3000 POBEREZNY ROAD   OSHKOSH, WI    Number 1, Feb. 2004
museum@eaa.org www.airventuremuseum.org
Historic new airplane for Eagle Hangar February 25, 2004

In a piece of late-breaking news we are please to announce the imminent arrival of a new exhibit for the Eagle Hangar-a very special North American T-6.

Under normal circumstances a T-6 is something the Museum would be pleased to display-it is, after all, one of the classic airplanes of the World War II era. However, this particular example has an extra-special history, being one of only two known to survive that was actually used to train the Tuskegee Airmen.

During the war about 1,000 African-Americans completed their flight training at Tuskegee in Alabama - and went on to establish one of the most distinguished combat flying records of the war. The Tuskegee Airmen set perhaps the finest example in aviation history of men overcoming prejudice and discrimination to make their mark in history.

With a genuine connection back to the wartime days at Tuskegee Army Air Field, T-6 serial # 93392 (current registration N426DB) is a national treasure, and we are delighted to have secured it for display in Oshkosh.

There will be a special public unveiling for the T-6 in the evening of Wednesday, February 25, commencing at 6:30 p.m. All are welcome to attend and there is no admission charge. The program is still under development but we have already received a firm commitment that at least one original Tuskegee Airman will attend. Watch the Museum's website for further details.

Operation Aviation Family Mission February 28, 2004

Form a flight team and take part in one of the most unusual museum programs in the country! Operation Aviation is a three-hour experience using cutting-edge flight simulation and role-playing to fly a disaster relief mission into earthquake-ravaged Los Angeles. It is fast-paced, exciting, and lots of fun! The cost is $25 per team of 3 or 4 people (this also includes admission to Flight Simulator Weekend.) Join us on Saturday, February 28 beginning at 9:00 a.m. The program is suitable for everyone ages 10 years and above. Contact Nicole Grundtner at 920-426-6135 or e-mail museum@eaa.org for more information and booking. Spaces are limited, so call early!

Flight Simulator Weekend February 28-29, 2004

Take flight during the Museum's action-packed Flight Simulator Weekend, one our most popular, annual family activities! On February 28-29 visitors can experience various types of flight simulator, from basic through advanced. The event includes hands-on experiences with a radio-control model simulator; instructional sessions on Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004; Xbox and PlayStation 2- based flight simulators; kite and hot air balloon simulators; rides in the popular MaxFlight F-16 full-motion simulator; and Combat Flight Simulator dogfight missions. You can also "fly" the ever-popular Wright Flyer Simulator. This accurate reproduction of the controls and flight characteristics of the world's first powered airplane will test your skills to the limit! All activities are included in regular Museum admission. (MaxFlight F-16 full-motion simulator, costs an additional $6 per person.)

Tom Poberezny -
Reflections on EAA's Countdown to Kitty Hawk
March 17, 2004

Our monthly museum speaker series continues in fine style on Wednesday, March 17, at 6:30 p.m. as Tom Poberezny presents a talk entitled Reflections on EAA's Countdown to Kitty Hawk. Tom will offer a personal look back on our organization's efforts to celebrate the Centennial of Flight in 2003. The presentation will cover the progress of EAA's Countdown to Kitty Hawk program from beginning to end - from its genesis, through the construction of a highly accurate 1903 Wright Flyer reproduction, to the national tour that culminated on the sands of Kitty Hawk last December. Tom will share anecdotes about some of the interesting people he met along the way, and some of the challenges that were faced in preparing for the flight re-enactment attempts on December 17, 2003. It promises to be a fascinating evening with EAA's president. Admission is free of charge for EAA members, and $5 for non-members. To reserve your seat, please contact the museum at 920-426-4800 or email museum@eaa.org.

Kermit Weeks Hangar Open House March 20, 2004

Get a rare, behind-the-scenes tour of EAA's aircraft maintenance and restoration center during the Kermit Weeks Hangar Open House on March 20 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Highlights will include a chance to see both the B-17 Flying Fortress and 1929 Ford Tri-Motor undergoing their annual maintenance inspections. Other airplanes on display will include a 1925 Swallow mail plane nearing the end of a 3-year restoration, and EAA's fleet of support aircraft. This is a great opportunity to see the facility and learn from staff and volunteers about the fascinating work that goes on there. Admission will be free with paid Museum admission, and to all EAA Members. For those wishing only to visit the hangar, the charge will be $4 per person. The facility is located on 20th Street between the post office and the Hilton hotel and has a large blue "EAA" on the side. Parking is available.

Ford Tri-Motor Gets Makeover  

EAA's 1929 Ford Tri-Motor recently went through an incredible transformation thanks to some wonderful support from our friends at Gulfstream Aerospace in Appleton, Wisconsin. During a three- week period in December, Gulfstream stripped, prepped and re-painted the entire airplane! The scheme is the same as before, showing the airplane's original 1929 appearance as it was delivered to Eastern Air Transport. The huge difference is that more than 15 years of accumulated weathering have disappeared and the airplane practically looks brand new with an impressive shine from stem to stern! All of the logos were painstakingly hand-painted on the airplane to match and recreate the originals. Colors were carefully matched to the original scheme and the end result is nothing less than stunning. What a tremendous way to begin the Ford's 75th birthday year!

EAA wishes to sincerely thank Don Peterson, Randy Whitlin, and the entire staff at Gulfstream Aerospace for taking on such a daunting task in support of this rare aircraft's mission. In addition, we thank Don Riley of Alpha Coatings for the generous supply of the paint. EAA is proud to be associated with the high quality of both these organizations.

Model Weekend March 27-28, 2004

Once again the Museum will dedicate a weekend to looking at various facets of the fascinating world of aviation modeling. Join us March 27-28 for a rolling program of displays, demonstrations and instructional sessions that will take place each day. Topics covered will include plastic model kits and dioramas, radio controlled airplanes and the fast-growing hobby of modeling airplanes in paper. There will be a special focus on the fascinating activity of indoor free flight airplanes. Did you know that some rubber powered indoor models weigh just 1 gram and can stay aloft for nearly an hour? We will be using the large open space of the Eagle Hangar to show what lies behind this incredible form of "ultra-ultralight" flight. As we learned last year, it certainly is a compelling sight.

Note: In conjunction with this event, the Winnebago RC Flyers-Radio Control Model Club will be holding their annual radio control model ground school on Saturday, March 27 from 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. All are welcome, particularly newcomers to radio control modeling. Admission to Model Weekend and the RC ground school is free with museum admission.

Celebrating the life of Steve Wittman April 3-5, 2004

In early April the Museum plans to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of a true aviation legend - S.J. "Steve" Wittman. During his lifetime as a champion air racer, noted airplane designer and builder, airport manager, and flight instructor, Steve Wittman provided inspiration to thousands of people throughout the EAA family and the entire world of aviation.

The Wittman Hangar at Pioneer Airport was built and dedicated in his memory, and will be specially opened each day for guided tours on April 3-5. Also on Monday, April 5-exactly 100 years to the day since Steve Wittman was born - we will present a special evening program entitled "Memories of Steve" at 6:30 p.m. A number of Wittman's closest friends will be on hand to share their memories, including his biographer Aaron King, and EAA founder Paul H. Poberezny. In addition, we have been searching deep into our archives of Steve Wittman movies and video, and the best selections will be shown during the evening. The event is free to attend, but a collection will be held "on the night" in support of projects that sustain the memory of Steve Wittman. To reserve your seats, please contact the museum at 920-426-4800 or email museum@eaa.org.

News in Brief
  • Dates have been announced for the 2004 Fantasy Flight Camp program. Each camp involves an exciting weekend at the famed EAA Air Academy, a detailed study of a specialist subject, capped by an incredible "once in a lifetime" flight experience. The Spirit of St. Louis camp takes place October 1-3, the Ford Tri-Motor camp October 15-17, and the B-17 camp October 29-31. Further details, prices and booking arrangements can be obtained from the website www.airventuremuseum.org/flightops/fantasycamp or by calling 920-426-6820.

  • The final day of our outstanding aerial kite photography exhibit "Hanging by a Thread" is April 16, 2004.

  • The three-year restoration of our 1925 Swallow vintage mail plane, headed by EAA Founder Paul H. Poberezny, is nearing completion. First flight from Pioneer Airport is expected in early summer.

  • Negotiations are at an advanced stage to bring a Supermarine Spitfire to the Museum, in a two year loan exchange for the Nakajima Oscar. More details will be on the Museum website soon.

  • The Museum's younger visitors should mark May 15 on their calendars- the opening date of our exciting new KidVenture Gallery. A new permanent attraction, the gallery has been designed specially for families and kids, with a huge emphasis on "hands-on" experiences and flight simulator adventures. Highlights will include opportunities to pilot a hot-air-balloon, hang glider, radio control model, and helicopter. More details in the next newsletter!

  • A staff position is available in our flight operations department, involved with planning and promoting the annual outreach activities of the B-17 and other aircraft. Further details are available from www.eaa.org/employment.html.