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Posted on Aug 25, 2006 in Front Page Features, Stuff We Like

EAA Fly 2006

By Chad Weisensel

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On Friday July 28th I made my long awaited trip north to attend the EAA Fly in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

Getting up at 4am is usually tough for most people, I on the other hand am usually at work by that time. Today was different, I was excited and was looking forward to the 1.5 hour drive north to see one of the largest collections of Warbirds ever assembled. By 6:30 am I threw on my ACG gear and jumped in my truck for the voyage ahead.

This was my third trip to Oshkosh, the last time I was there was 2003 and most of the shows at that time were cancelled because of thunderstorms. There was no chance of thunderstorms today, the sun was out in all its glory and the temp was going to soar to 95 degrees and if you have ever been to the midwest you know what humidity is and it was thick today.

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Wittman Airfield is a relatively small airfield and it is not used by commercial airlines but the runways are big enough to accommodate the largest aircraft. After finding a parking lot about 1/4 of mile away from the main entrance I packed up my water, digital camera, camcorder and sunscreen and made my way to the gates. I am not an EAA member so the ticket price for entrance was a modest $32.00 and this covered almost everything you needed for the day.

Since I am here doing a pictorial for Armchair General I will certainly focus on the military aircraft present, but a story about EAA cannot be complete without mentioning how many home built and private airplanes are present everyday. Companies are here showing off the latest hi tech equipment for personal jets and other items. There are rows and rows of home built and experimental airplanes, many of them flown in from all over the world.

OK, on to why I was here. The first thing I saw was the massive C-17 parked at the end of road at the main entrance. This thing was phenomenal, I have never had the opportunity to see an airplane of this size. When I walked underneath the massive wing I looked up at the tail and actually started to feel lightheaded at the sight. I was not the only person who took notice as it seemed that everyone was flocking to this giant.

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Next to the massive USAF C-17 was a B-1 Lancer, while certainly not as impressive in size as the C-17, the B-1 was beautiful in its own way.

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Parked in between these two jets was the nimble and very impressive F-16 Falcon, courtesy of the Wisconsin Air National Guard. I was able to climb up the F-16 and get a nice shot of the cockpit.

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