When Meg was living in Fond du Lac Wisconsin we visited and took a drive north for a day. On the drive, we passed by the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) grounds and airport at Oshkosh. Of course we did not stop. I’ve heard about the yearly EAA week long air show and fly-in, but never thought of going. Now I admit that whenever I hear the rumble of a large plane I always look up especially if I have camera in hand. I’ve tried taking photos of moving airplanes without much success. So when Nikon sent me an email inviting me to take part in a Nikon School class in aviation photography I was interested. Then when I read that the seminar included credentials to shoot the air show from a restricted flight line observation tower, I was all in.
I had read that places to stay are all booked up far in advance of the event, so I decided to stay at the on site camp grounds. I drove up the day before, paid for the site and then drove around trying to find an area where I could park. I headed to the grounds just to walk around and check things out. I had arrived just as the daily air show was beginning with the parachuting in of the Flag, the National Anthem, and the first of many fly-overs.
The first fly over was of a B-1B bomber. I was not quick enough with the first high speed pass, but the second fly by I was able to get a couple of images. With the wings in the swept back position this plane is capable of flying faster than the speed of sound. The wings can be expanded which allow for slower flight for take off and landing and much easier to photograph. In the air this thing looks and is fast and LOUD. When it is on the ground it still looks fast, but it is impressively large. 145’ long, 137’ wingspan with the wings extended, 37’ from the ground to the top of the tail, and 8’ from wingtip to the ground.
After some precision flying and acrobatic acts, it was time for the arrival of the Warbirds of America planes. All of these planes are owned and maintained by people all across the nation and they fly in to this show. They practice flying in formation and when they gather together is such large numbers they are assigned their flying position.
After the air show I took a walk to Warbird Alley. This was a field where all the bombers and fighters were parked. You could just walk around and look and I sure did walk. My phone registered 9.4 miles! I became interested in the nose art found on most of the bombers. Mission symbols represents missions completed in and verified kills. The bomb represents a mission, the flag a downed aircraft, and ships and trains are pretty self evident.
There always seemed to be planes in the air, some just doing a fly around and others doing fun things...there was always something to see when you looked up!
We had a cool sunset later that day, so I went back to the warbirds field to see what I could find.
So the first day of my AirVenture came to a close and I headed back to my cozy Subaru with the air mattress in the back. I checked the phone and I had put in 20,389 steps for 9.4 miles! Looking forward to another day on the flight line.