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AirVenture 2018 Highlights

By Megan Esau, EAA Assistant Editor

July 21, 2018 - Every year EAA AirVenture Oshkosh gets bigger and better, and the highlights for 2018 are sure to keep the momentum going. From a huge showing of modern and vintage warbirds, to innovations showcasing the future of aviation, to award-winning country acts, there is something for everyone to be excited about.

On Monday country star Dustin Lynch will help kick off the festivities at the opening night concert on Boeing Plaza. Maddie & Tae will start the show at 6 p.m., with Dustin Lynch headlining at 7:15 p.m.

All week long EAA members and aviation enthusiasts can try their hands at building an airplane at EAA’s second One Week Wonder build. Visitors to the build tent at the EAA Four Corners will have the chance to pull a rivet on an RV-12iS, which will be completed and taxiing by the end of convention.

2018 is the Year of the Tanker, and will feature a number of military refueling aircraft, including a KC-10, KC-135, F/A-18F Super Hornet, and HC-130P/N. Kicking off the night air show on Wednesday, a KC-135 will refuel a B-1B 20,000 feet above the EAA grounds.

Fans of modern military air power will have even more to be excited about, as nearly every airframe in the current U.S. Air Force inventory will either fly or be on static display throughout AirVenture 2018.

Continuing the military theme, EAA is also celebrating 100 years since the end of World War I and 100 years of the Royal Air Force. WWI activities will primarily take place in the Vintage area, and a number of historical aircraft will be on display, including a newly restored Dayton-Wright DH.4 Liberty biplane and a rare 1915 Blériot replica in Royal Flying Corps colors. A special program devoted to the RAF centennial will take place on Monday evening at Theater in the Woods.

AirVenture attendees will also witness the Oshkosh debut of the innovative Yak-110, which was built by joining two Yak-55s and hanging a jet engine from the center wing. The Yak-110 will perform an aerobatic routine in the afternoon air shows on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.

Tuesday’s Innovations Day will showcase the latest developments in aviation technology and will give AirVenture attendees a glimpse into the future of flying. Innovations Day will kick off with the Lindbergh Innovation Forum from 9 a.m. to noon at Aviation Gateway Park’s Forums Center, followed by the Innovation Trends in GA Avionics: Executive Roundtable at 1 p.m.

On Tuesday evening, watch five teams present their solutions for in-flight loss of control at An Evening With Innovators - The Founder’s Innovation Prize, presented by Airbus, at Theater in the Woods starting at 8 p.m. The winner of the Shark Tank-style competition will receive a cash prize of $25,000.

Multiple skydiving teams drop in during the afternoon and evening air shows on Wednesday, celebrating a segment of aviation that has been less prevalent at AirVenture in the past. As always, the Patriot Parachute Team will open the air shows, displaying the American flag as they descend during the national anthem. In addition, the International Skydiving Museum Eagles, with its more than 100 jumpers, the wingsuit-clad Red Bull Air Force, and Vertical Elite, who will put on a glowing night routine with skeletal LED visuals, will all perform on Wednesday.

Twilight Flight Fest will return to the Fun Fly Zone on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday evening for its second year after a stellar 2017 debut. The lineup includes a short takeoff and landing (STOL) competition, powered paragliding, skydiving, and 3D RC aircraft and helicopter demonstrations.

Check AirVenture Today every day this week for more on these highlights, and as always, be on the lookout for a few special only-in-Oshkosh surprises throughout the week!

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