than 10,000 aircraft and a half million flight enthusiasts
will turn Wittman Regional Airport—a place you
may have never heard of—into action central from
July 25-31, when it transforms into the busiest airfield
in the world for the EAA’s annual AirVenture Oshkosh.
The weeklong event is
thrilling and provides some genuine, knee-slapping summer
fun. Oshkosh draws visitors from more than 80 countries,
many of whom fly in, of course.
In addition to daily air
shows, the event also includes learning centers for
children and aircraft enthusiasts; aircraft of nearly
every size, shape, and era; nightly activities, like
a “fly-in” theater, concerts, and fireworks;
and admission to the EAA AirVenture Museum and flight
More info., click
For us, the big deal this
year is once again to get up close and touch the giant
Martin Mars is dubbed the “World’s Largest
Flying Water Bomber.”
Today there are two Mars
aircraft in operation: “Hawaii” and the
“Philippines.” They are lovingly cared for
and in heavy use fighting fires, scooping up 7,200 gallons
of water from lakes and waterways and then dousing blazes
all across the western United States and Canada.
The aircraft also carry
huge amounts of fire fighting foam and gel.
Built by Glenn Martin
at Middle River, Maryland, and used as bombers during
WWII by U.S. Navy Mars, they established airlift, endurance,
and safety records that still stand today.
Known affectionately as
“The Big Four” for their size and engine
number, Martin Mars really hit the sweet spot for those
seeking an old time airplane fix. It’s thrilling
to know they are up in the air doing good in 2016.
Once upon a time back
in 1946, these big beauties sat bobbing in the water
out behind the Marine Air Terminal at LaGuardia Airport.
Back then they were in U.S. Navy service alongside Boeing
B314s and Sikorsky VS 44As—all three can be considered
the most outstanding flying boats ever built.
Today the B314s are all
gone, and only one lone VS 44A remains restored and
is at least “museum worthy;” it sits on
display at the New England Air Museum at Bradley Field
Hartford. But it’s truly remarkable that not one,
but two Martin Mars giant flying boats are still airborne,
soaring deeper into the lore and legend of aviation
Not to be missed!