For 12 years, a dedicated bunch of Warbird volunteers has been spreading the “Keep ‘Em Flying” gospel of preservation and education among AirVenture attendees who might not otherwise know what they are seeing, even if they do bother to wander up to the north end of the flight line. The group’s chosen mission is to provide a free tram ride around Warbirds area, narrated so the captive audience will have a greater appreciation for what goes on at Oshkosh’s thunder-and-roar section.
There’s no greater gathering of Warbirds in one place than what we see each summer here in Wisconsin. And yet a lot of AirVenture attendees don’t realize they can get up close and personal with these exotic machines by making the trek to the Warbirds area. To encourage participation, Warbird volunteers run a 45-minute tram tour, at no charge. All you have to do is line up and wait for your tram-load to be boarded; once you’re in the holding pen, you will sit in the shade and be given a short welcome briefing. Then you’re off to make the rounds of the Warbird area, with no walking and less wondering about what this thing is you’re looking at.
For the price, don’t expect a theme park experience. The seats are hard, the ride is bouncy, and you’re crammed in cheek to cheek. But, hey, this a gift, from folks who know what they’re talking about and want to share their passion for these old relics that preserved our freedom. Where else can you learn so much, in trade for an hour of so of your time? If you’re bringing a new person to Oshkosh for the first time, put the Warbirds Tram Ride on your list of must-do stops.
Take the North 40 red tram to the Fightertown stop, walk east past the parked Mustangs and watch for the Burma Shave-type signs leading to the white tram-tour tent. Show your appreciation by tossing in a donation and buying a souvenir.