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Oshkosh Countdown--Air Venture Here Comes Southwest Airlines

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If you know me or have read my posts, you will know that I am a huge, incurable, aviation nut.  I go beyond geek, fan, enthusiast, directly to nut.  I eat it, I live it, I speak it, and I bore others with it.  So when we dotted all the “I”s and crossed all the “t”s with the great folks from EAA’s Air Venture, I wanted to scream, “SOUTHWEST IS GOING TO THE OSHKOSH AIRSHOW.”  For any of you who are like me or who know someone like me, you will know that “Oshkosh” in July is THE place to be.  The Air Venture event is world famous, and it is hard to describe to an outsider.

Think of it like this.  Imagine more than 550,000 aviation enthusiasts from 75 countries around the world at a good-sized airport filled with 10,000 aircraft in every conceivable spot on the ramp, the grass, and under the trees.  Row upon row of aircraft ranging from home built aircraft, to classic biplanes, to vintage “heavy metal” war birds, to historical airliners, to high performance military jets, to modern airliners.  Airplanes in every direction, not to mention the lengthy daily flying displays, and you have a partial idea of what Oshkosh is like.  And then, there are all the 1,000+ seminars, more than 800 vendors/exhibitors, and concerts—even a nighttime air show.  I will be blogging regularly about some of the special exhibits and events planned for this year’s Air Venture, so keep tuned, plus we will be Tweeting and blogging from the show.

We are really excited about the 2010 Air Venture because this year, one of those modern airliners attending the show will be one of our 737-700s, and it will be displayed at Air Venture’s AeroShell Square on Saturday, July 31, 2010.  We will be offering tours of the aircraft and will have Employee volunteers to meet with visitors, and our experts will be on hand to discuss the new RNP (Required Navigational Procedures) system installed on the aircraft.  Several of us from the Social Media and Marketing Teams will also be there, and we are planning some other surprises for our visit. Come by and check out the special decal on the airplane.

The show runs from July 26 through August 1, so if you haven’t made vacation plans yet and are looking for an amazing place to visit, come join us in Oshkosh.  To book travel to Milwaukee, visit southwest.com and to learn more about Air Venture and the EAA, check out their web site, which is packed with information.  You can buy your tickets online at the site.

As huge as Air Venture is, EAA is much more than that event because a large portion of their efforts toward educating young people about aviation comes through their Young Eagles program.  To support those efforts, they are raffling an airplane.  For a little as a $1 a chance, someone could win a Aviat Husky with some impressive add-ons, or a number of other great prizes.  All proceeds go to EAA initiatives to light the spark of aviation in our youth, and you don’t have to attend the show to participate.  Click here for more details.

In the upcoming days, expect to hear more about what makes Oshkosh special, but until then, check out this EAA video to whet your appetite for aviation’s most amazing event.

8 Comments
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I am both incredibly excited and disappointed. It's great that SWA is participating, but unfortunately I'm leaving on Thursday! Brian - I know the main event is Saturday but will there be SWA people around the whole week?
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How about filling up that plane with your customers & social media followers? Win a free flight to AirVenture?
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This is great news! I too hope that SWA folks will be around earlier in the week. I'm doing a book "The Systems Savvy Manager" for Jossey-Bass and I've used one of my SWA experiences as an example of "extreme systems savvy" (based on post at http://www.terrigriffith.com/blog/2008/02/04/southwest-airlines-intertwining-technology-and-social-systems/ ). Back when I did that post, Paula Berg asked me if I'd like to talk to some of the folks involved -- now that I have a home for the book -- hope the offer still stands. How can I follow up? I'd also love to interview some of the SWA folks at #OSH10 to add to the story, so hoping the crew arrives early. Welcome to AirVenture!
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See you there! Can I sit in the pilot seat and make cool jet noises??? (I fly a Cessna 140)
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Brian, I wished we were going to be there with you to witness the new 700. My wife, LuAnn has been with Southwest since 1984 and I have been a member of EAA since 1978. I had just mentioned to LuAnn that we should go to Oshkosh next year. I am sure you will have a super time. The only way to spend the week is camped under your wing. The last time was about ten years ago.
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Terri, some of us from Communications will be there on Friday, but the main contingent will be there on Saturday. I will contact you offline. B-Rad, we are working on the details for a contest, but I'm not sure the scope that will take. Pat, This will be my second air venture, and you are right about camping under the wing. I think that's one of the coolest sights is seeing all the tents under the aircraft wings. Brian
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I grew up in Oshkosh! My sister and I always loved watching the planes and meeting people from all over the world.
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To bad you will not be offering flights to the area. Milwaukee is 70+ miles away :-/ My suggestion is to check into ATW,,