As I mentioned in a previous post, we are all extremely excited that Southwest is participating in this year’s Air Venture at Oshkosh. I am literally crossing the days off the calendar. As promised, I’ll be updating you from now until we leave on some of the interesting and amazing events that are planned for Air Venture 2010.
I am guessing that a lot of you share my interest in vintage airlines, and in this edition, let’s look at what’s on tap in that category for this year’s show. Quite frankly, I’m not sure where to begin so let’s start with the Douglas DC-3. Only the 737 has approached the DC-3 in terms of numbers produced, longevity, and versatility. To honor one of the greatest airliners in aviation history, Air Venture is celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the aircraft with a reunion. More than 25 of the approximately 100 DC-3s still in service worldwide will be on display. (I plan to expend a few electrons in my digital camera on this display.) Even more exciting is that an example of the DC-2, which was the forerunner of the DC-3 will be on display.
Although produced in much fewer numbers and a lott more temperamental than the reliable DC-3, Douglas’s DC-7B represents the zenith of piston-engined airliner development. The Historical Flight Foundation has restored a former Eastern DC-7B and it will be one of the show’s stars. On July 28, FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt will join Captain Sully Sullenberger and his First Officer Jeff Skiles for a flight around the Oshkosh area.
Another interesting airliner at the show will be the only flying Sikorsky S-38. This design was one of a series of flying boats Sikorsky built for Pan American. Next time, I will talk about some of the warbirds on display this year.