Aviation News Journal
Facts and figures from the Experimental Aircraft Association
This year’s annual convention turned out to be another record-setting year.
L-39 formation at AirVenture 2023 - Polaris Program / John Kraus
“There was so much going on during the week that encompassed the entire world of flight, from the presence of the U.S. Air Force Training Command and NASA, to magnificent aircraft restorations and exciting new flying technology,” said EAA Chairman and CEO Jack J. Pelton. “Oshkosh was again the place that brought the aviation world together.”
This year’s attendance was approximately 677,000, up from the previous record of 650,000 last year. But attendance numbers weren’t the only record.
“We had record-setting totals of campers, exhibitors, volunteers, and more,” said Jack. “It was also a challenging year at times with weather, logistics, and other factors, which makes me even more proud of the efforts by our volunteers and staff to organize an outstanding event.”
Here are some additional details from this year’s fly-in:
: More than 10,000 aircraft arrived at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh and other airports in east-central Wisconsin. At Wittman alone, there were 21,883 aircraft operations in the 11-day period from July 20-30, which is an average of approximately 148 takeoffs/landings per hour when the airport is open.
: 3,365 including a record 1,497 registered in vintage aircraft parking, plus 1,067 homebuilt aircraft, 380 warbirds (up 3 percent from 2022), 194 ultralights, 134 seaplanes and amphibians, 52 aerobatic aircraft, and 41 rotorcraft.
: More than 13,000 sites in aircraft and drive-in camping accounted for an estimated 40,000 visitors.
: More than 5,500 contributing in excess of 250,000 hours.
Commercial exhibitors: 848 (another record number).
Forums, Workshops, and Presentations
: More than 1,400 sessions hosted throughout the week.
Social media, internet, and mobile
: More than 18.3 million people were reached by EAA’s social media channels during AirVenture (up 78 percent over 2022), with engagement of 1.9 million; More than 189,000 hours of viewing EAA video clips online also occurred during the event (more than double the 2022 total).
: International visitors returned in a big way in 2023, with 2,372 attendees registering the International Visitors Tent from a record-tying 93 countries outside the U.S. Adding a significant number of international visitors who do not register at the tent when they arrive, the actual total is much higher.
: The EAA Aviation Foundation’s annual event to support its aviation education programs attracted more than 1,000 people and raised more than $2 million dollars that will be focused on EAA’s mission of growing participation in aviation.
: 863 media representatives on-site, from six continents.
Estimated economic impact
: $170 million for the five counties in the Oshkosh region (Winnebago, Outagamie, Fond du Lac, Calumet, and Brown). This is based on a 2017 University of Wisconsin Oshkosh economic impact study.
By the time you read this, planning for EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2024 will have begun in earnest.
“We are already looking at a number of big activities, including the 100th anniversary of the Royal Canadian Air Force,” said Jack. “Plenty of ideas have also been forwarded to us from EAA members and others that will be part of the planning for 2024.”
William 'Bill' Piper Sr.
William Thomas Piper Sr. was born on 8 January 1881 in a small town in the state of New York in the USA. He served in the Spanish-American War of 1898, before studying mechanical engineering at Harvard University. He co-founded the Dallas Oil Company, before serving with the US Army's engineer corps in World War I. After the war, Piper invested in the Taylor Brothers' Aircraft Corporation and during the Great Depression, he became the company's sole owner. Piper used the company to build and sell low-cost aircraft, including the Taylor Cub. Piper aggressively promoted the Cub and its succeeding variants, even including free flying lessons with each purchase. In 1937, he renamed the company 'Piper Aircraft Corporation.’ One year later, Piper introduced the J-3 Cub. With almost 20 000 examples built, it was the quintessential light aircraft of the 1940s. Piper continued to produce commercially successful aircraft, many of which remain popular to this day. For example, more than 32 000 Piper Cherokees have been built. The Cherokee, which is still in production, first flew in 1960. In 1968, William Piper retired as president of his company, whilst continuing to serve as chairman of the board. He died on 15 January 1970 at the age of 89. Piper was often called the 'Henry Ford of aviation,’ due to his ability to make aviation more accessible to the general public.