The F7F Tigercat will be among the largest gathering of flying naval aircraft spanning all eras ever assembled in one location.
Naval Aviation Centennial and More in Warbird Area
The Warbird area at AirVenture is always among the most visited on the grounds, as it is one of the largest annual gatherings of warbirds in the world. But this year will be even more special; the largest collection of flying naval aircraft from all eras ever assembled in one location is expected for the week-long Centennial of Naval Aviation celebration. And overall there are expected to be about 350 warbird-type aircraft on display, according to Bill Fischer, executive director of EAA Warbirds of America.
Among the rare warbird aircraft scheduled to participate are some famous fighters including a restored Japanese Mitsubishi Zero, a pair of German Focke-Wulf 190s, a British Spitfire, and famous U.S. Navy aircraft including the F7F Tigercat, FM2 Wildcat, and F4U Corsair.
"We have a stellar lineup of warbird aircraft scheduled," Fischer said. "With this year's celebration of the Centennial of Naval Aviation, we anticipate seeing one of the largest gatherings of flying Navy warbirds ever assembled."
The always-popular Warbirds in Review program will take place daily at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. and will feature legendary veterans such as Bob Hoover, Thomas Rozga, and Bud Anderson. Unique to this year, Rozga will share his World War II experiences flying the OY-1 while serving with a U.S. Marine Corps unit in the Pacific during the Battle of Iwo Jima. He will be reunited with the very plane he flew there.
New to the Warbird area this year is the addition of the Naval Air Station (NAS) Oshkosh, a parking area for naval aircraft that was created in honor of the Centennial of Naval Aviation. NAS Oshkosh will be located just east of Scotts Warbird Alley in the Warbird area, making it easy for naval aircraft enthusiasts to view the wide variety of planes that will be attending.
Other Warbird area highlights include:
Warbirds Air Shows: On Wednesday, July 27, AirVenture pays tribute to naval aviation with the Centennial of Naval Aviation commemoration. During the afternoon air show, as many Navy warbirds as possible will assemble, spanning all eras, to fly and showcase the sights and sounds of naval aviation. In addition, Warbird extravaganzas air shows take place Friday and Saturday.
Veterans' parade: On Friday, July 29, all veterans in attendance are invited to assemble with their respective branches of service and join in the parade that starts in Scotts Warbird Alley, continues down the flightline, and ends on ConocoPhillips Plaza.
Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band will perform Friday night at Theater in the Woods, sponsored by EAA Warbirds of America and the Disabled American Veterans.
British Commonwealth Aircraft Training Plan display: Unique Canadian WWII training aircraft from the Vintage Wings of Canada Museum will be on display just west of Scotts Warbird Alley. --