in Oshkosh and around the world. The spirit of aviation is strong and the culture of EAA was on full display all week.”
Peyton adds that “on Thursday alone, there were more than 3,100 aircraft movements (takeoffs and landings) over 14 hours, the highest total in at least three years. You could sense the buzz among the attendees, exhibitors and our 5,400 volunteers whose work made the event possible.”
More than 10,000 aircraft arrived at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh and other airports in east-central Wisconsin for the show.
Showplanes totaled 2,668 (up 1% over 2014) and included 1,031 homebuilt aircraft, 976 vintage airplanes, 350 warbirds, 130 ultralights and light-sport aircraft, 101 seaplanes, 30 rotorcraft, and 50 aerobatic aircraft.
There were more than 800 commercial exhibitors, including more than 140 new exhibitors this year.
The EAA also reported there were nearly 600,000 AirVenture web sessions from around the globe; 40,000 downloads of the EAA AirVenture app; AirVenture social media posts reached 82 countries; and EAA’s 1,000 photo uploads were viewed nearly 8 million times.
Guests registered at the International Visitors Tent totaled 2,299 from a record 80 nations, with Canada (485 visitors), Australia (266), and Germany (204) comprising the top three represented nations. EAA officials note that the actual international counts are higher, as these are self-reported figures collected at the International Visitors Tent alone.
So what’s ahead for next year’s event, which is slated for July 25-31, 2016?
“We’re not resting, as we’re already planning for 2016, with more details available as soon as they’re finalized over the coming months,” Pelton said. “There were aircraft in process that couldn’t make it this year, including Burt Rutan’s new SkiGull and B-29 ‘Doc,’ that we hope will make an appearance next year. In addition, it’s the 30th anniversary of the iconic RV-6 design. We’d like to have a big reunion of these airplanes at Oshkosh. And, of course, there will be plenty of other highlights that you can only see at Oshkosh. Based on the momentum from this year’s fly-in, AirVenture 2016 is already one to eagerly anticipate!”