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Building Extravaganzas: AirVenture 2018 Air Show Planning Underway

November 9, 2017 - What do you do when trying to match EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2017’s air shows that included the Blue Angels, a history of bombers, and numerous other “wow” moments?

Start with one highlight at a time.

“This is the time of year when there are lots of ideas,” said Dennis Dunbar, who directs air operations for AirVenture. “We’re always looking for those amazing and cool things that happen only at Oshkosh. Some people come to us and we find others. And then we go to work.”

As main feature planning matures for the 2018 fly-in, which will be held July 23-29, there are ideas that began with discussions during AirVenture 2017. Sometimes, those discussions go back further, but need a couple of years to bring together. For example, there are already preliminary plans well underway for AirVenture 2020.

The International Council of Air Shows (ICAS) convention at Las Vegas in early December is also a key event, as the entire air show community is available for conversations and confirmations. An early schedule of performers is finalized shortly after that convention. Along with that, discussions with EAA’s various interest groups, including homebuilts, warbirds, vintage aircraft, ultralights, and others help form other highlight events for the week.

There are also numerous anniversaries of various aircraft to consider. It offers owners of those aircraft to come together in one place and have their spotlight moment at Oshkosh.

 “There’s no place like Oshkosh,” said Dunbar, who plans and directs air shows throughout the country. “There is so much going on and there are new things being added each year that you don’t see any place else.”

Tickets for AirVenture 2018 are already on sale, with many people getting them as holiday gifts for the aviation nuts in their families. While the air shows are only one part of Oshkosh, they are a part that’s always highly anticipated. So how does one match the memorable 2017 fly-in?

“That‘s definitely the question I’ve been asked most since last July,” Dunbar said. “It’s a wonderful challenge to have. But I’m confident that our members and visitors will be quite satisfied with what we’ve put together so far. I’m excited to release some details real soon and prove that 2018 will have plenty of those only-at-Oshkosh moments.”

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