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Oshkosh 08


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Just got back from Oshkosh.


What a blast! A once in a lifetime for every aviation enthusiast.


I went with Avtours Australia, and would do it the same way again.


What impressed me the most? The enormity of it. There was just so much going on that you could not see everything. It was well organized and strongly supported by an army of volunteers. There were more interesting forums that I wanted to attend than there was time.


I could have watched lots more of the flying - but I would have missed out on other things.


Shopping - well my Zenith 601 XL is no where near the stage where I need to sorting out what I need, so this was not one of my priorities, but of course, I did spend hours looking at all the toys. The neatest item was a typical Garmin GPS with an additional satellite receiver for on line flight services information and realtime weather display overlaid on the GPS screen! I did look for headsets with noise cancelling and bluetooth for wireless comms with my mobile phone. The only one I found was the Lightspeed Zulu. However; at least one vendor is due to offer a bluetooth device that that goes in series with your own headset cable, but I failed to keep the brochure.


Big stuff? The Dream Lifter, Raptor, SR71, Osprey, all flying and also on display close enough to touch.


I was often asked - why do so many Australians visit, there seem to be more each year? True or not, I suggested our having had similar rules to their Light Sport for many years has attracted many more into people into recreational flying than there would otherwise be.


I was impressed by the organization, the information, the on site transport, the daily newsletters. You could even send your goodies home from the FEDEX stand, or the US Post office. You did not have to wait long for local transport to the university for accommodation. There must have been more than a thousand staying there, making use of the facilities during the semester break.


See http://www.leadingedgeairfoils.com, they had good prices on Rotax parts. I bought a magnetic plug for $37 instead of the usual $50 everywhere else. See also http://www.lockwood-aviation.com. Got some very small satchels of the proper heat transfer compound for spark plugs for $2.80 each.


After the show George and I hired a car and went touring. We dropped in on a mate of his and went for a flight in his Stearman. My first loop!


We visited the Wright Paterson Air force base museum at Dayton, Ohio. An excellent museum with lots of aircraft, but the dark background and use of spotlights made for very difficult photography.


Our main target was the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in the center of Washington DC. Although we found this to be in the not-to-be-missed category, the presentation catered more to thrill the non aviator than aviation aware visitors like ourselves.


Next was the Udar-Hazy centre of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum a few miles away in the suburbs. For the aviator this museum was the piece de resistance. This featured an expansive range of aircraft from all ages, including an SR71, Concorde, The Enola Gay B29, and the full size test vehicle for the space shuttle Enterprise.


A cross country trip took us to the Zenith aircraft factory in Mexico City, Missouri. The factory was smaller than I expected, and on a pretty quiet and remote airfield. The 19 staff seemed very happy working there, and many had been long term employees.


After staying a few days with some more of George’s friends, we headed back to Detroit. With a bit of time on our hands, we followed the coastline of Lake Michigan side of the city. We visited what used to be Meigs Airfield, with which I had some familiarity from my Flight Simulator days.


In general, during the tour, we noticed the difficulty of buying a simple sandwich, drinkable coffee, and a small serve of anything. The lack of rubbish left around. The number of people smoking. The number of people overweight. The number of people driving electric scooters along paths and in supermarkets because they were too overweight to walk.


It did not take long to get used to driving on the wrong side of the road. My sense of direction was thoroughly shot because the sun was in the wrong place. We could not have got by without the Garmin GPS - not only did it save us having to buy any local maps, but it found the closest ATM, the closest motels, and the closest restaurants on many occasions.


Overall, we had a really good trip, with restively few hassles.



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Welcome back, what a blast. hey, i saw your card at the international tent.


similar experience to yours only i travelled alone and camped on site to get a early start each day plus did not want to miss 'theatre in the woods' or free popcorn at the 'flyin theatre' each night. 'right about the health of people and i am still detoxing from the food. the only Aussie i talked to was Eugene Reid but met many wonderful people from all over the world. Did you get the feeling that as far as aviation goes that maybe you are living in the wrong country?





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Guest basscheffers

The Garmin with live weather is using XM Weather: http://www.xmwxweather.com/aviation/ XM being a satellite radio provider in the US and this service is piggy backing on it. So the larger user base and existing satellites designed for high-bandwidth using a small antenna in a mobile environment makes it affordable. (US$10/month)


To do it here, in lieu of suitable satellites, digital-over-shortwave (like DRM Radio, but used for data instead of audio) should provide enough bandwidth and coverage.


Unfortunately, I don't see it happening here any time soon. :(



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Guest satmstr

Wanabigplane, Was in Oshkosh in 07 , fantasic show and as you said not enough time to see everything 051_crying.gif.fe5d15edcc60afab3cc76b2638e7acf3.gif . Did you go down to the seaport ? and was the ford tri-motor there again this year doing joy rides as i went in that and it was fantastic !


I will be back going back in 2009 and would love to fly into the show and experience the landing on different colour dots on the runway:thumb_up:



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Yes Satmstr, I visited the seaport. I have an interest in float 'planes, and I fly radio controlled models off the water. The sea port is the most fantastic spot I've ever seen !


The Ford Trimotor was very busy and always seemed to be taking off or landing. Someone said it had wicker seats, and no seatbelts!


You could buy a radio and listen the flight services in action. New arrivals were informed in Notams to approach in along the highway and call in when over such and such, and not answer to the controller unless asked. You would hear "Yellow low wing aircraft - waggle your wings" ..."OK follow the Cessna in front of you and land on the red spot runway right".....and so it would go on, sometimes landing six aircraft at a time. The air was full of motor noise.


Jack :):)



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would love to fly into the show and experience the landing

Thoroughly recommended, I've flown in twice, works well.


Did you get the feeling that as far as aviation goes that maybe you are living in the wrong country

Totally agree.
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Tri Motor


I went over and tried to get a ride but the waiting time was always over an hour.


40 dollars a circuit seemed good value.





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Guest satmstr

yeah its a pretty popular attraction , the other one i wanted to go on was the B-17 Bomber it looked so good , but was fully booked out even before the airshow started!! so i recommend anyone thats going in 09 and want to go for a run on the B-17 to book early !!


Once again cant wait for the 09 show ;)



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The B17 experience was amazing. sitting in the chin turrett overflying Airventure at 2000ft really put the size of the show into prospective. what a view, bloody huge.


hard to imagine having to go into battle in one of these. you tend to walk away feeling a little humble. Talking to a few of the still surviving vets who crewed these topped off the experience. it was the highlight of my trip.


i strongly recommend flying on the B17g whilst it is still around. you will never have the oppotunity here and in England you can't even fly in a DC3 now.


www.b17g.org this link may get you there it travels around the US visiting different EAA chapters.


I booked my flight before i left home. so glad i did. it was also slightly cheaper and cheaper again for EAA member also the option to pay over 4 payments if needed. i think it was around 400 dollars.


the Mustang is on the list for the next trip almost a 1000 dollars tho.







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