New Records?

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The 36 Ship RV formation taxies in to parking
The 36 Ship RV formation taxies in to parking

Although it it’s only Tuesday, there are indications that AirVenture 2016 might be a record year for fly-in attendees. With construction at the north end of Wittman field taking away approximately 150 General Aviation parking spots, the EAA prepared new areas at the far south end of the field and in the old “B” parking lot just south of Homebuilt Camping to try and bring them back to holding the same capacity. As of today, the field was turning away GA aircraft, and parking for Show Planes (always guaranteed a spot) was getting tight.

As just one example, the homebuilt parking volunteers traditionally take a count of just the RVs on the field each night. In 2014, the 40th anniversary of the Van’s line, they counted 480 RVs on Tuesday night. This year, they counted 566 – a huge increase by any count. In addition to those popular aircraft, our Kitplanes staff has seen a wider variety – and larger number – of homebuilt aircraft, from biplanes, to fast glass to canards parked in every available slot.

New records? We’ll have to wait until the end of the show to tell, but with two days of nice weather so far, AirVenture 2016 looks to be on track to be one of the biggest years ever.

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Paul Dye, KITPLANES® Editor at Large, retired as a Lead Flight Director for NASA’s Human Space Flight program, with 40 years of aerospace experience on everything from Cubs to the Space Shuttle. An avid homebuilder, he began flying and working on airplanes as a teen, and has experience with a wide range of construction techniques and materials. He flies an RV-8 that he built, an RV-3 that he built with his pilot wife, as well as a Dream Tundra they completed. Currently, they are building a Xenos motorglider. A commercially licensed pilot, he has logged over 5000 hours in many different types of aircraft and is an A&P, EAA Tech Counselor and Flight Advisor, as well as a former member of the Homebuilder’s Council. He consults and collaborates in aerospace operations and flight-testing projects across the country.

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