August 28, 2003 - One of the biggest celebrations of 2003 is the 100th anniversary of the Wright brothers' successful powered flights at Kitty Hawk coming up in December. And Ford Motor Company just celebrated its first 100 years. But there's another centennial being observed in these parts-just down the road from EAA headquarters in Oshkosh, Wisconsin-as Harley-Davidson motorcycles marks its 100th birthday this week in Milwaukee. Hundreds of thousands of Harley enthusiasts will be in the state for the big party, and several thousand of them are expected to stop by the EAA AirVenture Museum before the week is out.
EAA offered Harley visitors an official commemorative pin marking both the cycle maker's and powered flight's centennials. And on display were a 1907 Harley-Davidson and Steve Wittman's first airplane design, the "Hardly Ableson" a midwing, single-seat airplane powered by a Harley-Davidson V-twin motorcycle engine.
Throughout the week, Harleys were seen -and heard-heading into the museum parking lot. On Thursday, a large contingent of enthusiasts from Japan is expected, and Friday, more than 500 Harley enthusiasts from Australia and New Zealand, who had their motorcycles shipped to the U.S. to ride during the celebration, is scheduled to arrive.
Expected among the group is the Hon. John Wood, New Zealand's ambassador to the U.S.
Saturday and Sunday brings several vintage aircraft aficionados to Pioneer Airport for aviation's Good Ol' Days weekend. Featured attractions are regular flight and ground demonstrations of EAA's fleet of historic vintage airplanes, as well as visiting antique airplanes; guided tours of Pioneer Airport; living history demonstrations; vintage vehicle displays, and more.
Harleys lined the EAA AirVenture Museum parking Wednesday.