BY: SCOTT JANKOWSKI
AirVenture 2022 was very unique in another aspect, this year had the heaviest presence of commercial airliners ever. AirVenture has had numerous commercial airliners on static display in the past, but this year was very different having both Airbus and Boeing types in the afternoon airshow. AirVenture 2022 featured the narrowbody Airbus A321 flown by American Airlines, and also the widebody A330-900 flown by Delta Airlines. Boeing was represented by the widebody 777-200 ecoDemonstrator and in my opinion one of the best airshow performances of AirVenture 2022, the 777-300ER (Extended Range) flown by the United Airlines Demo Team.
N164NN, an Airbus A321-231 flown by American Airlines brought American employees to Oshkosh for a day at the Fly-In. This six-year-old French built A321 seats 181 passengers and is powered by a pair of IAE V2533-A5 turbofan engines. American Airlines currently flies 218 A321-200’s on routes out of its main hub airports that include Chicago O’Hare, Miami Florida, and Phoenix Sky Harbor.
N167AN, also a six-year-old Airbus A321-231 flying for American Airlines had the honor of flying local Fox Valley War Veterans to Washington D.C as part of the Old Glory Honor Flight. This A321 is painted in a special color scheme named “Flagship Valor” which salutes Medal of Honor Recipients, the highest award for military valor in action. The color scheme also represents major military conflicts and the six characteristics that embody the Medal of Honor and those who receive it. This Honor Flight left Oshkosh on Friday July 29th with 100 Korean and Vietnam War Veterans on board, they toured their respective memorials, and returned to a Hero’s welcome at the end of the airshow on Friday. This specially painted A321 remained in Oshkosh parked at Boeing Plaza, and departed to open the Saturday airshow.
N411DX, a little over a year-old Airbus A330-941N which is flown by Atlanta Georgia based Delta Airlines was at AirVenture for the beginning of the event. This A330 is emblazoned with the special “Team USA” color scheme which commemorates the 2022 US team that participated in the Beijing Winter Olympics and Delta’s support of the U.S. Olympic Athletes. The livery was revealed in December 2021 and features the Team USA logo along with a blue gradient representing the sky or “the rise to the top” and a grounding red element representing the resilience needed to get there. It took a team of 25 Delta Tech Ops personnel over eleven days to apply this livery and used ninety-five gallons of paint. Delta Airlines currently flies 11 A330-900’s which carry 281 passengers and has a range of almost 7,000 miles. The aircraft departed Oshkosh on Tuesday 7/26 and flew several high and low speed passes before departing for Detroit Michigan.
Airbus rival Boeing, which has been a major supporter of AirVenture and has sponsored Boeing plaza for years, had 2 different models of its very popular widebody 777 airliner at AirVenture. The first being N861BC, a twenty-year-old 777-212ER (Extended Range) owned and operated by Boeing Aircraft itself. This particular 777 is the ninth aircraft Boeing has used as part of the ecoDemonstrator program and is painted in a special color scheme denoting this milestone. This 777, that was once in revenue service for a number of airlines is now flown as a testbed for thirty new technologies aimed at improving efficiency, minimizing the environmental footprint, and enhancing safety. The aircraft left Oshkosh for Boeing Field on Thursday July 28th. Look for an additional in-depth article to come on this unique aircraft.
N2749U, a three-year-old Boeing 777-322ER (Extended Range) flown by Chicago Illinois based United Airlines flew an impressive airshow demo. United Airlines flies twenty-two of the 350 seat 777-300ER’s which are powered by a pair of GE90-115B turbofan engines. The 777 that United used for this demo was flown empty from Chicago O’Hare by a crew of hour, 2 senior pilots and 2 safety observers. The airshow routine consisted of a series of high and low speed passes with each maneuver proceeded by an aggressive dive into the airshow box. This was a very impressive demo of a very large commercial airliner that one does not often see.
The addition of commercial airliners to the daily airshow was a very welcome change from previous years. I am hopeful that AirVenture will continue this practice in years to come. Until next time, “Blue Skies to All!”