AirVenture 2022 Surprises

Excitement builds every year during the months before the EAA’s AirVenture Oshkosh. Information is released via social media and other, more traditional methods; each announcement of a confirmed headlining participant attracts more attention as the week-long event nears. Some headlines this year spoke of anniversaries of aircraft designs, or important aviation events. As much as reading about those themes brings anticipation, being there and experiencing those in person is even more satisfying for me.

There’s no way that I can tell the whole story of my five-day visit to Whittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh here, but I’ll talk a little bit about it and include some photos to illustrate some of the surprises I experienced during AirVenture 2022.

There were two Bf-109s at Oshkosh this year. This is a G-10 version with some interesting modifications. Originally a Spanish HA-1112 Buchon, it was modified with an Allison engine and real Bf-109G-10 cowling. Now in the Erickson Aircraft Collection.
This is a restored Bf-109G-6, complete with a DB-605 engine. Both BF-109s were the focus of a very interesting discussion about the design and restorations of the rare aircraft in the EAA’s Warbirds of America “Warbirds in Review” presentation.
This U.S. Department of the Interior Kodiak 100 has a camera assembly in the belly that assists with counting bird migrations in the northern parts of America
Originally a Cub Crafters Carbon Cub, Scrappy is now a backcountry search and rescue machine equipped with STOL enhancements and specialized gear like the motorcycle hanging underwing!
The Grob 520T Egrett is equipped with a Garrett turboprop engine and holds world records which includes climbing to more than 53,500 feet in altitude. It is operated by Av Experts LLC and will tow the Perlan II glider for its world altitude record attempts in Argentina next year.
A noteworthy event at AirVenture 2022 was the launching and demo flight of the Perlan II Glider during the afternoon of Tuesday July 26th. Here, the Grob Egrett tows the Perlan aloft.
The Perlan crew after the glide… next year the pressurized glider hopes to reach 90,000 feet in altitude riding the Polar Vortex near Antarctica. The team will operate from Argentina.
A wonderful addition to the Boeing Plaza aircraft on display was this 1950s/1960s Snow S2A agricultural spray aircraft. That’s just a roll bar over the cockpit seat!
This is a special 75th Anniversary edition of the current Beech Bonanza. The original V-tailed general aviation aircraft was introduced in 1947. Olive Beech’s reproduced signature is applied under the pilot’s left window.
This is a new Cessna 182T in factory “throwback” colors of the late 1950s.
The Ampaire Electric EEL is a hybrid aircraft with an electric engine in the front and the original avgas-powered engine in the rear. There are three EELs, this is the third produced; it is actually a testbed for new electric technologies. Batteries are held in the belly cargo bay.
This certainly isn’t the stock Continental engine in the EEL Skymaster… a metal plate is attached to act as ballast for weight and balance of the aircraft as the batteries and motor altered the original equipment weight and balance characteristics. Thus far, testing hasn’t encountered any hot or cold effects on the batteries in varied weather/temperature conditions.
This is the Vspeeder, a “vertical take off and landing PAV [Personal Air Vehicle]
based on an innovative e-propulsion system” which uses 8 propellers. A South Korean design, it has a 198 pound payload, 15 minute flight time before a recharge is needed, and uses a LIDAR (laser radar) system for conflict resolution and auto landing.
This ScaleBirds P-36 Hawk LiteFighter is a scaled-down Curtiss P-36 World War II fighter. This uses a Verner Motiris radial engine, but an in-line engine is envisioned for a similar P-40 Warhawk design too. This new design could possible be made as a LSA (Light Sport Aircraft) , and is stressed for light aerobatics too.
Jack Bally’s 1/3 scale B-17 bomber was displayed, it is a single seat, true to scale homebuilt.
NASA’s Columbia Lancair 300 is used for light aircraft and systems experimentation.
An Aeroprakt 22LS Light Sport aircraft over the grass runway at the Fun Flight Zone. Light Sport and Ultralight aircraft are fast-evolving groups and range from powered parachutes to fully enclosed modern designs, including helicopters.
This Rans S-7S is powered by a popular Rotax engine. Flying in the Fun Fly Zone is broken down into time slots for specific types of aircraft, based upon performance and design – like powered parachutes, helicopters, etc.
The new Kodiak 900 was shown off at the DAHER chalet, it is a larger version of the Kodiak 100 with more room and a larger engine.
This is the ScaleWings 70% scale version of the North American P-51D Mustang. The blueprints were computerized, and every detail was scaled down to 70% of the original design.
Who knew that United Airlines has a Flight Demonstration Team? The airline performed their routine in a large Boeing 777-300ER airliner, showing off some very graceful lines and powerful non-aerobatic maneuvers.