Pioneer Airport

From May through October, Pioneer Airport gives visitors a unique “living history” re-creation of what airports were like during the early days of air travel. It brings back a time when the magic of flying astounded and charmed the whole world.

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Group Rates

Enjoy discounted group rates for adults, seniors, and children. Group tour pricing can be extended to groups of 10 or more. For student groups, 1 chaperone/teacher for every 8 children/students is free.

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Member Swap Day

Members of EAA, Paine Art Center or Oshkosh Public Museum will be able to enjoy free admission to all of three of these Oshkosh-area museums on Sunday, July 6. 
Explore world-class attractions in your own backyard!

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Eagle Hangar

The Eagle Hangar is a hall of honor dedicated to the memory of those who served during World War II. The airplanes include examples of Allied fighters, bombers, liaison aircraft, trainers, Army and Navy aircraft, plus examples from Germany and Japan.

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School Programs

Aviation is a fun, exciting, and stimulating subject, making the EAA AirVenture Museum an ideal environment for learning! Our school programs are each intended for a range of student ages and group sizes. 

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Fergus Chapel

A quaint, old-time chapel located next to a quiet pond – the perfect backdrop for beautiful pictures – the Fergus Chapel provides an intimate setting for weddings, baptisms, or memorial services.

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Young Eagles Flights

Ever wondered what your neighborhood looks like from the sky? If you’re nodding your head “Yes” and are between the ages of 8 and 17, you’re ready to take a free Young Eagles flight from EAA's Pioneer Airport and see what real pilots do on the ground and in the air.

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1918 Curtiss JN4D 'Jenny'

In many ways, the Curtiss Jenny could be considered the Model T of the skies. Roughly a contemporary of Ford’s famous auto, the Jenny would eventually help to establish the practical reality of American aviation.

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Photograph Collections

The EAA library’s photographic collection has something for everyone. Beginning with the Wright Brothers and continuing into the space age, the photo archives are an invaluable resource. The photo archive has more than 100,000 images of aircraft and the people that made them famous.

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Founders Wing

Established to preserve EAA’s history and culture, the Founders Wing showcases Paul and Audrey Poberezny’s personal collection of letters, pictures, artifacts, media clippings, and so much more.

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Timeless Voices Archives

Aviation’s history is made up of many remarkable people, from the best-known aviation personalities to those who contributed to the development of aviation in their communities. Search database for hundreds of aviators sharing their personal stories.

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Donate Your Aircraft

Add to EAA’s diverse aircraft collection for aviation enthusiasts to enjoy! EAA AirVenture Museum follows a set of procedures to assess airplanes that are offered as donations to our collection.

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1941 XP-51 Mustang

The North American P-51 Mustang was the most successful, most versatile fighter of World War II (1939-1945). Designed in 1940 for Britain, the first prototype XP-51 was finished in just 117 days. The Allison-powered P-51A was dubbed “Mustang, Mk. 1” by the British and first deployed in tactical reconnaissance in the spring of 1942.

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1903 Wright Flyer Replica

The full-size replica of the Wright brothers’ historic 1903 “Flyer” - the first true airplane - is a centerpiece in the EAA AirVenture Museum’s collection. It stands as a tribute to the birth of aviation and to the accomplishments of Wilbur and Orville Wright and their mechanic, Charlie Taylor.

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1938 Wittman Buttercup

Steve Wittman designed and built Buttercup in 1938 and, over the years, it has featured a variety of innovations including - tapered rod landing gear, variable camber wings with full span leading edge and slotted trailing edge flaps.

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1959 P-5 'Pober Sport'

Paul Poberezny first penciled a sketch of the Pober Sport during the summer of 1956. With a little help from his wife and brother, Paul began building the Sport with a Baby Ace fuselage and J-3 landing gear. Other EAA members pitched in to help Paul build his latest aircraft.

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SpaceShipOne

The exhibit uses dramatic sound and lighting effects, as well as rare video footage - some never seen in public - to tell the story of a mission into space aboard SpaceShipOne. During this journey, SpaceShipOne demonstrates a key technological breakthrough conceived by spacecraft designer Burt Rutan, a longtime EAA member.

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1949 Taylor Aerocar

EAA’s rebuilt prototype of the classic Aerocar represents a revolutionary concept. Not only can it be readily converted from an airplane to a roadable car, but also its wings can be folded back along the sides of the detached fuselage and towed behind the automobile like a trailer.

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Spirit of St. Louis Replica

EAA has constructed two Spirit of St. Louis replica aircraft to honor Charles Lindbergh and his aviation achievements. This replica was built in 1977 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Lindbergh’s flight across the Atlantic Ocean. Between 1977 and 1988, that aircraft accumulated more than 1,300 hours of flight time.

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1977 Christen Eagle II

The Christen Eagle was designed by Frank Christensen, founder of Christen Industries. Frank was an aerobatic pilot and manager of the U.S. Aerobatic Team that won the 1972 World Aerobatic Championship. The Christen Eagle II combined professional design with factory quality parts. The resulting kit raised the bar for aircraft kit manufacturers.

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F-22 Raptor Gallery

The centerpiece of KidVenture is the Raptor Gallery, which contains 16 interactive exhibits focusing on the world's most advanced airplane, the F-22 Raptor. It includes a half-scale model of the F-22 where young people can climb into the cockpit. 

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September Swing

Relive the excitement and glamour of the 1940s at September Swing! Learn to swing dance (or practice your skills) and then dance the night away amid the Eagle Hangar’s authentic collection of World War II planes, vehicles, and artifacts. Great music, delicious hors d'oeuvres, and 1940s fun make up this exciting event.


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EAA Hall of Fame Banquet

Each November, EAA welcomes and honors five new members to its Sport Aviation Hall of Fame. Representing Homebuilders, Warbirds of America, International Aerobatic Club, Vintage Aircraft Association, and Ultralights, each year’s inductees capture the spirit of EAA and its community.

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Christmas in the Air

Get into the holiday spirit at Christmas in the Air, a free community event for all ages held in December. This widely popular event features holiday performances by local more than 20 musical, choral, and dance groups on four stages. Don’t miss the arrival of Santa Claus by helicopter, after which he will visit with children!

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Wright Brothers Memorial Banquet

Commemorate the anniversary of the first powered flight with a very special keynote speaker at the annual Wright Brothers Memorial Banquet in December. Honoring the spirit and achievements of the Wright Brothers is a tradition at EAA. 


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Skiplane Fly-In

See dozens of skiplanes fly in to the snow-covered runway of Pioneer Airport at February's Skiplane Fly-In, which showcases this unique segment of flight that is quite popular throughout many parts of North America. The Skiplane Fly-In is free of charge to the public.

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Hops & Props

Spend an evening sampling more than 250 extraordinary beverages from around the world at Hops & Props, a fine food and beverage-tasting event held annually in March. Micro-breweries and distributors are on hand to teach you about the brewing process and history, and help you become a discerning beverage taster.

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Family Flight Fest

Discover the exciting world of aviation with an interactive, educational experience at Family Flight Fest held during a weekend in the spring. The museum’s younger visitors enjoy a variety of aviation-related activities that educate and spark their curiosity in flight.


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1971 Monnett Sonerai I - N11ME (N5795)

Location: Innovations

The Sonerai (Son-er-ai) is a name meant to be unusual. It came from playing with words like sun-ray and sonic-ray and was also meant to convey the meaning of something fast. The plane was designed to meet specific requirements. First, it had to meet all P.R.P.A. regulations for Formula Vee racers; second, it had to have metal wings and a tube fuselage; third, it had to use simplified techniques in construction and fourth, it had to have folding wings and a simple, inexpensive way of transporting it on the highway. This was John Monnett’s formula for a formula Vee racer.

The aircraft in the AirVenture Museum is the prototype Sonerai. It was first registered as N5795 in the 1970s. This particular racer was originally built for a different kind of race, a mythical race to get to “Oshkosh ’71.” Was the race won? Read further to find out.

John had just attended Oshkosh ’70 with his first homebuilt, the “Mini #@!!%” that he was none too happy with. He realized the potential use of the VW engine in airplane application and was intrigued with the wide-open field of the Formula Vee class racer after hearing Steve Wittman speak at a forum in 1968.

By the time he returned home to IL after Oshkosh ’70, the new airplane was beginning to take form in his mind. He knew he wanted to build it right away, wanted it finished by the 1971 Oshkosh fly-in. With the previously mentioned four points in mind, John began sketching the new aircraft. The final description of the Sonerai reads: a midwing, sport plane, racer designed to meet all P.R.P.A. Formula Vee racing requirements for 1600 cc. Volkswagen powered airplanes. It uses a minimum of different sizes of easily obtainable materials to reduce the cost without hampering the integrity of the design. The wing is all aluminum and is composed of two panels that fold alongside the fuselage enabling the Sonerai to be towed tail first on its own gear. The fuselage and tail surfaces are of standard chrome-moly tubing construction using primarily two sizes of tubing. All aluminum sheet used is .025 Alclad except for the spar webs. The cowling is all fiberglass and the fuselage and tail surfaces are fabric covered. The landing gear is a modified truck spring with five-inch go-cart wheels.

John’s friend Dwight Dende became interested in the concept and he and John decided they could build two planes faster and cheaper together than each one separately. So, they agreed to build two racers and split the cost. By the end of December they had the fuselage trusses and tail surfaces built and had started the spars. Time was really flying by. Imagine, they actually thought they could design, build, and fly two complete airplanes in eight months time!

Progress moved right along and soon they had purchased the canopies and landing gear legs. The spars and wing folding parts were completed, the rib blanks were cut out and they began forming the ribs. Next came assembling the four wing panels, fitting the skins and then riveting the skins on.

In April, John and his wife Betty added to their family with the birth of their son Little John. Progress on the airplanes was halted by baby’s needs, but soon John and Dwight were back in the shop with only four months left until Oshkosh.

In May came the engines and the simple prop extensions. The engine mounts, canopy frame, instrument panel, fuel tank, control links, and front end metal all followed in quick order. Then it was June and they realized there was no way they were going to complete both airplanes. The decision was made to finish John’s plane first. First came the precover inspection, and then the aircraft was covered in a week. After that, the engine was installed and they tried to start it, a simple procedure that only took – 45 days! For some reason they just couldn’t get that engine to stay fired up. So they went ahead with finishing the cowl and doing the final paint job. John would say they now had the world’s fastest static display. By mid-July they had finally licked the problems with the engine.

On July 20, 1971, just eight months after they started, John flew the Sonerai. The first flight went well except for a very sensitive elevator which was easily corrected. On July 29th, two days before Oshkosh, while flying the aircraft, John lost power on takeoff. He was able to land the plane without incident, but they towed the aircraft to Oshkosh and put it on static display. So, the mythical race to Oshkosh was won, in a manner of speaking. With the help of some airplane folks at Oshkosh, they were able to fly the plane during the convention and won awards for “Best Formula Vee” and “Most Outstanding Contribution to Low Cost Flying.” What a race, what a week. For more information on the Sonerai, see Sport Aviation, March 1972 and July 1973.

John Monnett donated the Sonerai to EAA in 1980.

Wing Span

16 ft. 8 in.

Length

16 ft. 8 in.

Wing Area

75 sq. ft.

Height

5 ft.

Empty Weight

440 lbs.

Gross Weight

700 lbs.

Utility Gross Weight

750 lbs.

Useful Load

560 lbs.

Cruise Speed 75%

150 mph

Top Speed

170 mph

Stall Speed

40 mph

Landing Speed

50 mph

Fuel Capacity

11 gal.

Design Limits

6 g’s +/-

Take Off Distance

600 ft.

Range Maximum

250-300 mi.

Rate of Climb

1000 fpm

Power plant

1600 cc Volkswagen or larger with Monnett conversion