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  #1  
Old 06-09-2019, 06:52 AM
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Default Oshkosh History

If you're flying to OSH next month, you've probably downloaded the 2019 NOTAM. However, in your rush to examine the arrival procedures, you may or may not have looked at the photo on the front cover...the first "official" EAA Convention at KOSH in 1970. (The 1958 Convention was held at Oshkosh in concert with a air racing meet, but the whole thing was such a mess that everyone tries to forget it.)

I happened have a copy of the original on my hard drive, left over from article research (see "The First Grand Champion", Kitplanes, July 2015). The photo is from Bob Whittier's October 1970 Sport Aviation article titled Oshkosh Observations. Members can download it from the magazine archives on the EAA website. Highly recommended reading; it's really interesting to see how far we've come.

For sure it's great fun to look at the 1970 photo and orient yourself to today's show. The entire thing was tiny in comparison, generally north of Waukau and east of Knapp. Can you locate today's HBC (The Sea of RVs), the Warbirds area, the Forums, the Vans tent, and (of course) the RV Social?

Ok, so who was there in 1970? 1975? 1980? We have older readers who attended the 1970 show and many subsequent. Can we hear some stories about past Oshkosh adventures?

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  #2  
Old 06-09-2019, 07:47 AM
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I attended Oshkosh in 1970 and 1971, 1972 Uncle Sam had other plans for me but I have made all since. Have several rolls of Super 8 and boxes of 35mm slides from those early years.
The highlight of the 1971 show was John Monnettís Sonerai and of course Steve Wittman alway had something interesting to show.
Much different back them, few vendors and most exhibited products from the truck of their cars.
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  #3  
Old 06-09-2019, 10:09 AM
jrs14855 jrs14855 is offline
 
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Default Oshkosh

I was there in 1970 and every year since. First Rockford in1961, eight Rockford's. First Oshkosh was 1956, not 1958.
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Old 06-09-2019, 11:29 AM
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Default Keleher Lark @ KOSH 1972

My dad flew his recently completed Keleher Lark to KOSH in 1972 and this was published in the Jane's All the Worlds Aircraft in 1973, page 353.

Built from plans. This one had an O-200 powerplant. I flew it almost 100 hours around South Florida in the early 70's. I believe there were less than a dozen Lark's ever completed and flying. His ended up being sold by the third owner to someone who took it to South America.

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  #5  
Old 06-09-2019, 11:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrs14855 View Post
First Oshkosh was 1956, not 1958.
I learned that it was 1956 while reading the original Ops Lims for the Stits Playboy that was eventually going to become the RV-1. Back in its 1956 documents, it was allowed to fly within 50 miles of its home filed plus ďone round trip to the EAA convention in Oshkosh Wisconsin.

Thatís a neat picture Dan! Fun to see where the houses and other structures were when the whole thing began.
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  #6  
Old 06-09-2019, 02:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrs14855 View Post
I was there in 1970 and every year since. First Rockford in1961, eight Rockford's. First Oshkosh was 1956, not 1958.
Whoops, yes, 1956 was the year of the air races (Wittman won). The event was run by a local civic group; the EAA was a guest, so to speak. The 1958 Fly-In was in Milwaukee.

Jim, tell us some early Oshkosh stories!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ironflight View Post
Thatís a neat picture Dan! Fun to see where the houses and other structures were when the whole thing began.
A few of them seem to remain. The four houses on Waukau are holdouts; we're holding the RV Social in one of those backyards. The white-roofed metal building near the old control tower was brand new construction for the 1970 Fly-In. Pretty sure it's the EAA merchandise store nearest to the homebuilt area today (Was it recently torn down?). I'd bet the original camp store is now used by the Warbirds folks. And is that the same Press HQ building?
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  #7  
Old 06-10-2019, 02:26 AM
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My first Oshkosh was in 1985 when I was 17-years old. It's not exactly ancient Oshkosh history to some of you old farts, but it seems like eons ago to me. It literally changed the course of my life. I talked to a guy in a flight suit standing by his A-7 Corsair II "SLUF" and asked him how to get into "this line of work". After that, I told my dad I didn't want to be a dairy farmer, but wanted to be a fighter pilot instead. I wish I could find that pilot today to say thanks.

Also, I went to one of the forums where NASA was presenting information on the proposed International Space Station. They had a nice model of it in a glass case too. I remember thinking, "yeah right, this will never happen".

Last year I went to a Mars mission forum. My young son asked if I think the mission will ever fly. I said "absolutely."
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