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  #1  
Old 07-31-2017, 11:18 PM
vernon smith's Avatar
vernon smith vernon smith is offline
 
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Default Oshkosh 2017 Observations

I flew SW Airlines into Mid Way Tuesday and made the three-hour drive north to Fond Du Lac, arriving a little before noon. There is a shuttle bus service between the Fond du Lak airport and Oshkosh every hour so I caught it and rode north to Wittman Field, a 30-minute ride right to the entry gate. I don’t know if there is a best way to get to Oshkosh during this time period but I assume none of them that are remotely affordable are good. When you pack a scadillion people into a small space with limited road access the result is never good. The way I did it seemed to work as well as could be expected.

I thoroughly enjoyed the event but my reason for going was more educational than observational. I spent most of my time in exhibitor’s tents and forums with little time spent watching the never ending activities in the skies. I’ve been going to the Reno Air Races for years but Oshkosh is a very different animal. Multiple times more commercial displays and attractions with a much younger crowd. Reno is truly hard core with the emphasis on performance and racing. If you are taking the family go to Oshkosh.

Here are some armature pictures with even more amateurish comments below the pictures;



The main military attraction was the B1B heavy bomber, very impressive up close.



Here is the bomb bay in the B1 which is huge with two bays, the legendary rotary bomb dispenser has been removed.



The greatest generation had Betty Grable and Lauren Bacall on the noses of their airplanes, here is what todays PC air force sports :^ )



The airplane the Air Force has been trying to mothball for the last fifteen years and Congress wants to keep in service until 2100.



The Wart Hog’s six thousand rounds per minute Gatling gun. I wonder if the LED landing lights were on the “A” model?



Blue Horizon was a last minute show to one up Space X in their ongoing knife fight for space PR and media attention. Elon Musk is probably planning on returning one of his first stage rockets to show center at Reno in September. I have not figured out how to insert a picture into this web site higher than wide without it displaying sideways, but I’m still working on it.




All the Blue Horizon reps on site wore identifying shirts so I asked one what temperatures they were seeing on the bottom side of the returned booster. The reply was “the engineers never talk about things like this”. OK, fifty thousand folks per day are supposed to ogle at it but the temperatures that discolored the bottom are classifies?



The Europeans (England soon to depart) sent their new heavy transport, the only foreign governmental display I saw. It’s a great looking airplane with impressive counter rotating six blade propellers. Like most new military aircraft it’s had a troubled development cycle but is now operational.



I have no idea what this is but it’s certainly an experimental and must be one of the neatest looking planes at Oshkosh. There were many there that looked just like it and must all cruise at 350 kts plus.



I thought this was an interesting way to display the interior structure of a biz jet as well as the capabilities of the vinyl wrap sign shop technology.

Last edited by vernon smith : 08-01-2017 at 06:21 AM.
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  #2  
Old 07-31-2017, 11:19 PM
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vernon smith vernon smith is offline
 
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Default More observations



As previously stated Oshkosh is very commercialized, to the point that several of the “platinum” sponsors have little to do with aviation. However, they bring great displays and pizzas like the Ford emergency rough terrain fire truck. I thought this was unfortunate to a degree, when these guys show up with their huge displays and army of earnest young employees, the rest of the displayers get over whelmed. In the long run, I do not think this will serve the interests of the EAA well.



The rest of the pictorial is devoted to the US Governmental displays and participation which I found interesting and instructive. While the thrust of it was certainly self-promotional it was also very well done and professional. I talked to many of the representatives from the various displayers and all were enthusiastic and pleasant. As expected, this building did not draw huge crowds so it was not difficult finding someone to talk to. Above is the NOAA booth (aviation weather) They had live wide screen displays of up to date weather for the entire country in their booth and were more than glad to give you a weather education.



NOAA has equipped several of the national carrier’s airplanes with special weather analyzers that transmit real time weather data to stations around the world which provide up to the minute weather data to NOAA. This gives them the capability to monitor real time weather seconds after an airliner flies through it.



The National Traffic Safety Bureau had a rather macabre display. While their mission is certainly critical and helps develop improvements in aviation safety their picture wall of serious and fatal crash sites was not inviting to study and discuss with the representatives. It was more like a Halloween house of horrors.



The Border Patrol guys were there in full force, probably had fifty percent of the building which was about fifteen thousand sq feet. They also had the neatest stuff to show off. Boats with three, three hundred HP outboards pushing the inflatable hull to 60 mph, helicopters, and lots of guns . As you can see there is a large recruitment effort to all this.



Their top of the line heli was a European machine which surprised me. With all the cooperation between the Feds and the American defense industry I found this an anomaly.



Here is the boat they use to run down near shore smugglers. I know first hand the trouble the pot smugglers gave the feds in the nineties with their Cigarette go fast boats in the Florida coastal waters. This looks like their answer.
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Old 08-01-2017, 05:28 AM
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Thanks for posting, one of these days I'll make it there.
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Old 08-01-2017, 06:44 AM
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Great pics! Thanks for posting!
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Old 08-01-2017, 08:54 AM
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Thanks for posting. You found many things that I did not on my visit; one day simply isn't enough!
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  #6  
Old 08-01-2017, 09:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vernon smith View Post


I have no idea what this is but it’s certainly an experimental and must be one of the neatest looking planes at Oshkosh. There were many there that looked just like it and must all cruise at 350 kts plus.
That's this airplane, a one of a kind turbine Lancair:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4_FP0PZWzUs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QKHpE_IeMsw

mcb
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Old 08-01-2017, 09:25 AM
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What, no NASA displays? NASA used to have a dedicated building with several volunteers available. Were they not there this year?
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  #8  
Old 08-01-2017, 09:29 AM
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NASA was there. It was my 12-year old daughter's favorite building. She wants to be an astronaut, and I'm sure she'll do it!
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  #9  
Old 08-01-2017, 09:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vernon smith View Post
Blue Horizon was a last minute show to one up Space X in their ongoing knife fight for space PR and media attention. Elon Musk is probably planning on returning one of his first stage rockets to show center at Reno in September.
As I told more than a few folks, the event I want to see at Oshkosh is a rocket falling from the stratosphere, lighting off, slowing, and landing just on the other side of 18/36....just like the science fiction of my childhood.
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Old 08-01-2017, 09:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanH View Post
As I told more than a few folks, the event I want to see at Oshkosh is a rocket falling from the stratosphere, lighting off, slowing, and landing just on the other side of 18/36....just like the science fiction of my childhood.
Wish there was a like button. I'd select it for this.
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