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The Sounds of the Past

July 25, 2016 - Visitors at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016 will have a unique opportunity to experience the sounds of old-time aviation as many of the airplanes in the World War I encampment will be started to show off their original engines.

The mass engine run-ups will take place at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday across from Vintage airplane parking at the south end of the flightline, and will include a number of authentic WWI restored aircraft powered by their original engines. There will also be a WWI encampment with living history volunteers who will be representing the soldiers and aviators of the era. Each day there will be engine runs, flights, presentations by the pilots as well as the National World War I Centennial Commission, and much more.

Today there are aircraft capable of combat at supersonic speeds at altitudes miles above the Earth’s surface. Some of them fly and fight without a pilot and can achieve an aerial victory without ever seeing one another. To get a full appreciation for how far we have come, we must look at where we started. 

In the skies over the battlefields of World War I the aircraft were mainly made of wood and fabric, and had very little in the way of creature comforts. Yet their pilots would push the limits of their aircraft right up to the edge of the envelope. Remarkably they would fly to altitudes of 20,000 feet with no oxygen and often no parachutes. There, for the first time, aircraft would duel in the clouds. 

WWI aircraft that will be at AirVenture this year include: Golden Age Air Museum’s Sopwith Pup and Fokker Dr.I, Old Rhinebeck’s SPAD and Fokker D.VIII, Fantasy of Flight’s Albatros, EAA’s J-1, and Collings Foundation’s 1909 Curtiss Pusher.
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