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Humanitarian Aircraft, Missions Highlighted at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2021
By Erin Henze
July 8, 2021 – EAA AirVenture Oshkosh is hosting a special attraction this year that will highlight humanitarian aircraft that focus on providing medical and relief assistance to those in need around the world.
These aircraft and organizations are among those that will be part of a salute to humanitarian aviation during the 68th edition of EAA’s annual fly-in convention, which runs July 26-August 1 at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh:
- Orbis Flying Eye Hospital: This MD-10 aircraft travels around the world to provide eye care, such as cataract surgery and glaucoma treatment, to local hospitals in countries that have limited or nonexistent access.
- Samaritan’s Purse DC-8: The flagship airplane of the organization delivers tons of food, medicine, and supplies to aid victims of war, natural disasters, and other emergencies.
- UPS 747-8F: This aircraft played a leading role in the delivery of over 400 million COVID-19 vaccines and tons of personal protective equipment (PPE) used to fight the pandemic in the U.S.
- Cessna 208 Caravan: The Remote Area Medical organization’s aircraft has three pop-up medical clinics in it, which includes medical, dental, and vision to assist in disaster situations.
- Air Force C-17: This aircraft has Negatively Pressurized CONEX (NPC), which filters contaminated air with clean air to prevent the spread of disease and contamination. This unit was used in recent COVID pandemic relief missions.
“EAA AirVenture has brought together a unique group of airplanes that have special roles within the humanitarian sector, with many of these aircraft playing a significant role in pandemic relief operations,” said Rick Larsen, EAA’s vice president of communities and member programming, who coordinates AirVenture features and attractions. “Our activities this year showcase the enormous, but often unsung, charitable work that happens because of aviation and the dedicated organizations that use it.”
Several of the humanitarian aircraft will be open for tours throughout the week, which will allow attendees to go inside of the airplanes and learn more about their unique features. There will also be numerous other humanitarian organizations at AirVenture, including the Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF), Adventist World Aviation, and JAARS.