World War I Centennial Activities Highlighted at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2018

The final year of World War I centennial activities at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2018 will feature historic aircraft from the era and flying activities that commemorate the final year of the “Great War” that concluded with the armistice of 1918. The 66th annual Experimental Aircraft Association fly-in convention is July 23-29 at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, WI.

This year’s World War I commemoration activities will take place throughout the week, with a special emphasis on Fri., July 27. Many of the aircraft that will be on display are also connected to the 100th anniversary of the Royal Air Force that is part of AirVenture week.

“In the four-year stretch of World War I, aviation technology and piloting made strides that have been rarely matched in the history of flight,” says Rick Larsen, EAA’s vice president of communities and member programs, who coordinates AirVenture features and attractions. “A century later, aviation enthusiast still marvel at the determination, ingenuity, and skill of those who designed, built and flew these aircraft. They were making history in a field of engineering that mostly did not exist just 15 years earlier.”

The World War I programming will be primarily based in the vintage aircraft parking area on the AirVenture flight line. Along with the aircraft on display for the 1915-1918 era, there will be World War I re-enactors and static engine runs. In addition, World War I-era aircraft, aircraft owners and historians will participate in forums and Vintage in Review sessions throughout the week. A number of the aircraft will also be displayed at various times on AirVenture’s showcase Boeing Plaza.

Among the aircraft expected to be on display is a newly restored DH4 Liberty biplane being reconstructed by EAA members and high school students in Tennessee.

“Our entire DH-4 Liberty team is looking forward to honouring the memory of all those brave young lads that climbed into the cockpits of those early aeroplanes to defend liberty in the skies above Europe a century ago,” says Dorian Walker, who is leading the restoration team. “What better place to celebrate those early aeronautical feats than America's premiere aviation event, AirVenture 2018. We are pleased to bring the only flying, as delivered to the military, Dayton-Wright DH-4 Liberty Aeroplane, Warbird #1 to Oshkosh this July.”

Other aircraft from the collection of renowned aviator Kermit Weeks are scheduled to be present, as well as a rare 1915 Bleriot replica in Royal Flying Corps markings. More details will be announced as they are finalized.

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