Warbirds of America AirVenture Update
By Rick Siegfried
Our annual convention, EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, is just a few weeks away. Volunteers are busy getting everything ready, including in the Warbirds of America and Warbird Alley area, which will once again be a major focal point of the annual gathering. Here's a brief preview about what we have in store for the World's Greatest Aviation Celebration.
In the Warbirds area, we're organizing another full week of activities. The daily air show will fill the sky with warbirds each day, starting with an arrival show on Monday. Tuesday brings out all Warbirds that want to fly. The Wednesday air show is a tribute to the 75th anniversary of the North American Texan T-6/SNJ/Harvard aircraft. Thursday is an all-jet fly day, with a large Warbirds air show planned for both Saturday and Sunday.
The ever popular Warbirds in Review is also back with two daily programs at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. just off of Warbird Alley. (See the schedule.) Every day, Warbird Alley will be packed with interesting aircraft. For Sunday and Monday, we expect the arrival of the Texas Flying Legends Museum which is bringing a total of 11 warbirds to display during the week. We will rotate interesting warbirds in the special display areas of Warbird Alley throughout the week.
The Training Command will feature military training aircraft such as a Ryan PT-22, a Stearman PT-17 from the WASP program, a Consolidated BT-13, a North American T-6 from the Red Tail group, and a de Havilland Tiger Moth. We will be also operating a guided tour of the Warbirds area on the Warbird Express Tram. It will depart from the Training Command area just west of Warbird Alley.
Over the last several years, EAA Warbirds of America and the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) organization have designated Friday as Salute to Veterans Day. We will once again have a full day dedicated to veterans, starting out with a free Veterans Breakfast sponsored by American Airlines. (Registration required.) There's also the annual parade of veterans from the Warbirds area to Phillips 66 Plaza. Veterans from all branches are invited to meet in the Warbirds area at 1 p.m. with a parade start time of 1:30 p.m.
We will also have warbird features running on the Main Plaza Stage at Phillips 66 Plaza, starting at 10 a.m. A special presentation with triple ace legend Bud Anderson occurs on the Main Plaza Stage at Phillips 66 Plaza at 11 a.m., hosted by David Hartman. The program is presented by the EAA Warbirds of America and the DAV.
The EAA Warbirds of America/DAV-sponsored concert featuring Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band starts at 7:30 p.m. - just after the arrival of an American Airlines Yellow Ribbon Flight, the first ever Honor Flight for Vietnam veterans returning to Oshkosh from a day trip to Washington D.C. Also confirmed: When the veterans arrive back in Oshkosh, singer Tony Orlando will welcome them home with a special song from the Main Plaza Stage.
Also Friday, at Theater in the Woods will be a program titled "American Warriors" - a special program that provides a fitting ending to a full Salute to Veterans Day. The special guests will include top-level military honorees and pilots.
AirVenture Oshkosh 2013 is shaping up to be a must-attend event for every warbird enthusiast. AirVenture is always a good time to renew old friendships and make new ones. As always, the Warbirds area will have a lot of activities all week long that you can enjoy with family and friends.