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AirVenture 2009 Recap August 7, 2009    Volume 9, Number 39
From previously uninhabited portions of Camp Scholler to ad hoc parking lots...from the far reaches of North Fond du Lac to a bulging North 40...and all points in between, Oshkosh 2009 was not only a week to remember, but one the aviation world will never forget. Here are just a few of the major highlights from the seven-day World's Greatest Aviation Celebration.

Read the rest of our compete coverage, including nearly 200 stories, in the AirVenture News Archive.

Relive the major highlights of AirVenture 2009 through more than 70 videos and more than 40 photo galleries.

In the wake of one of the most successful AirVenture Oshkosh weeks ever, the message forums at Oshkosh365 are buzzing with activity. People are discussing everything from AirVenture memories and homebuilding tips to flight planning and aviation history. And some users have questions that we're betting some of you might be able to answer. Have a look at the list below and follow the links to read the actual questions and discussion topics.

Can You Help?

Join the Discussions
A number of topic threads are generating a lot of useful information, while others have grown into spirited debate on a variety of subjects. Here's a few that really grabbed our attention:


If you have a suggestions and/or submission for EAA’s weekly AeroInnovations column, please send to editor Bob Waldron at

Innovation in Oshkosh
Lane Wallace, columnist and editor for Flying magazine, also contributes to The Atlantic website and this week she writes about - what else - AirVenture Oshkosh - "America's aviation innovation hotspot." "For general aviation, the annual AirVenture convention and fly-in is where everyone goes to see new and cool ideas and where aero-innovators often choose to unveil their latest surprises," she writes, mentioning new products like the ICON A5, Terrafugia Transition, Steve Saint and his Maverick, and Sonex.

One Of A Kind: A Vinyl-Wrapped Pulsar
Alex Kozloff has seen 85 years pass by, but he's still coming up with new ideas. After reading an article about putting graphic designs on aircraft, he decided to wrap his entire airplane with vinyl. Alex decided he couldn't do it himself, so he found a Los Angeles company that does full-wrap vinyl on cars who was willing to use their equipment and know-how to give his Pulsar airplane a unique finish. The final cost of the vinyl-wrap was about $6,000, compared to an estimated $25,000 - $30,000 for hand painting and airbrushing the same graphics. Maybe we'll see a few more vinyl-wraps at AirVenture 2010!

Yuneec e430 Electric Aircraft Comes To Oshkosh
The Yuneec e430 is a two-place electric LSA from China. Its parents were an electric paramotor and electric RC model aircraft. The prototype was built in only four months of intensive work by 20 engineers. Dave Morss, a test pilot and longtime EAA member, did the initial test flights in California before the plane came to Oshkosh after only 30 minutes of flight-testing in China. The expected price of the e430 is $89,000.

Randall Fishman Returns; Electraflyer-X Electric Aircraft

As the only repeat electric aircraft displayer at Oshkosh, Randall Fishman had a lot of interest from people who looked at his plane, the Electraflyer-X, in the Chevron 'Aviation Learning Center' at AirVenture 2009. Randall's company, Electric Aircraft Corporation, plans to sell the Electraflyer-X as a kit plane, with an estimated speed of 80 mph and two-hour flight time on one charge.

Flightstar's e-Spyder Electric Aircraft First Flies in July

The Part 103 compliant e-Spyder ultralight from Flightstar was one of several electric aircraft flying at Oshkosh 2009. Its first flight was on July 17. With only a 30-foot wingspan, the e-Spyder is smaller than most of the other electric aircraft. Two 28-pound battery packs are expected to give the plane 40 minutes of flying time. Tom Peghiny, president of Flightstar, expects the e-Spyder kit to be available in about four months for somewhere around $24,000.

Sonex Surprises AirVenture Attendees With Single Place Jet
John Monnett of Sonex Aircraft unveiled a new sport airplane on July 26 - the Sub-Sonex single place jet. With a design gross weight of 750 pounds, the Sub-Sonex is expected to cruise at a speed of 250 mph, quite a contrast to the electric aircraft seen at Oshkosh this year. John's goal is to produce a kit for this single place jet that costs "well under $50,000."

VirtualHUD: Low Cost Heads-Up Display
The VirtualHUD for single engine planes with a front propeller is the first affordable heads up display for aircraft. The retail price for the VirtualHUD ForwardVU is only $3,295, and it is available as either a portable unit that plugs into a cigarette lighter or as a built-in chassis unit. It can also be interfaced with a Forward Vision FLIR camera (forward looking infrared).

RotorWay Unveils New Turbine Helicopter

The new RotorWay Eagle 300T turbine helicopter was introduced at AirVenture 2009. The Eagle 300T will cruise at 110 knots and is powered by a Rolls-Royce engine. This two-seat turbine trainer will be a cost-effective aircraft for flight schools and for professional pilots who need turbine hours.

News & Views from EAA
EAA had an opportunity to have a brief, one-on-one meeting with newly appointed FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2009. In it he conveyed a consistent theme: a desire to discuss, learn more, debate, collaborate, and discover sound solutions. Far from a comprehensive investigation of his position on the numerous regulatory issues confronting general aviation, EAA's discussion with Babbitt nonetheless yielded some interesting statements. Read the interview.
EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2009 is in our rear view mirror now, but the event was chock full of exciting news in avionics and other related equipment. Here's a quick reference review to give you the basics of what was new, improved, or just plain interesting. Look for a more detailed review of the best new or improved devices in the October issue of EAA Sport Aviation.  Read more
Among the first tangible examples of the EAA/AOPA memorandum of understanding signed at Oshkosh this year was a meeting between the EAA's Aeromedical Advisory Council, AOPA's Board of Aviation Medical Advisors, and each association's medical staff during AirVenture 2009. Aviation medical examiners and the associations' dedicated medical teams discussed a broad range of timely medical certification topics affecting pilots.  Read more
EAA and Colorado Sport Aviation Inc. have signed a new working agreement that brings higher visibility to the annual Rocky Mountain Regional Fly-In and clearly defines EAA's role in the popular fly-in. The agreement, in place just in time for this year's Rocky Mountain Regional Fly-In on August 22-23 at Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport, underscores the shared missions of the Rocky Mountain Regional Fly-In, which returns in 2009 after a one-year hiatus, and EAA. Under the agreement, EAA will provide extensive promotion and coverage of the Rocky Mountain Regional Fly-In, and also serve as a major sponsor of aviation educational activities during the event, among other considerations.  Read more
Marjorie Gjesdal of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, has a shiny souvenir to take home from her first-ever AirVenture visit: a 2010 Mustang GT convertible. Marjorie is the grand prize winner of the 2009 Young Eagles Raffle.

"Oh my God, I've won a car," Marjorie recalled saying after hearing her name announced as the raffle winner. Marjorie was sitting below the announcer's stand when her name was called. EAA President and Chairman Tom Poberezny was sitting near Marjorie when she heard the news. "Tom said, 'I'm the first one who witnessed the look on your face when you won.' He told me it was a wonderful way to end AirVenture, by having the winner right here."  Read more

Famed aviation photographer Ted Costopoulos (aka Koston) of Melrose Park, Illinois, passed away Saturday, August 2, at the age of 86. Ted loved aviation, and managed to get involved in as many facets of aviation as he could. Over the past four decades, Ted has blessed EAA with his services as a volunteer photographer.  Read the complete obituary and sign the guest book at EAA's Gone West website
It was an incredible feeling to go to Oshkosh this year as a pilot - a real certificated pilot! Jason and I conducted three forums throughout the week and I enjoyed meeting many of the people who've been following the blog. I even met two people who started their training because of watching the videos. That makes all the hours of editing and posting worth it!

The checkride video is now on the blog, so be sure to watch it. I definitely didn't fly my best, but I demonstrated I knew my stuff and most importantly, made good decisions.

Now that the air show is over, I look forward to flying with my first passenger and going for my first $100 hamburger. I'll be sure to have the cameras rolling and will post the video to the blog!

Following a full week of full-time duty at AirVenture Oshkosh, EAA's B-17 Aluminum Overcast heads back out on tour this weekend. See the aircraft in Latrobe, Pennsylvania August 7-9, and Harrisburg August 11-12. To book a flight, or for more information, visit or call 1-800-359-6217.

See videos, photos, articles and more at EAA's Fly the Fortress multimedia gallery.

The EAA Ford Tri-Motor provided countless flights to AirVenture visitors during the annual Oshkosh gathering, but the crew heads back on tour next week with a stop at Anoka County-Blaine Airport August 13-16. Flight times are 12 p.m.-5 p.m. August 13, and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. August 14-16. To learn more, or to book a flight, visit
Drilling titanium-just saying the words sounds difficult, but in this week's video Kerry Fores shows how easy it can be. Kerry built an AirVenture award-winning Sonex and works at Sonex Aircraft providing technical assistance. Watch now.

Now available - DVD, Hints for Homebuilders - Sheet Metal - Volume 1
View 19 helpful hints from experienced builders anywhere-on a big-screen TV, at chapter meetings, or on a computer with a DVD drive. They're available for a members' special price of $9.95 through the EAA online store or by calling 800-564-6322.

EAA's Bell 47 Fantasy Flight Camp, scheduled for September 11-13 in Oshkosh, provides an in-depth look at  one of the most recognizable helicopters ever built. With its bubble canopy and skeletal structure, the Bell 47 has has become a part of history and popular culture thanks to TV shows such as Whirlybirds and M*A*S*H. This weekend ground school will explore the aircraft, with segments on rotorcraft aerodynamics, Bell 47 systems, utility helicopter operations, and a Bell 47 flight experience. To learn more about this and other EAA Fantasy Flight Camps, visit

SportAir workshops is hittin' the road following a very successful mini-workshop program at AirVenture Oshkosh! August 14-15 takes the group to Griffin, Georgia, for the TIG Welding workshop. If you attended the AirVenture TIG Mini Session, this two-and-a-half day course is just what you need to complete your welding training with skilled Lincoln Electric instructors and equipment. There is space available in the TIG course right now.

SportAir's Van's RV Aircraft assembly course will be held at the EAA Aviation Center in Oshkosh August 22-23. This pioneering, two-day workshop teaches the basics of RV sheet metal construction, giving you the confidence to begin and complete your RV project. EAA member price is $319 and there are openings in both sessions.

Finally, SportAir's next big workshop session is August 22-23 at the Aviation Institute of Maintenance-Kansas City, Missouri, campus. Several courses are filled, but space is still available in the Sheet Metal, Fabric Covering, Electrical Systems, and the evening "What's Involved In Kit building" course. EAA member prices range from $25 to $289. For more information, or to register for these workshop events, call 800-967-5746, or visit

EAA Calendar of Events
EAA Chapter 582 Super Breakfast, Metcalf Airport, Toledo, Ohio
August 8, enjoy a SUPER BREAKFAST! Scrambled eggs, hash browns, biscuits & gravy, French toast, pancakes, sausage, coffee, juice, milk, served from 8:30-11 a.m. on the second Saturday of each month, May-November. The chapter hangar is near the end of runway 32, just outside of Toledo class C airspace. Fly or drive in. Kids ride our nifty barrel train free. For more information, visit, or contact Marvin Homsley, 419 360-7414.

To learn more about calendar events, or to find/submit others, visit

On Wednesday during EAA AirVenture 2009, EAA’s Timeless Voices of Aviation oral history program reached a milestone achievement – the program’s 1,000th interview. To mark the occasion, the program held a special interview with EAA President and Chairman of the Board Tom Poberezny in front of a live audience of former interviewees in the newly christened Founders’ Wing at the EAA AirVenture Museum. John Nicholson, the face and voice of EAA TV, conducted the interview. Watch the video.
AirVenture 2009 DVDPre-order your copy of the official EAA AirVenture Oshkosh souvenir DVD today for only $14.99. Featuring the best of the 2009 convention, including the Airbus A380, WhiteKnightTwo, Jeff Dunham, the Doobie Brothers, the Elvis Erickson Aircrane Helicopter, and more. Makes a great gift! Order online or by calling toll-free, 800-564-6322.
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EAA Flight Planner

Q & A: 
Question of the Week
For EAA Information Services
I am building a plane with the fuel tank in the fuselage, directly behind the firewall. The filler cap is on top and about a foot in front of the windscreen. I had planned to use lexan for the windscreen, and have it on hand. Last night at our chapter meeting I was informed that a little gasoline on it will ruin it immediately. Tonight I ran a test on a sample and found that to be true, so lexan is not an option. Do you have a suggestion?

Plexiglass is normally used where there is a chance that gasoline may be present. For a front windscreen, we recommend 1/8 inch thick (which may be quoted as nominally .118-inch by plastic sheet suppliers when ordering).

Good luck with your project!

Have a question?
To ask a question regarding government issues, e-mail For questions about registration, airmen, aircraft and medical certification, safety records, performance, or any other matter, e-mail

August 2009
EAA Desktop Calendar
EAA Free Desktop Wallpaper

WhiteKnightTwo made its spectacular world public debut Opening Day at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2009. EAA Chief Photographer Jim Koepnick got this shot while the airplane circled above the convention grounds just before landing.  

Download this wallpaper image from the EAA website, where you can choose among several different resolutions to suit your screen - including three wide-screen sizes...or select an image from the archive.

On the Flightline - General Aviation News
The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) released the industry's second quarter shipment and billings figures this week. In the first half of 2009, total general aviation (GA) airplane shipments fell 45.9 percent, from 1,918 units in 2008 to 1,037 units this year. Industry billings are down 22.7 percent, to a total of $9.26 billion.

"These are extremely challenging times for all general aviation manufacturers and suppliers," said Pete Bunce, GAMA president and CEO. "Layoffs continue and our industry has been forced to slow, and in some cases, temporarily halt production lines. We are encouraged that the overall economic picture is showing some signs of improvement, which is a crucial condition for recovery in the general aviation market. Flight hours are stabilizing, used inventories are beginning to shrink, and our manufacturers are seeing signs of renewed interest in airplane purchases. We are also encouraged by reports that accelerated depreciation, passed by Congress earlier this year, is stimulating some new orders. Even though it is too early to distinguish these indications as a trend, we are hopeful that this momentum will continue through the second half of the year."

Piston-powered airplane shipments totaled 434 units compared to 1,034 units delivered in the first half of 2008, a 58 percent decrease. Turboprop shipments decreased 13.6 percent from 221 units in the first six months last year to 191 units in 2009. Business jet shipments totaled 412 units, a 37.9 percent decrease over the 663 units delivered during this same period in 2008. Learn more at

Cessna Aircraft Company delivered five new Cessna 172S Skyhawks this week to Northwestern Michigan College (NMC) at the company's customer center in Independence, Kansas. The order came through Suburban Aviation Inc., a Cessna authorized sales representative.
Northwestern Michigan College is a publicly funded community college in Traverse City and has been training pilots since 1967. The school's aviation program serves about 350 students each year ranging from collegians to community aviators to teens participating in youth exploratory programs. The school accumulates about 8,500 flight hours per year with a fleet of 12 aircraft. With this delivery, NMC now has six 2009 model Skyhawks featuring the G1000 avionics system.

During EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, Liberty Aerospace, Inc. unveiled the first XL2 fitted with the Wilksch Turbo Diesel. The aircraft, which burns Jet A fuel, is designed to appeal to the international market place where 100LL can be expensive and hard to obtain.

"Our international customers have been very clear to us," said Keith Markley, president and CEO of Liberty Aerospace, Inc. "They need an alternative fuel to the 100LL for aircraft they are running in their flight training fleets." Learn more at

Thanks to Wicks Aircraft Supply and several volunteers, hundreds of kids had the opportunity to build a wing rib at EAA's KidVenture during AirVenture. Wicks provided the cap strip material and plywood to the program.

"We think it's a very worthwhile program," said Scott Wick, president of Wicks Aircraft Supply. "When you realize you can build a real wing rib at the age of 6, 8, or 10, hopefully you'll be aware that it's possible to build an entire airplane later in life. If we get just one homebuilder every summer from this program, it's a success."

For information on the supplies that Wick's Aircraft carries, visit or call 800-221-9425.

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