The EAA Aviation Museum, formerly the EAA AirVenture Museum (or Air Adventure Museum), is a museum dedicated to the preservation and display of historic and experimental aircraft as well as antiques, classics, and warbirds. The museum is located in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, adjacent to Wittman Regional Airport, home of the museum's sponsoring organization, the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), and the organization's EAA AirVenture Oshkosh event (the world's biggest fly-in and airshow) that takes place in late July/early August.
With over 200 aircraft, indoors and outdoors, and other exhibits and activities (including occasional aircraft rides nearby), the AirVenture Museum is a key tourist attraction in Oshkosh and is a center of activity throughout the AirVenture fly-in and airshow each summer. The museum is open year-round with the exception of a few holidays.
|EAA Aviation Museum|
|Former name||EAA AirVenture Museum|
|Collection size||~200 aircraft|
|Owner||Experimental Aircraft Association|
|Nearest car park||On site (no charge)|
EAA founder Paul Poberezny proposed the idea of the EAA Air Museum-Air Education center in August 1958. In the late 1970s, Paul's son, EAA president Tom Poberezny, led the campaign to build the current updated EAA museum and headquarters, which was officially opened in 1983.
The museum's collection displays more than 200 aircraft and 20,000 artifacts, including civilian and military aircraft of historic importance, and aircraft popular with aviation hobbyists—vintage, homebuilt, racing and stunt aircraft.
Some of the more historic and unusual planes include a Curtiss Pusher, Bleriot XI, Curtiss Jenny, Pitcairn PCA-2 autogyro, Sikorsky S-38 amphibian flying boat, and the Taylor Aerocar flying car, as well various warbirds and Golden Age aircraft.
Other exhibits include functional replicas of the Wright Flyer and its predecessor, Octave Chanute's hang glider, French and German World War I fighters, Lindbergh's Ryan NYP "Spirit of St. Louis" replica (flown in the movie), and a replica of the historic Laird Super Solution 1931 racer.
A large section on Burt Rutan's aircraft includes a portion of his homebuilts, replicas of his globe-circling Rutan Voyager and the first private spacecraft, Space Ship One, crafted by Rutan's own shop.
The museum has a variety of donated aircraft, including the Church Midwing, Funk B, Monnett Moni, and many homebuilt and kitplane aircraft (some foreign)—many built by the original designers. Notable homebuilts on display consist of Van's Aircraft's Van's RV-3, designed by Richard VanGrunsven, Christen Industries' Christen Eagle II, designed by Frank Christensen, and Cirrus Aircraft's first model, the Cirrus VK-30, designed by the Klapmeier brothers.
Pioneer Airport, is an old grass airstrip immediately behind the museum.
Aircraft rides are offered through various EAA programs at the Museum's Pioneer Airport, or at the adjoining Wittman Field, especially during AirVenture Fly-In and Airshow, typically in late summer.
A 1920s/1930s vintage Ford Tri-Motor airliner sells rides occasionally at adjoining Wittman Field. A particular program is the Fall Colors Flights, short flights to view colorful fall foliage in the area.
Helicopter rides, typically in Bell 47 ("MASH") helicopters are available occasionally at adjacent Pioneer Airport, or from adjoining Wittman Field.
The museum includes a children's section which provides extensive hands-on aviation-related exhibits and activities, plus a "control tower" observation platform overlooking Pioneer Airport.
The EAA library has been open to EAA members since 1985.
The EAA Museum is near the northwest corner of the grounds of Wittman Regional Airport, on the southeast side of the interchange connecting Interstate 41 with Wisconsin state highways 44 and 91.
Aviation in Wisconsin refers to the aviation industry of the American Midwestern state of Wisconsin.
Wisconsin's first aeronautical event was a flight of a Curtiss aircraft by Arthur Pratt Warner on November 2, 1909 in Beloit.Bernard Pietenpol
Bernard H. Pietenpol (1901–1984) was an aircraft designer.
A designer of homebuilt aircraft, Pietenpol was a self-taught mechanic who lived most of his life in the small community of Cherry Grove in southeastern Minnesota.
His best-known design, the Pietenpol Air Camper, was meant to be built and flown by the "average American" of the 1930s. The Air Camper is a two-place open cockpit monoplane with "parasol" wing built from material that was, in the 1930s, readily available from local sources. Powered by a Ford Model A engine, and first flown with one in May 1929, Pietenpol's design was sturdy, simple and affordable. Plans were first published in Modern Mechanics and Inventions, then in the magazine's 1932 Flying and Glider Manual.
With the success of the Air Camper, MMI editor Weston Farmer convinced Pietenpol to design an airplane that could be powered with the cheaper and more readily available Ford Model T engine. In response to Farmer's request, Pietenpol designed the single-place Pietenpol Sky Scout.
Air Campers have been built using many (over 50 have been recorded) different power plants. Pietenpol himself liked the air-cooled Corvair engine. But his original design is well suited to the high torque, slow-turning Model "A."
A restored example of the Air Camper can be found in the inventory of the Mid-Atlantic Air Museum in Reading, Pennsylvania.
In later years, Pietenpol sold and repaired television sets. In 1981, the Pietenpol Workshop and Garage was added to the National Register of Historic Places. His hangar was disassembled and relocated to Pioneer Airport, in Oshkosh, Wisconsin as part of the EAA Aviation Museum. Pietenpol died in 1984, and was inducted in the Minnesota Aviation Hall of Fame in 1991.Bugatti Model 100
The Bugatti Model 100 was a purpose built air racer designed to compete in the 1939 Deutsch de la Meurthe Cup Race. The aircraft was not completed by the September 1939 deadline and was put in storage prior to the German invasion of France.Central Wisconsin Airport
Central Wisconsin Airport (IATA: CWA, ICAO: KCWA, FAA LID: CWA), referred to as "C-Way", is a public airport located 3 miles (5 km) southeast of the central business district of Mosinee, in Marathon County, Wisconsin, United States. It is owned by Marathon County and Portage County. It is included in the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2019–2023, in which it is categorized as a non-hub primary commercial service facility. It is the fifth busiest of eight commercial airports in Wisconsin in terms of passengers served.
The airport serves a large swath of Central and North Central Wisconsin including cities such as Marshfield, Stevens Point, Wausau and Wisconsin Rapids, as well as several tourism communities. It is 10 miles (16 km) south-southeast of Granite Peak Ski Area, located in Rib Mountain State Park.EAA AirVenture Oshkosh
EAA AirVenture Oshkosh (formerly the EAA Annual Convention and Fly-In) is an annual gathering of aviation enthusiasts held each summer at Wittman Regional Airport (43°59′04″N 088°33′25″W) in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, United States. The Southern part of the show grounds as well as Camp Scholler are located in the town of Nekimi. The airshow is arranged by the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), an international organization based in Oshkosh, and is the largest of its kind in the world. The show lasts a week, usually beginning on the last Monday in July. During the gathering, the airport's control tower is the busiest in the world.EAA Biplane
The EAA Biplane is a recreational aircraft that was designed in the United States in the late 1950s and marketed as plans for homebuilding.Experimental Aircraft Association
The Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) is an international organization of aviation enthusiasts based in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, United States. Since its inception it has grown internationally with over 200,000 members and nearly 1,000 chapters worldwide, and hosts the largest aviation gathering of its kind in the world, EAA AirVenture Oshkosh.Grand Geneva Resort Airport
Grand Geneva Resort Airport, (IATA: XES, FAA LID: C02) is privately owned public use airport located 2 miles (3 km) northeast of the central business district of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, a city in Walworth County, Wisconsin, United States.This airport is assigned C02 by the FAA and XES by the IATA but has no designation from the International Civil Aviation Organization.Manitowoc County Airport
Manitowoc County Airport (IATA: MTW, ICAO: KMTW, FAA LID: MTW) is a county owned public use airport located two nautical miles (4 km) northwest of the central business district of Manitowoc, a city in Manitowoc County, Wisconsin, United States. It is included in the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2019–2023, in which it is categorized as a local general aviation facility.Milwaukee Air and Water Show
The Milwaukee Air & Water Show is an air show held on the shores of Lake Michigan in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in the United States. It is billed as "the largest two-day event in Wisconsin," with an attendance of almost 1,000,000 people in 2012.
A predecessor to the airshow was first held at Festa Italiana in 2002 to celebrate its 25th anniversary. TCF Bank joined as the title sponsor and the Milwaukee Air & Water Show staged its first event at Veterans Park in 2004. In 2005 the Navy's Blue Angels returned to Milwaukee after six years and in 2006, the Air Force's Thunderbirds performed. The Blue Angels returned in 2010 and 2017. The show featured many of the aviation industry's top acrobatic performers, including the U.S. Army's Golden Knights parachuting team and the Red Baron Pizza stunt flying team.After a successful return of the air show and the USAF Thunderbirds in 2009, The air and water show continues under the leadership of President Paul A. Rogers, and Air Show Director Rudy Malnati. Mr. Malnati was also involved in the first air show in Milwaukee at General Mitchell Field in the 1970s, when the event was known as the "Berndt Buick Milwaukee Air Show." Lee Berndt, owner of the Buick dealership in Milwaukee, started the event, and also organized the first ICAS (International Council of Air shows) meeting in his garage in Milwaukee. ICAS is now the leading support organization for the air show industry.
The Blue Angels performed in 2010 and the Air Force Thunderbirds in 2011. In 2012 the show featured the F22 Raptor and the MV-22 Osprey "Tilt-Rotor" Demo Team.Norman Surplus
Norman Surplus (born 1963) is a Northern Irish pilot, who became the first person to circumnavigate the globe in an autogyro, nicknamed "Roxy". His trip began in 2010 and ended on 28 June 2019. In 2010, during the first leg of his trip, Surplus flew over Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and North America. In June 2015, Surplus commenced the second leg of his journey by flying through the United States and crossing the Atlantic Ocean to eventually land in Larne, Northern Ireland in August 2015, becoming the first person to cross the Atlantic in an autogyro. In 2019, he completed the last leg of his journey when he finally obtained permission from the Russian Federation to fly through its airspace. He left Ireland on Easter Monday in 2019, and flew through Russia to eventually reach the United States and land at the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum in Oregon completing his circumnavigation of the globe in an autogyro. Surplus's AutoGyro MT-03 is currently displayed at the EAA Aviation Museum and will remain there for the duration of AirVenture 2020. Surplus took nine years to complete his journey around the world, and flew over 32 countries, over a total distance of 27,000 miles (43,000 km). In a 2015 interview with the CBC, while on a stopover at Iqaluit, Canada, Surplus mentioned that the trip should have taken approximately four months but the problems with obtaining permission to fly over Russia, which persisted for three years, derailed his plans.Paul Poberezny
Paul Howard Poberezny (September 14, 1921 – August 22, 2013) was an American aviator, entrepreneur, and aircraft designer. He founded the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) in 1953, and spent the greater part of his life promoting homebuilt aircraft.
Poberezny is widely considered as the first person to have universalized the tradition of aircraft homebuilding. Through his work founding EAA and the organization's annual convention, he had the reputation of helping inspire millions of people to get involved in grassroots aviation.Pioneer Airport
Pioneer Airport (FAA LID: WS17) is a privately owned airport located two nautical miles (4 km) south of the central business district of Oshkosh, a city in Winnebago County, Wisconsin, United States. The airport is located on the northwest edge of Wittman Regional Airport.
The airport is built to look like a 1930s period airfield.The airport also co-hosts EAA AirVenture along with Wittman Regional Airport, the airport holds the kids activities and helicopters during this time. It also has been where some blimps were shown during the event.Red Wing Regional Airport
Red Wing Regional Airport (ICAO: KRGK, FAA LID: RGK) is a city-owned public-use airport located in Pierce County, Wisconsin, three nautical miles (6 km) northeast of the central business district of Red Wing, a city in Goodhue County, Minnesota, United States.Although most U.S. airports use the same three-letter location identifier for the FAA and IATA, this airport is assigned RGK by the FAA but has no designation from the IATA. It is included in the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2019–2023, in which it is categorized as a regional general aviation facility.Steve Wittman
Sylvester Joseph "Steve" Wittman (April 5, 1904 – April 27, 1995) was an air-racer and aircraft designer and builder.
An illness in Wittman's infancy claimed most of his vision in one eye, which convinced him from an early age that his dream of flying was unattainable. However, he learned how to fly in 1924 in a Standard J-1 and built his first aircraft, the Harley-powered "Hardly Abelson" in late 1924. From 1925 to 1927, he had his own flying service, giving joyrides, and during this time also became a demonstration and test pilot for The Pheasant Aircraft Company and Dayton Aircraft Company, flying the Pheasant H-10 in multiple events. He also began his air-racing career, flying his first race in 1926 at a Milwaukee event in his J-1.After competing in his first transcontinental air race from New York to Los Angeles in 1928, he attained a medical waiver on his eyesight and received his pilot's certificate soon after (signed by Orville Wright). He then went on to design, build and pilot his own aircraft, including "Chief Oshkosh" in 1931 and "Bonzo" in 1934. Wittman's first race in an aircraft design that was his was in "Bonzo", in the 1935 Thompson Trophy race, where he placed second.
In 1937, piloting his second homebuilt, "Chief Oshkosh", Wittman placed second in the Greve Trophy Race. Wittman flew "Bonzo" in the Thompson Trophy race, and he led for the first 18 laps of the 20 lap race, at an average speed of over 275 mph (442.57 km/h). Suddenly his engine began to run rough, and Wittman was forced to throttle back to remain in the race, finishing in 5th place. In 1938, he was awarded the Louis Blériot medal by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI).
Also in 1937, Wittman designed and built "Buttercup". A high wing design built to outperform the Cubs, Chiefs, T-Crafts, and Luscombes of the day. Based on that aircraft, he built the Wittman Big X in 1945, and the popular Wittman Tailwind series of homebuilts.During World War II, his Wittman Flying Service was part of the Civilian Pilot Training Program, training pilots for the Army Air Corps.
After the war, Wittman finished eighth in the 1946 Thompson Trophy race with a clipped-wing Bell P-63 Kingcobra fighter. In 1947, Bill Brennand won the inaugural Goodyear class race at the National Air Races piloting Wittman's 'Buster'. "Buster" was a rebuild of the pre-war "Chief Oshkosh", went on to win many more Goodyear/Continental Trophy races, and was retired after the 1954 Dansville, New York air races. It is now on display at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.
Wittman built an entirely new "Bonzo" for the 1948 National Air Races, where he flew it, finishing third. Wittman raced "Bonzo" through the 1950s and 1960s, including the first few Reno National Championship air races, before retiring from Formula One competition in 1973. "Bonzo" is now displayed next to Wittman's prewar "Bonzo" in the EAA Aviation Museum, along with several other Wittman airplanes.
Wittman was manager of the Oshkosh, Wisconsin airport from 1931 to 1969, which is now named after him (Wittman Regional Airport). Wittman became involved in the newly formed Experimental Aircraft Association in 1953 and was instrumental in bringing the EAA's annual fly-in to the Oshkosh Airport in 1970.
He designed and built the Wittman V-Witt to compete in the new Formula V Air Racing class. He competed in races with that aircraft until 1979. Winners of the Formula V National Championship are presented with the Steve Wittman Trophy.
Wittman remained active in aviation his entire life. For Wittman's 90th birthday celebration, he demonstrated aerobatic maneuvers in his V-Witt and Oldsmobile-powered Tailwind. He also used "Buttercup" to give Young Eagles flights. Letters of appreciation were given by President Bill Clinton and Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson.Steve married Dorthy Rady in 1941. He taught her to fly and she accompanied him to most of his races. Dorthy died in 1991 and Wittman married Paula Muir in 1992. On April 27, 1995, Wittman and Muir took off for a routine cross-country flight from their winter residence in Ocala, Florida to their summer residence in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The Wittman "O&O" N41SW (41 for 1941, year of his first marriage, plus SW, his initials) crashed five miles south of Stevenson, Alabama, killing both Wittman and Muir. The cause was improper installation of the wing fabric, causing it to debond, resulting in aileron/wing flutter.In 2014, Wittman was posthumously inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame.Take Me Home Huey
Take Me Home Huey is an art project and sculpture that was created from a discarded U.S. Army Bell UH-1 Iroquois helicopter, that served as an air ambulance for the U.S. Army in the Vietnam War. The serial number is 67-17174, commonly known as #174. Artist Steve Maloney created the concept and artwork using the restored helicopter's 47-foot long fuselage as a canvas. The composition includes a mule pack of soldier's duffels, public address speakers and a vinyl wrap of Vietnam Helicopter Squadron names, along with symbolic 1960's and 70's pop culture imagery of icons that many soldiers longed for. The cockpit contains a time capsule of original veteran's artifacts, along with the abstract suspension of miscellaneous helicopter parts and instruments that were part of the original aircraft.
Steve Maloney partnered with Light Horse Legacy, a 501(c) non-profit organization that restores old military helicopters and is an official partner of the U.S. Vietnam War Commemoration. The organization's co-founder, Dave Barron, discovered Huey #174 in an Arizona boneyard and restored the fuselage with the help of volunteers and veterans. Barron also researched the history of Huey #174 and learned that it crashed during a medevac mission on 14. February 1969 in the Binh Long province of Vietnam. The crew chief and medic were fatally injured, the crew pilot, co-pilot and door gunner survived.Take Me Home Huey is a mixed-media project, including the helicopter sculpture, a documentary film and a song. The film documents Maloney's transformation of a Vietnam-era medevac helicopter into a colorful sculpture with a mission to help veterans recover from Post-Traumatic Stress. As Huey #174 morphs from wounded war bird into a vivid sculpture, viewers witness the power of art to heal surviving soldiers and families of the fallen. Together artist Steve Maloney and Light Horse Legacy tour the sculptural installation across the United States to honor veterans of all conflicts and raise awareness of the challenges of Post-Traumatic-Stress. The original song composed and performed for Take Me Home Huey by Jeanie Cunningham is used in the film, is performed live at events across the United States, and can be purchased as a single on iTunes.
The documentary film Take Me Home Huey first aired on PBS SoCal on October, 10th, 2017. The film was co-directed and co-produced by Alicia Brauns and Christine Steele and won the Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature at the Palm Springs Film Festival in 2017. The film was reviewed by The Hollywood Reporter, won a Bronze Telly Award in 2018 for TV Social Responsibility Programming and won a Los Angeles area Emmy Award 2018 in the Arts category. The PBS SoCal version of the film currently airs on PBS. The 29 venues where Take Me Home Huey has been exhibited include the National Museum of the Marine Corps, the Udvar Hazy Center, The Henry Ford Museum, Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation & Institute, The Palm Springs Air Museum, EAA Aviation Museum, Coronado Island Film Festival, the Navy Centennial Celebration and the Nevada Museum of Art.Tom Poberezny
Thomas Paul "Tom" Poberezny (born October 3, 1946) is a former aerobatic world champion, as well as chairman of the annual Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) Fly-In and Convention from 1977 to 2011 and president of EAA from 1989 to 2010. He succeeded his father, Paul Poberezny, who founded the organization in 1953.Poberezny was a member of the Eagles Aerobatic Team (originally the Red Devils), which flew for more than 25 years, setting the record for the longest-running aerobatic team with the same members. He led the effort to build what is now known as the EAA Aviation Museum, and is also one of the founders of the Young Eagles, an EAA program created to give children the opportunity to experience flight and to learn about general aviation. From his involvement in the EAA, Poberezny is often credited with having led the introduction of the light sport aircraft industry.Verona Airport (Wisconsin)
Verona Airport (FAA LID: W19) is a privately owned public use airport located one nautical mile (2 km) east of the central business district of Verona, a city in Dane County, Wisconsin, United States.Wittman Regional Airport
Wittman Regional Airport (IATA: OSH, ICAO: KOSH, FAA LID: OSH) is a county owned public use airport located two nautical miles (4 km) south of the central business district of Oshkosh, a city in Winnebago County, Wisconsin, United States. A large portion at the south end of the airport is located in the town of Nekimi. It is located adjacent to Pioneer Airport, part of the EAA Aviation Museum. The airport was named after pioneer air racer, aircraft designer and builder Steve Wittman in 1972. Originally named Winnebago County Airport, the name Steve Wittman Field was proposed in 1968 and it is also known as Wittman Field. It is included in the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2019–2023, in which it is categorized as a regional general aviation facility.
Civil aviation in Wisconsin