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EAA Video Oral History Archive Now Available Online

EAA AVIATION CENTER, OSHKOSH, Wis. — (Jan. 11, 2006) — The story of aviation’s first 100 years is made up of many remarkable individuals, from the best-known aviation personalities to thousands of unheralded people who made a contribution to the development of aviation in their local communities. Over the past several years, the Experimental Aircraft Association has been dedicated to collecting their stories in its unmatched aviation oral history project, “Timeless Voices of Aviation.”

Now, the first 100 stories in EAA’s “Timeless Voices of Aviation” video oral history archive – stories of determination, courage, and innovation – are available for viewing on the Timeless Voices website (www.timelessvoices.org).

Special thanks to the Robert A. "Bob" and Susan C. Wilson Foundation for generous support of the Timeless Voices of Aviation program.

“When EAA began the Timeless Voices project in 2002, we sought to record the personal histories of a remarkable aviation generation that was passing from our midst,” said Adam Smith, EAA Museum Director. “We have saved many stories from people who now, just a few years later, are no longer with us, and created an invaluable archive of flight’s first century.

“Of the more than 600 Timeless Voices histories now recorded, EAA has also uncovered many stories of extraordinary people not known to the public, but people who played a major role in the evolution of the aviation community — some internationally, but many who had a profound effect on their local communities.”

Some of the 100 Timeless Voices stories now online include:

  • Wil Van Abel (1919-2002) - a P-47 Thunderbolt fighter pilot with the 63rd Fighter Squadron, 56th Fighter Group "Zemke's Wolfpack" during WWII taking about the first missions of the 56th Fighter Group and his 38th mission of September 2, 1943, when he was shot down over enemy territory;
  • Burt Rutan - legendary aircraft designer talking about imagination and innovation in the field of aircraft design;
  • Bruce Oliver - a Southern Baptist missionary pilot who flew in Brazil for 15 years describing his most memorable flight on the night of June 1, 1970, and his efforts to save the life of an eight-year old boy;
  • John Miller – A 100-year-old pilot, born in 1905, talking about watching Charles Lindbergh take off from New York on his way to Paris in 1927 and explaining how he began barnstorming a New Standard biplane on only his second flight ever;

Under the banner, “Let No Story Go Untold,” Timeless Voices is working to ensure that firsthand accounts of aviation history are preserved for future generations – and making sure that those stories and memories do not “go untold.” Today, family members, teachers, students, historians and others can view the first 100 stories of this historic and educational resource.

Numerous EAA volunteers have interviewed aviation pioneers in their own local areas, and together we are preserving aviation history that is otherwise in danger of being lost forever. To learn how you can help preserve our aviation history, or share your own story, please visit the Timeless Voices website at www.timelessvoices.org.

EAA, The Leader in Recreational Aviation, is an international association with 170,000 members and 1,000 local Chapters. To join EAA or for more information on EAA and its programs, call 1-800-JOIN-EAA (1-800-564-6322) or go to www.eaa.org

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