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World War I Centennial Activities Highlighted at AirVenture 2018
March 22, 2018 - Activities at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2018 commemorating the centennial of the final year of World War I will feature historic and replica aircraft from the era and flying and other activities that look back at the Great War that concluded with the armistice of 1918.
This year’s WWI commemoration will take place throughout the week, including flying activities on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Fridays evenings, with a special emphasis on Friday, July 27. Many of the aircraft that will be on display are also connected to the 100th anniversary of the Royal Air Force that is also part of AirVenture week.
“In the four-year stretch of World War I, aviation technology and piloting made strides that have been rarely matched in the history of flight,” said Rick Larsen, EAA’s vice president of communities and member programs, who coordinates AirVenture features and attractions. “A century later, aviation enthusiasts still marvel at the determination, ingenuity, and skill of those who designed, built, and flew these aircraft. They were making history in a field of engineering that mostly did not exist just 15 years earlier.”
The WWI programming will be primarily based in the vintage aircraft parking area on the AirVenture flightline. Along with the aircraft on display from the 1915-1918 era, there will be WWI re-enactors and static engine runs. In addition, WWI-era aircraft, aircraft owners, and historians will participate in forums and Vintage in Review session throughout the week. A number of the aircraft will also be displayed at various times on AirVenture’s showcase Boeing Plaza.
Among the aircraft expected to be on display is a newly restored Dayton-Wright DH.4 Liberty biplane being reconstructed by EAA members and high school students in Tennessee.
“Our entire DH.4 Liberty team is looking forward to honoring the memory of all those brave young lads that climbed into the cockpits of those early aeroplanes to defend liberty in the skies above Europe a century ago,” said Dorian Walker, who is leading the restoration team. “What better place to celebrate those early aeronautical feats than America's premiere aviation event, AirVenture 2018. We are pleased to bring the only flying, as delivered to the military, Dayton-Wright DH.4 Liberty Aeroplane, Warbird #1 to Oshkosh this July.”
Other aircraft from the collection of renowned aviator Kermit Weeks are scheduled to be present, as well as a rare 1915 Bleriot replica in Royal Flying Corps colors. More details will be announced as they are finalized.