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2021 EAA AirVenture Preview

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EAA’s AirVenture 2021 = EAA AirVenture 2020 (Plus One) And Then Some!

The AirVenture 2020 aviation celebration in Oshkosh, Wisconsin was forced to be cancelled over health concerns associated with the Covid 19 crisis. There were a number of milestones which would have been celebrated during last year’s gathering.

There will be a 2021 AirVenture, and many of the 2020 milestones will be brought forward and celebrated this year. In fact, many news releases for this year’s AirVenture include anniversaries with a “(Plus One)” distinction!

Here’s a quick look at some of the celebrations and anniversary themes that will be presented during the 2021 EAA AirVenture at Oshkosh. The (Plus One) indicates that 2020 is the real anniversary… either from the EAA’s media releases or by this editor.

Please note that these are planed events and performers, and nothing is guaranteed. The photos contained within may not be the exact performers either, but representative of those noted in media releases!

CIVILIAN AIRCRAFT MILESTONES and ANNIVERSARIES:
Taylorcraft 75th anniversary (Plus One)
Ercoupe 80th anniversary (Plus One)
Aeronca Chief 75th anniversary (Plus One)
Cessna 120/140 75th anniversary
Globe Swift 75th anniversary
Howard Aircraft
Cessna 195
Cessna 180/185
Twin Bonanzas
Comanche Aircraft
Beech Staggerwings
North American/Ryan Navion 75th anniversary
Stinsons, commemorating their 100th anniversary (Plus One)
70th anniversary of the Piper PA-22 Tri-Pacer family, to be joined by other Short Wing Pipers such as the iconic Vagabond, Clipper, Pacer, and Colt.

The Goodyear Blimp “Wingfoot Three” will appear fifty years after an initial visit by a Goodyear blimp… the Goodyear Blimp “America”… at Oshkosh in 1971

HOMEBUILT ANNIVERSARIES:
Pitts Special 75th (Plus One) anniversary
Bakeng Duce 50th (Plus One) anniversary
Skybolt 50th (Plus One) anniversary
Sonerai 50th anniversary
AirCam 25th (Plus One) anniversary
RV-8 25th (Plus One) anniversary
RV-7 20th anniversary

75 YEARS (PLUS ONE) SINCE THE END OF WORLD WAR II
With displays of various warbirds from the beginning of the conflict through the end of the war, seven years later

USAF SPECIAL OPERATIONS COMMAND AIRCRAFT DISPLAY WITH PLANNED PARTICIPATION OF:
AC-130J Ghostrider
MC-130J Commando II
EC-130J Commando Solo
CV-22 Osprey
U-28A Draco
C-145A Combat Coyote
C-146A Wolfhound
MQ-9 Reaper
MC-12W Liberty

A HUGE ASSORTMENT OF CIVILIAN AEROBATIC PERFORMERS, INCLUDING:
Airythmia (Paramotors)
Melanie Astles (Extra 330SC)
Eric Tucker (Piper J-3 Cub)
Philipp Steinback (Gamebird GB1)
Jeff Shetterly (SNJ-6 Radial Rumble)
Joe Shetterly (RV-8)
Justin Lewis (FLS Microjet)
Jerry Kerby (T-28 Trojan)
Erik Edgren (T-Clips) (Taylorcraft)
AeroShell Aerobatic Team (T-6)
Vicky Benzing (Stearman)
Jeff Boerboon (Yak-110 jet-assisted twin)
Wild Blue Rodeo (SubSonex JSX-2)
Kirby Chambliss, Aaron Fitzgerald and the Red Bull Air Force
Kevin Coleman (Extra 300 SHP)
Kyle Fowler (Rutan Long-EZ)
Kyle Franklin Comedy Act (Piper Super Cub)
Mike Goulian (Extra 330C)
Nathan Hammond (Super Chipmunk)
Rob Holland (MX-2)
Dell Coller (RAD Aerosports Jet Waco)
David Martin (Beechcraft Baron)
Jim Peitz (Beechcraft 33C Bonanza)
Red Line Air Shows (RV-8)
Gene Soucy (Grumman Showcat)
Bill Stein (Zivko Edge 540)
Skip Stewart (Pitts S2S Prometheus)
Patty Wagstaff (Extra 330LX)
Geico Skytypers (SNJ)
Matt Younkin (Twin Beech 18)

The week-long AirVenture has many more activities besides these flying and static aircraft and performers. The huge gathering of all-things-aviation will be held from July 26th through August 1st, 2021. That’s just less than a month away, watch for our coverage in early August.

Mid-Term Report For the Year 2021

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Hope is there for a number of air shows to operate, featuring warbirds, in 2021

We, the combined groups of writers, reporters and photographers here at Photorecon.net, ClassicWarbirds.net and CivilAviationWorld.com, are coming to grips with another subdued North American air show season… but with a renewed enthusiasm as a number of venues return to present aviation to the masses.

As the Covid-19 crisis exploded in 2020, wholesale cancellations of aviation shows, conventions and – in general – flying occurred, much to our chagrin. Commercial flying, specifically the airline sector, reduced operations by half or more, depending upon your geographical focus.

Waves of layoffs and furloughs leaned out large companies for long-term, low intensity survival operations. Grounded were fleets of older McDonnell Douglas, Airbus and Boeing airliners, while newer ones were parked in storage until it was sound to activate them again as passengers declined to travel in droves. It didn’t take long for airlines to ground their MD-80 families, Boeing “Classic” families of B-737s and their larger jets like the Queen of the Skies B-747s and Airbus A-380s – many of whom didn’t make economic sense to operate.

Large events, whether outdoors or indoors, were either outlawed or cancelled due to the possibility of them becoming “mass spreader events”. Air shows became a major casualty, as only a handful of them modified their venues, becoming bravely-held fly-by events.

As unfortunate as these events were, some good did shine through the chaos of 2020. General Aviation and Business Aviation became more critical to those business and leisure travelers who did find a reason to travel. In fact, business and shared-ownership flying reached new heights according to flight tracking providers like Flightaware. Air cargo resources were stretched thin due to the sudden demand of priority freight, including precious and fragile vaccine supplies.

Air shows did continue, with the fledgling “in-the-air-only” format with pre-assigned parking and spectator spaces marked out. Military aviation assets were used for critical supply flights too.

As the year 2021 dawned, another round of event cancellations were announced throughout the continent, and the world. However, through the advent of vaccinations and other deterrents, the 2021 season will contain a fair amount of air shows and conventions, plus a return to commercial flying. A pent-up demand for travel, mainly in the leisure market, is promising a busy summer season in the Northern Hemisphere, even with numerous international travel restrictions still in place.

Older versions of airliners remain grounded and retired, but new generation transports like the Airbus A-220, A-350 and A-320/321Neo, and the Boeing B-787 and B-737 Max continue to replace these less efficient jets worldwide. Passenger airlines are recalling crews to begin an almost-pre-Covid schedule around the world. Some of the jumbo-sized A-380s are being used again for combined passenger/freight flights too.

The air cargo marketplace has grown substantially, even calling for idle passenger jets to be used as modified freighters in the short term until additional freighters can be procured (either new builds or converted from retired passenger jets).

While our pages presented very few aviation “current events” in 2020, our 2021 season is beginning to pencil in air shows that will be held live throughout the year… like Reading, PA’s Mid-Atlantic Air Museum’s recently held World War II Weekend, and upcoming shows like the 2021 EAA AirVenture, and upcoming flying displays like the late-summer New York International Air Show, Airshow London (Ontario), Portsmouth NH’s Thunder Over New Hampshire and Brunswick ME’s Great Stater of Maine Air Show.

We’ll continue to present legendary planes, people and events of the past in our “Photo Scrapbooks” and “Looking Back…” features while we begin to display up-to-the-minute reporting of current events too.

As always, thank you for your continued support by reading and sharing our views of aviation, while we climb out of this crisis!

Ken Kula

MASDC, AMARC and AMARG, Better Known as the “Boneyard”

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Davis Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Arizona is home to the United States military’s storage and regeneration center for warplanes. I was privileged to have the opportunity to visit the facility on multiple occasions during the 1980s, 1990s, and the early 2000s and have seen many relics and historic aircraft that don’t exist today.

Many aircraft are scrapped and melted down into metal ingots to be used again in the construction of aircraft. Others donate parts to keep newer aircraft in the air, or are regenerated themselves for continued U.S. military use. Still others are sold and/or sent to different countries to continue their service in the hands of non-U.S. pilots.

Here is a short scrapbook of photos that stretches across those three decades, you can hover over each photo to see what the aircraft type is.

104th Fighter Wing F-15C Eagle 85-0125 with Special Unit Member Names and US Flag Nose Art

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The 104th Fighter Wing of the Massachusetts Air National Guard, based at Westfield Barnes Regional Airport, recently applied amazing art work to both sides of the nose area of wing jet F-15C Eagle 85-0125. The art work consists of all members’ names, to form a US Flag. Additionally, past members who are Gold Star names, are in gold. Also, this jet scored an Iraqi MiG-29 kill during the Gulf war in 1991.

I was fortunate to be able to get some photos of the jet on 25 February 2021. Seeing it up close and in person was an honor, and really showed the creativity and challenges overcome with the creation of the art, and working around the various parts of the airframe. Here’s a link to the Wing’s official story with more details:

104th Fighter Wing Flagship F-15 receives symbolic graphics > 104th Fighter Wing > Article Display (af.mil)

Very special thanks to all the 104th Fighter Wing members, and to Colonel Tom “Sling” Bladen – 104th FW Commander, who escorted me to capture these photos.