Oshkosh—A New Hope!


As we walked around the grounds at Wittman Filed in Oshkosh this weekend, it became apparent that there is new emphasis on the old ways–homebuilding and Experimental aviation are back! AirVenture 2014 officially opens Monday, but the field is already crowded with Experimental aircraft from all over the country–and indeed, the world. No matter if you’re interested in wood, metal, fabric, or composites, you’ll find examples of every type, and every speed range imaginable. Biplanes? They’ve got ’em! Experimental Jets? Present! Sailplanes, bush planes, evening cruisers? All here.


There are changes galore to the AirVenture grounds—more than we have seen in many years. Old buildings have been torn down, new buildings built, and some old standards have been moved to new locations. It’s the same old Wittman, but you’ll find new forum and workshop buildings to better serve the homebuilding community. There are more older homebuilts on display than in the past, and they are spread around the grounds so that airplanes are almost always in sight.

EAA seems to be putting a renewed interest on the “E” in their name, and KITPLANES® will be here all week to seek out stories of interest to our readers who are builders, owners, and pilots of homebuilt aircraft of all shapes and sizes. Come back daily to see what’s new and follow us all year as we bring you in-depth stories gathered here at the show.

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Paul Dye
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 and SubSonex jet that he built, an RV-3 that he built with his pilot wife, as well as a Dream Tundra and an electric Xenos motorglider they completed. Currently, they are building an F1 Rocket. A commercially licensed pilot, he has logged over 6000 hours in many different types of aircraft and is an A&P, FAA DAR, EAA Tech Counselor and Flight Advisor; he was formerly a member of the Homebuilder’s Council. He consults and collaborates in aerospace operations and flight-testing projects across the country.


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