Festivities from the 2011 Oshkosh AirVenture are just wrapping up as we type, and as our photos come back from the dark room we’re sending them straight out to print.
As far as air shows go, one can do no better than the Oshkosh AirVenture in Wisconsin. Your typical small town air show this is not. Sure, they’ve got the warbirds and the experimental planes and the helicopters and the commercial jets — in sheer volume of hardware here there is no doubt.
Oshkosh goes well beyond the lifeless shell of steel and rivets though — this show is more about community than anything else. It’s immediately apparent as you walk down the runway where the primary show takes place. On the left side you’ll see cycles of aircraft flying in formation, in loops, around in spirals and performing for the audience.
And on the right? Legions of personal aircraft surrounded by campsites. Thousands of them. Some visitors sleep in their aircraft, others right under the wings. Scores of people make the trip up to Oskhosh each year to nestle back into the community, talk shop and catch up with old friends. It’s the annual reunion of airplane nerds.
Add to that mix a strong commercial component of airframe, technology and culture displays and you’ve got the biggest aircraft event in North America, a virtual playground for any aviation enthusiast. Take a look at the pictures from Gadling labs courtesy Erin Drewitz below.