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Delphic P-51 Gear

Warbird Digest


WWII Bombers
The North American P-51 Mustang
P-51 Mustang at Oshkosh 2005
story and photography by Curtis Fowles
Airventure 2005 Home

The Experimental Aircraft Association Airventure 2005. The world's largest airshow is longer this year stretching from Monday 25 July 2005 to Sunday 31 July. On tap this year is a load of tri-motors and six Boeing B-17s, oh, and "Glacier Girl" the P-38 that was buried under ice/snow since WWII then recovered over 45 years later, Burt Rutan's "Spaceship One" and "White Knight", the "Global Flyer" which traveled the globe non-stop and a huge display area with all the new stuff from just about every manufacturer.

Warbirds? Yes there are warbirds at Oshkosh and plenty of them, about 386. What yearly show, anywhere in the world, can bring you over 20 P-51s, a couple of P-40s, 3 P-47s, 6 B-17s, 2 B-25s, 2 spitfires and corsairs, TBMs, wildcats ... That's just the WWII heavy iron. There's much more. Although not tauted as a "warbird show", EAA Airventure brings them in. The Korean and Viet Nam war ears are represented as well with jet and prop warbirds like the F-86, F-4 and the AD-1 Skyraider.

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Have only one day to be at the show? Try to come on Friday or Saturday. By Sunday, many of the aircraft have departed and there is no warbird show. Do not, I repeat, do not try to see everything in one day. You will be chasing your tail trying to keep up with everything going on. If you check out the "warbirds in review" at 10 am and 1 pm, you might miss a safety forum or if you are in a morning forum, you are certainly going to miss a warbird flight or two. Many warbirds are up flying at different times in each morning. They are doing photo shoots, rides, departures and arrivals.

When you are walking around just taking in the show, a military aircraft will come by or depart. Yeah, I am afraid you will miss some of those too. Just come and spend a few days or the whole week and you will not stress about trying to be everywhere at the same time in a single day.

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If you enjoy general aviation, you will in GA heaven going through miles of vendors and displays. Now, if you are into sport aviation, ultralights, and the like, this is your place. Oshkosh has every kind of sport aircraft to check out. New stuff? Oh yeah. Did you know that Honda has a jet? No, not a jet ski, I mean a real jet aircraft. It flew at the show and there is a pic on this page somewhere. Seaplanes. Yes, there is a seaplane base near Oshkosh as well.

When you get tired of looking at all the display and new aircraft, go check out all the fly-in rides. There is always something you have not seen before, just start walking. I found a nice looking Bonanza A-36 with a 4-bladed prop that looked like it designed with a ground-strike bend at the tips. Oh yeah, I forgot, bring comfortable shoes. You will probably put many miles on them each day unless you bring you chair and plop down at show center in the morning and stay there all day. And you can do that too. There is lots of action on the main runway during the morning. Arrivals every day and folks leaving as well. There is always something moving.

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