Published 1:21 p.m. CT March 19, 2019
A convention goer passes by the historic Brown Arch on the penultimate day of EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016 at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh. (Photo: Archive / Gary C. Klein / USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin)
OSHKOSH – The Experimental Aircraft Association will be releasing the enthusiasm of flying throughout the United States in 2019 when EAA's "Spirit of Aviation" mobile unit will visit numerous events this year.
The itinerant experiential exhibition introduces EAA to enthusiasts through practical and participatory activities by members involving people of all ages in the aviation sector.
"Tens of thousands of people discovered the wonders of flight during the EAA Spirit of Aviation tour in 2018, including distinguished guests such as Crown Prince Haakon of Norway, who visited us when we were in the South for the Southwest conference in Austin, Texas , last year, "said Dave Chaimson, EAA vice president of marketing and business development. "More importantly, EAA's Spirit of Aviation experience includes immersive activities and virtual reality, giving visitors an in-flight look and inviting them to be part of EAA's dynamic member community."
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The Spirit of Aviation mobile unit will make 11 appearances in seven states in 2019. The next visits during the year include (tour program subject to change without notice):
- 22-23 March: USA Science and Engineering Festival L.A.; Los Angeles, California
- April 13-14: Wings Over South Texas Air Show; Corpus Christi, Texas
- 27-28 April: MCAS Beaufort Air Show; Beaufort, South Carolina
- 10-12 May: Joint Andrews Air Show base; Joint Base Andrews, Maryland
- June 15-16: Minnesota Air Spectacular; Mankato, Minnesota
- 20-23 June: NTT IndyCar Series REV Group at Road America; Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin
- July 23-29: EAA AirVenture; Oshkosh, Wisconsin
- 12-17 August: International Pathfinder Camporee; Oshkosh, Wisconsin
- August 22 – September 2: Minnesota State Fair; St. Paul, Minnesota
- September 27-29: MakerFaire; Milwaukee, Wisconsin
- 10-13 October: Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta; Albuquerque, New Mexico
The 53-foot touring exhibition is a rotatable advertising billboard for EAA, including the graphic showing a Long-EZ self-built aircraft that represents EAA's experimental aeronautical roots. Also includes promotions for EAA AirVenture Oshkosh and the EAA Young Eagles program.
"It's fun, it's a discovery, and it's a fantastic introduction to the world of flying," said Chaimson. "Stop and bring the whole family. In selected locations, we also bring our superhero inspired by Stan Lee, Aviore, which was created thanks to the cooperative effort of EAA and the Stan Lee Foundation in 2017 to inspire young people to do everything the world. "
Visitors to EAA's experiential marketing exhibition will be able to build their own Aviante gliders, supported by Flite Test, and take virtual flights with Samsung Gear VR headsets to connect with the Spirit of Aviation. There are also Redbird flight simulators for flight training experiences, hands-on construction stations and EAA's Virtual Flight Academy as part of the organization's mission to increase participation in the aviation industry.
Dick Knapinski is the communications director for EAA.
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