June 18, 2014 – The Theater in the Woods evening program schedule for EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2014 is finalized and will feature presentations, speakers, and stories covering a variety of topics and interest areas. The Theater in the Woods is located just south of the Plaza and the schedule lineup begins with a pre-AirVenture Night of Champions program on Sunday, July 27, and wraps up Saturday, August 2. Here’s what’s in store for the week:
Monday, July 28
Remembering Paul, 8-8:45 p.m. – Join the EAA family and aviation community for an evening of stories remembering EAA Founder Paul Poberezny, shared by several of his longtime friends. The evening will be hosted by EAA Young Eagles Chairman Sean D. Tucker.
Valdez, 8:45-10 p.m. – The annual Valdez, Alaska, Fly-In and Air Show attracts some of the world’s best pilots for a competition of skill and precision during the legendary short takeoff and landing (STOL) competition in. Hear from at least two of this year’s champions.
Tuesday, July 29
Bill Barber Award Presentation, 7-7:30 p.m. – Representatives from World Airshow News along with friends and family of the late Bill Barber will present the annual Bill Barber Award for Showmanship to an air show performer who has demonstrated extraordinary showmanship.
X PRIZE 10th Anniversary, 8-8:45 p.m. – The Ansari X PRIZE was modeled after the Orteig Prize that Charles Lindbergh won for his solo flight in 1927 to reward the aviation innovation that he inspired. The $10 million competition challenged the world to form the first privately funded team to create a spacecraft to carry three people 100 kilometers above the Earth’s surface, twice within two weeks. Out of 26 teams and $100 million total spent on research, Mojave Aerospace Ventures won in October 2004. Speakers will be Erik Lindbergh, grandson of Charles Lindbergh; Gregg Maryniak, corporate secretary and chairman of the executive committee of the board of X PRIZE; and Doug Shane, executive vice president and general manager of the Spaceship Company.
“I Want to be an Astronaut,” 8:45-10 p.m. – This 38-minute documentary tells the story of Blair Mason’s dreams of flight from childhood to the United States Naval Academy. It’s an examination of the current state of America’s space program, the retirement of the space shuttle, and the future of space exploration. Featured appearances from producer of the film, David Ruck; X-15 and space shuttle test pilot retired Maj. Gen. Joe Engle; and retired Col. Charlie Precourt who served as the former chief of the Astronaut Corps.
Wednesday, July 30
EAA Concert Band, 6-7 p.m. – More than 300 EAA members from 34 states and four countries have played in the EAA AirVenture Concert Band and the experience levels range from junior high students to retired musicians. They’ll convene this year under the direction of Elton Eisele, performing selections from Disney’s smash hit animated feature, “Planes.”
Glacier Girl, 7-8 p.m. – Against all odds, Bob Cardin and a well-equipped recovery crew pulled a P-38 Lightning named Glacier Girl from beneath 238 feet of rock-solid ice in Southeastern Greenland in 1992. Perhaps the most famous warbird flying today, hear the story of the recovery and restoration of this iconic aircraft from the man that made it happen.
Thursday, July 31
The Millionaires’ Unit, 8-9 p.m. – Learn the story of a group of young men from privilege who were prepared to risk it all to fight a distant war in the early 20th century. At its heart was the Yale flying club, what became what we know today as Naval Aviation, from which one of its six members became the principal architect of America’s first strategic bomber force. Another advised President Kennedy to blockade Cuba during the missile crisis. The program features award winning author Marc Wortman, and documentary film makers Darroch Greer and Ron King.
The Birth of Military Aviation, 9-10 p.m. – This year marks the 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War I, which saw the birth of United States military aviation. Images and a panel discussion will explore stories about the pilots who were there, WWI aircraft, what is was like to fly them, and how pilots were trained. The program will be moderated by Ron Alexander, combat pilot during the Vietnam War. Alexander is an EAA Vintage Aircraft Association board member, a very active EAA member, and is also a director of the Candler Field Museum located near Atlanta, Georgia.
“Jenny” Documentary Premier, 10-11 p.m. – This film tells the story of the plane that taught America to fly. Designed as a trainer for the U.S. Army Air Service, the Curtiss JN-4 “Jenny” first flew in 1916 and taught thousands of Allied pilots to fly during World War I. After the war, surplus Jennys were widely used for “barnstorming” and were used for the first scheduled air mail service.
Friday, August 1
Pay Any Price, 7:30 p.m. – See a documentary about an Eighth Air Force B-24 bomber crew’s last mission on May 11, 1944, supporting the build-up to the D-Day invasion. Craig Willan, the film’s producer, will introduce the film.
The Thunderbirds Then and Now, 8-10 p.m. – The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds have flown in front of more than 300 million people since their first performance on May 25, 1953. The unit was activated at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, and took on the name “Thunderbirds,” influenced in part by the strong Native American culture and folklore from the Southwestern United States. Following the Korean War, the unit’s mission was to show the American public the safety, reliability, and maneuverability of jet-engine aircraft, which was still new at the time. Five generations of Thunderbird pilots will appear on this night to be remembered.
Saturday, August 2
Combat Lifesaving in Afghanistan and Iraq, 6:30-8 p.m. – Today’s lifesaving techniques for treating wounded soldiers is radically different than World War II and even Vietnam. Wounded warriors are usually moved within an hour in a flying ICU aircraft like the C-17 staffed just like a hospital ICU, with a trauma doctor and critical care nurse assistant. The results are dramatic with a survival rate of over 90 percent.
Three members of a Critical Care Air Transport Team (CCATT) recently home from Afghanistan will walk us through a typical mission starting with a call for assistance.