This year's Air Venture theme is Salute to Veterans, and that salute is taking place both on the ground and in the air. Actor Gary Sinise and his Lieutenant Dan Band will perform on Friday, July 30. Veterans and active military will receive a free “Salute to Veterans” baseball cap, along with discounted admission all week to the event. Besides the Lieutenant Dan Band, there will be an incredible number of daily presentations on subjects ranging from the Battle of Britain, the U-2, to presentations on flying the B-17.
Speaking of the B-17, it, like the DC-3, is turning 75, and the EAA is hoping that four of the remaining 15 airworthy B-17s will attend the show. Other World War II aircraft at the show include multiple examples of the B-25, P-51, P-38, P-40, TBM Avenger, Corsair, Wildcat, a PB4Y-2 Privateer, an SBD Dauntless, and the only flying Curtiss SB2C. From England, several Spitfires and the only airworthy naval variant of the Spitfire, the Seafire XV , will be there.
Moving to the Korean conflict, there will be an F-86, an AD-1 Skyraider, and from England a Sea Fury. The Vietnam era will be represented by an F-4 Phantom, a MiG-21, an A-4B Skyhawk, a UH-1 Huey helicopter, and several trainers. Honestly, I have only scratched the surface of the vintage warbirds that will be in the air and on display.
In addition, there will be a large number of recent and current military aircraft including the F-15, F-16, F-18, C-5, KC-135, a Customs and Border Patrol P-3, and the Sea Harrier. One of the aircraft in this category that I am most interested in seeing is the new tilt-wing CV-22 Osprey.