Every aviation geek in the world knows THE place to be the last week of July is Oshkosh, Wisconsin for the annual AirVenture event. Part air show, part county fair, part trade show, part rock concert, AirVenture is the largest aviation event in the world with a half-million attendees. Southwest took an airplane to the show last year, and we had a fantastic time. This year we will be back, but with a larger, week-long presence. All week, you can find us at the Welcome Center. We welcome you to stop by and chat with us.
We are a presenting sponsor of “Super Saturday” on July 30, and once again we will have a 737 with a special AirVenture 2011 decal available for tours. Super Saturday also includes a concert with Aaron Tippin, an amazing Night Air Show, and the Daher-Socata Fireworks show. A post event party is planned for the ConocoPhillips Plaza, where folks can meet the Night Air Show performers.
This year, we are hosting a sweepstakes that gives away roundtrip air travel to Milwaukee for two, one-day’s admission at AirVenture for two, and a two-night hotel stay. Rules and the online entry form are at southwest.com/Oshkosh.
Most of all, AirVenture is about airplanes, big, small, slow, fast, and amazing. This year is the 100th anniversary of Naval and Marine Aviation, and historic Navy aircraft will be on display and in the air. As part of the salute to Naval and Marine aviators, we will operate an Honor Flight, on Wednesday, July 27, to take approximately 80 World War II veterans to their memorial in Washington, D.C. The Honor Flight returns home to Oshkosh late that afternoon, and it will feature primarily World War II Naval vets.
This year is also the Centennial of Air Mail, and early mail planes like the JN-4 Jenny and Stinson Tri-Motor will be there. Legendary Pilots Bob Hoover and Dick Rutan are being saluted, and Hoover’s Focke-Wolfe FW-190 and Rutan’s Space Ship One will be represented.
Like last year’s gathering of DC-3s, another legendary pre-war airliner is being saluted with the gathering of Lockheed 12s. A B-29 and Curtiss C-46 are also scheduled to attend. The really amazing thing about AirVenture is that the list of aircraft will continue to grow right up until show time. I can only scratch the surface of the aeronautical delights that will be there, but I will be posting updates until we leave for the show. For more detailed information about the show in general, click here. Advance purchase admission tickets and camping at AirVenture are now available here.