The Experimental Aircraft Association’s 2016 edition of AirVenture drew nearly 563,000 people and featured 2,855 showplanes at Wittman Regional Airport (OSH) in Oshkosh, Wis. The weeklong event, which concluded on July 31, marked a 1-percent increase in attendance over 2015. “Our attendance was particularly outstanding, since we had some weather challenges mid-week compared to seven perfect days in 2015,” noted EAA chairman Jack Pelton.
Showplanes were up by 7 percent, including an 11-percent increase in homebuilt aircraft (1,124), 7-percent increase in vintage airplanes (1,035) and 6-percent increase in warbirds (371). Also on display were ultralights, light-sport aircraft, seaplanes, rotorcraft, aerobatic aircraft and other “non-categorized” aircraft.
In all, more than 10,000 aircraft arrived at OSH and surrounding airports. “Our grounds crew and our volunteers, who number more than 5,000, did a superb job keeping the site ready for visitors and campers who arrived by ground or by air,” Pelton said.
Alongside the show aircraft, the number of commercial exhibitors increased 10 percent, to 891. In addition, the event featured 1,050 forums and workshops.
“It was a magical week at Oshkosh this year,” Pelton said, noting EAA premiered its Founders Innovation prize and celebrated the flight of the 2 millionth Young Eagle. “From the aviation anniversaries we celebrated, to the magnificent performances by the Canadian Forces Snowbirds, to the airplanes and aviators who were here, there was an energy that reinvigorated everyone involved in aviation.”
Work is already under way for the 2017 event, scheduled for July 24 to 30, with an eye on celebrations of the 80th anniversary of the Piper Cub and the 70th anniversary of the U.S. Air Force, among other early plans.