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Welcome to Oshkosh
By Jack J. Pelton, EAA CEO and Chairman of the Board
July 23, 2017 - Welcome to EAA’s 65th annual fly-in convention and our 48th consecutive year in Oshkosh. For more than two generations on these grounds, the word “Oshkosh” has meant so much to so many in aviation — a homecoming, a reunion, history, innovation, and technology.
This year is all of those things. We are celebrating several anniversaries, including 25 years of the Young Eagles program. Eight astronauts will join us Friday as we celebrate a half-century since the start of the Apollo program. We are also very excited to have two flying B-29s – FIFI and Doc — here this week.
There is also a significant amount of new technology and innovation to see on the AirVenture grounds this year. For example, Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket, drones, the Kitty Hawk flying platform at the EAA Seaplane Base, and flying car concepts. Also, NASA is back in a big way, with more directors of NASA flight centers attending this year than ever before.
The U.S. Navy Blue Angels will have full demonstrations on Friday and Saturday, marking the first time that has taken place here. Several World War II bombers, including B-17s, more than a dozen B-25s, the B-29s, a B-52, and a B-1 will be on display. And, a B-2 flyby is planned for this weekend.
And so much more.
My personal thanks to all of the volunteers who helped get everything ready for opening day, and to those who will contribute their time during the week. More than 5,000 volunteers make this possible, so be sure to thank them when you see them.
We’re here to celebrate personal flight, so let’s do that while remembering the Oshkosh Rules of Paul Poberezny – high standards, courtesy, and cleanliness on the grounds.