A week wandering aviation Disneyland

Trying to describe EAA AirVenture at Oshkosh to pilots who have never been is hard enough, but whenever I talk about it to non-pilots, the reference to Oshkosh usually conjurs up overalls.

How can I describe the miles of airplanes of every imaginable type, as far as the eye can see? How do I properly convey the thrill of warbirds overhead all day long? How do I get people to understand the magnitude of Mr. T getting to fly in the AIRSHOW at Oshkosh?

The closest I’ve gotten is to describe the whole fabulous fiasco as aviation Disneyland, and EAA AirVenture as the Olympics of airshows. Better still is to share the snaps… Just a few of the 10,000 general aviation birds who flew in, and some of the 583,000 folks who visited this year (more EAA AirVenture Oshkosh facts and figures here). A week of photos, in no particular order…

Sky Raiders
Mr. T spent a lot of time with administrative business related to the airshow this year, so I found myself puttering around the airport. First stop? Warbird Alley, of course.
A sea of RVs
A sea of RVs. Fly-ins were up in almost every category this year.
Fairchild Airplane
The National Park Service’s first airplane was on display and thankfully provided good cover during a massive storm. This Fairchild was commissioned during the mid-1930s.
EAA donuts
They aren’t nearly as good as the EAA donuts of yore, but these sugar bombs hit the spot.
Wendt's on the Lake
No trip to Oshkosh is complete without a visit to Wendt’s on the Lake. Pile of perch anyone?
Tim and Matt Beaubien
We ran into our favorite U-2 pilot, Matt Beaubien, who blasted into Osh in a T-38. So cool.
P-40 selfie faces.
Earlier that day, I said “I want to get a picture of us today.” And voila. P-40 faces. We’re classy that way.
Balls-out nose art.
Nose art that makes me chuckle.
F-4 Phantom
Bummed to learn the F-4 Phantom is disappearing. And by disappearing, I mean being used as target practice apparently.
Pratt & Whitney logo
A big part of Osh is Shawna-airplane-and-engine-identification practice. 
The P-40, one of my favorite warbirds.
Buckets of rain brought some welcome cool to Oshkosh mid-week.
Buckets of rain brought some welcome cool to Oshkosh mid-week. It was a burning swamp previously!
Sexy poncho
Dead sexy. All the cool kids wear ponchos, you know?
C-5 Super Galaxy
Mr. T in his happiest of places. The C-5 followed us all the way from Northern California; it’s based in Travis, CA.
One of the best parts about Oshkosh--cool airplanes overhead almost at all times.
One of the best parts about Oshkosh–cool airplanes overhead almost at all times.
Visiting the C-5
Visiting the C-5 with Tommy “Turbo” Ishii, a former load master.
C-5 Super Galaxy
Friends in high places meant a peek out of the C-5 Super Galaxy’s escape hatch. So. Cool.
C-5 Super Galaxy
C-5 Super Galaxy.
Looking out at Oshkosh from the top of the C-5 Super Galaxy.
Looking out at Oshkosh from the top of the C-5 Super Galaxy. That’s Sean Tucker flying in the distance.
C-5 Super Galaxy
C-5 Super Galaxy left seat.
C-5 Super Galaxy
I can’t even fathom what it’s like to fly this sucker, which is as big as a house.
Visiting with the C-5 Super Galaxy crew.
Me, T, and Nasty (pictured) visiting with the C-5 Super Galaxy crew.
RV Oshkosh ladies
Enjoyed some lovely afternoons hanging out in airplane shade with friends.
Sky Raiders
Traveled to Oshkosh with a couple guys who flew Skyraiders while in the service.
Warbird Alley
Wandering Warbird Alley.
C-5 and Coast Guard
Love to see the West Coast so well represented.
Martin Mars R-3350
One of the Martin Mars’s R-3350 engines. The same as in the B-29 and my favorite Reno racer, Rare Bear. Ginormous!
Looking back toward Aeroshell Square at Oshkosh.
During Oshkosh, this is the world’s busiest control tower. Not surprising. This year more than 10,000 general aviation airplanes showed up throughout the week!
Aero 145.
Howard 500
Howard 500 art.
My second favorite spot to wander is through the Twin Beeches, Electras, and DC-3s over in Vintage.
Twin Beech
Twin Beech nose.
Love wandering the Vintage aircraft section.
Earlier in the week, there were eight Spartans in a row… more in one place ever in history, including when they were produced.
Nothing like a B-17 flying overhead all day long. Saw the B-29, too!
Tail art
Interesting RV tail art.
Engine inspection
Engine inspection time.


Next up: Photos of the airshows, the 30-ship RV formation flights, and the WEST COAST RAVENS!!

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