Published in Midwest Flyer – February/March 2018 issue
OSHKOSH, WIS. – Some of the oldest jet fighters in existence will be flying at the 66th annual fly-in convention of the Experimental Aircraft Association, EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2018, July 23-29, at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
Among the aircraft expected to participate is a rare British “Meteor,” currently the oldest flying original jet aircraft in existence, which will arrive from the United Kingdom. British “Venom” and “Vampire” jets will also be part of the gathering, as will American jet fighters, such as the T-33 “Shooting Star” and F-86 “Sabre,” as well as a Soviet-era “MiG-17.”
“Classic jets have been part of the AirVenture warbird lineup for a number of years, but to include rare British aircraft, such as the Meteor, Venom and Vampire, makes the 2018 gathering even more special,” said Rick Larsen, EAA’s vice president of communities and member programs, who coordinates AirVenture features and attractions.
“Oshkosh is known as the place where everything that flies is welcomed and is appreciated by attendees, so to bring these rare jets to the AirVenture flightline is among the highlights of our odyssey to save, restore, and fly these magnificent airplanes,” said Marty Tibbitts, President of the World Heritage Air Museum of Detroit, Michigan, which is bringing the British jets to Oshkosh. The museum’s mission is to rescue military jet aircraft from the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s.
Other early jet aircraft will be coming from members of the Classic Jet Aircraft Association, as well as private collectors from throughout North America. These enthusiasts are encouraging all owners of vintage jet aircraft to fly to Oshkosh to make this reunion one of the largest reunions of jet fighter aircraft ever undertaken.
The F-86 and T-33 aircraft communities are also urging their members to bring their aircraft to AirVenture 2018, where they will participate in the daily air shows, displays on Boeing Plaza, and up-close presentations as part of the “Warbirds in Review” program. Complete details, including air show participation, will be released as they are finalized.
EAA AirVenture Oshkosh attracts more than 10,000 airplanes and 500,000 people from 80 nations each year to celebrate the history and future of flight (www.eaa.org/airventure).