Endless sea of wings
Companies like Ford and Boeing had expo tents - Ford had the prototype for its new GT, and Boeing had small-scale models of its jumbo jets. HondaJet had its plane on display in a tent as well. Aviation and non-aviation companies alike set up booths in other hangars - one booth was selling small-scale quad rotors.
A different section, called the Workshop Pavilion, had lots of free classes and various talks and presentations for anyone to take advantage of. I took TIG and gas welding classes and went to a talk given by a Goodyear blimp pilot.
In the afternoons I watched the airshow. There were several aerobatics flights, including a Jack Links-sponsored biplane with a jet engine attached to its belly and the Aeroshell T-6 Texan team. Airbus’s new A-350 did a demo flight, and the new F-35 Lightning II made its first public appearance. A B-52 landed at Oshkosh for the first time as well.
I spent my three nights camping out next to a Beech Sierra in the north 40 along runway 9. And out of every amazing thing I got to see, I think what I liked most was the daily life I had while I was there: Waking up at sunrise and hearing the rumbling roar of planes taking off overhead for airshow practice. Walking around all day in the summer sun, seeing a million planes up close, learning something new a million times. Chilling by the runway watching hours of airshow. And coming back in the evening tired and happy, just in time to see the rainbow dusk fade over a seemingly endless sea of wings.
- 550,000 people attended, with more than 10,000 aircraft
- Visitors registered from 80 nations
- 350 warbirds flew in airshows