June 12, 2014 - The ninth annual Cessnas 2 Oshkosh (C2O) group arrival at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh this year has 56 aircraft registered, including as many as 19 model 177 Cardinals - with many of them retracting gear models.
Jerry Olson, EAA 1019283 and a Cardinal owner, has been leading the effort to get model 177s involved in C2O this year. “Nineteen Cardinals may not sound like a lot, but considering there are less than 3,000 left flying worldwide, that is a fairly significant number,” he said. In fact, in this year’s C2O, Cardinals are outnumbering each of the other types registered for the flight, including 172s (43,000 built), 182s (over 24,000 built), and 210s (over 9,000 built).
The Cessna Cardinal had a 10-year production run that ended in 1978 and was slated to replace the venerable 172. It features a cantilever wing with a laminar flow airfoil, better visibility, and upgraded interior among other features.
They were produced in four versions: the 177, powered by a 150-hp engine; the 177A, upgraded with a 180-hp engine; the 177B, adding a constant speed prop, and new airfoil; and the 177RG (retractable gear) sporting a 200-hp Lycoming O-360.
Flight leader Rodney Swanson, EAA 747317, says this will be one of the bigger years for the group flight, which stages out of Juneau Municipal Airport, a short hop from Wittman Regional Airport.
For Swanson and the other participants, the planes bring them to AirVenture every year, but it’s all about the people. “It’s a very close-knit group,” he said. “We’ve watched each others’ children grow a year older every year at Oshkosh, and that’s pretty neat.”
They’re slated to arrive in Oshkosh beginning at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, July 26. Sunday will be the large C2O barbecue dinner in the North 40 where 130 people are expected. Other events during the week include the Cessna Pilots Association barbecue Wednesday, July 30, and daily breakfast in the C2O parking area in the North 40. If you have a question about the group flight, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.