There’s a countdown clock at EAA Headquarters, and today it showed just 87 days and some-odd hours until the start of AirVenture 2019. In the meantime, a tour of the grounds on the west side of Wittman Regional Airport shows nothing but… skeletons.
The vast open areas and vistas we see today will eventually become the teaming sea of people, tents, vendor booths – and airplanes – that we come to know every July. Until then, the skeletons remain, the structures that support the large tents that are put up and used once a year. Like contractors who leave their heavy equipment at the previous job until they have a new one to start (presumably to save on owning a storage yard), the companies that provide free-span “tents” for the Big Show leave the structural steel in place, and all they have to rig is the canvas.
Meanwhile it is fun to see the showplace stripped of all the view-blocking temporary buildings that make it look crowded (but in a good way) for that long week in mid-summer when it becomes the aviation Capital of the planet. You can now see all the way from the Homebuilder’s Hagar almost to Theater in the Woods with almost nothing in the way – especially since the old Federal Pavilion has been removed to provide new parking for aircraft kit vendors closer to show center. The Brown Arch still proclaims the year as 2018, but that will soon be changed – because as I have ben writing this in the museum lobby, that countdown clock has been inexorably continuing its countdown, even as the radio talks of one last April snowstorm on its way to southern Wisconsin.
It may seem early but… we’ll see you at the show!