The EAA AirVenture Museum is a multi fasted with its primary focus on general aviation, with World War Two, air racing and acrobatics also having prominent places. The museum is broken into three prominent areas: The general museum containing the majority of their aircraft, Eagle Hanger containing World War Two exhibits, and Pioneer Airport a 1930’s vintage airport.
Located in Oshkosh WI the EAA AirVenture Museum becomes a focal point of AirVenture, the world’s largest aviation event. Pioneer Airport, open spring to fall, offers airplane ride in vintage aircraft including a 1929 Ford Tri-Motor, 1929 Travel Air, Bell 47 Helicopter and a 1927 Swallow.
Exhibit One: Pioneer Airport
An extension of the main facility located across EAA’s active grass runway this collection of buildings brings visitors back to a bygone time when aviation was still new and awe inspiring. Styled after airports of the 1930’s there are airplane rides, period hangers and displays, as well as 50 plus period aircraft on static display. Only open weather permitting, May though October on the weekends, daily from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
(Photo taken at EAA Ski Plane Fly-in 2011)
Exhibit Two: SpaceShipOne
This replica of Scaled Composites’ SpaceShipOne is a moving tribute to the men and women who made this historic flight possible. Hanging from the celling SpaceShipOne transforms from the clean flight mode into its “feather” landing configuration while a video documentary plays in the background. If you look close you can see M&Ms floating in the windows. So detailed and involved where people at Scaled Composites, including Mike Melvill, they have christened this replica serial #2.
The Eagle Hangar was built to honor the men and women who serviced in World War Two and houses their collection of World War Two artifacts and aircraft. The primary airplane on display at his visit was a Douglas C-47 on lone from Kermit Weeks, EAA’s B-25 and B-17 have had their place on display here. Additionally on display is a rare North American XP-51 Mustang, Lockheed P-38 Lighting squadron markings of Wisconsin’s Richard Bong, Culver PQ-14B, de Havilland DH 98 Mosquito and others.
Built by “Steve” Wittman staring in 1934 the D-12 “Bonzo” was designed and built, D-12 coming from the Curtiss D-12 engine that was the power plant. In its first race in 1935 “Bonzo” took second. Steve Wittman was a raising pioneer and the local airport, that he was hired to run in 1931 and ran for years, bears his name. This was the first aircraft donated to the museum.
Personal Gem One: Rutan Legos
Located directly under SpaceShipOne is a collection of Lego models designed and built by Jeff Rutan (son of Burt Rutan) and Cole Zellner (grandson of Burt Rutan). These models are built to about 1/30-scale and consist of only Legos. The amount of aircraft on display is quite extensive covering aircraft from the first VariViggen, Space Ship One and Two, White Knight One and Two, and Burts latest design the BiPod. This really brings out the kid in me, want to break out the Legos and make my own. You can find more information on how to build your own Rutan Legos at AeroSpace Bricker.