AirVenture Programs Will Mark 40th Anniversary Of SST's First
A handful of occurrences over the
decades have helped establish EAA's annual AirVenture Oshkosh
fly-in as the world's premiere annual general aviation event.
Undeniably, one of those milestones occurred in 1985 when the
British Airways Concorde supersonic transport (SST) made its first
of five visits to Wittman Regional Airport.
That "happening" helped enhance the stature of "Oshkosh" in the
eyes of the global aviation community.
This being the 40th anniversary year of Concorde's first flight,
EAA will commemorate the aircraft's unforgettable Oshkosh
appearances with a series of special programs and activities at
AirVenture 2009, July 27-August 2. The Concorde Reunion will
involve pilots and co-pilots from the airplane's five visits; cabin
crew members; engineers, mechanics, and most importantly, attendees
who took flights the sleek SST or simply witnessed her touching
down and taking off on runway 18/36.
"Concorde is retired, but her legacy lives on - especially in
the hearts and minds of Oshkosh attendees," said EAA President Tom
Poberezny. "We've invited members of the flight crews who
participated in the Oshkosh experience to offer their perspectives
on the airplane -- what it was like to fly it, and its
participation at Oshkosh, which was a unique mission for the
British Airways personnel."
Currently in the planning stages, a series of forums and
presentations throughout the week will explore various aspects of
the airplane, its unique mission, and events that led to its first
grand appearance at Oshkosh. Also being planned are special events
to bring together passengers and crewmembers from Concorde's
Oshkosh flights, including a reunion photo shoot on AeroShell
square and a special evening program at Theater in the Woods. More
information will be announced as details are confirmed.
Captain Tony Yule, a Concorde co-pilot for British Airways, is
coordinating the former Concorde crewmembers to appear at Oshkosh.
"The idea is to have two captains, two co-pilots, two engineers,
some cabin crew - allowing us to provide complete coverage for most
any event we want to do here," he said.
Several key figures have already committed to appear, including
the members of the flight crew in 1985: John Eames, Ian Smith, and
Dave MacDonald. The captain of that first Oshkosh flight, John
Cook, passed away in 2005.