Oshkosh Report: The E-1 and More!

As always, AirVenture at Oshkosh was amazing! It just keeps getting better every year, with more people, more airplanes, more things to see, and an incredible airshow. The fireworks display at the night airshow on Saturday was the best I’ve ever seen — I didn’t think they were ever going to stop. Both of my presentations were well-attended and I even sold a few books.

The E-1, as promised, was on display on the grass outside the EAA Museum. My older sister Maureen took the photo below of my dad with the E-1 on Wednesday, July 25. I took the other photo the next day; it shows the Lesher Teal lurking behind the E-1. You may recall that Ed Lesher and the Teal held the C1a distance record from 1975 until 1984, when Gary Hertzler set the record in his VariEze that Arnold eventually broke. Gary still has his airplane and flies it regularly.

Arnold with the E-1 at Oshkosh/EAA Museum

The E-1 with the Lesher Teal in the Background

I also was lucky enough to fly the EAA’s T-6 on Sunday before I left Oshkosh. I flew with EAA’s Sean Elliot and I had a great time doing some introductory maneuvers such as steep turns, lazy-8s, and chandelles. No acro — we didn’t have chutes — but it was still a blast. Here’s a couple of pictures:

EAA’s T-6

Me after having a great time in the T-6!

Finally, on my drive back to Madison for my flight home the next day, I stopped by Fisk to see the FAA controllers who bring all the traffic into Oshkosh during AirVenture. As you can see from these photos, the set-up at Fisk is a pretty low-tech operation right next to a corn field! The controllers visually spot inbound aircraft and then push them in one direction or another as they fly directly over Fisk. The pilots don’t talk at all, they just listen to what the controllers tell them to do. I flew into Oshkosh once in the mid-1990s and it was both challenging and fun. On Sunday, the last day of the show, things were pretty quiet, although there was a steady stream of airplanes outbound.

FAA controllers waiting for some action at Fisk

The luxurious facilities at Fisk

And that’s it for Oshkosh for another year! I’m already making plans for next year.

Oshkosh Report

If you’ve ever attended AirVenture at Oshkosh, you know it has a way of increasing any addiction you might already have to aviation. This year I just couldn’t stand to not have a homebuilt aircraft any longer, and I’ve decided to start building an airplane as soon as possible! I started to build a “One Design” aerobatic aircraft many years ago, but after ten years of constant moving and only producing two ailerons, I gave up.

This time around, I’ve decided to build something a bit less ambitious than the One Design, and I’ve pretty much settled on a Van’s RV-8; I should make my final decision by the end of September. I’ll keep you posted on my progress!

Arnold and I stopped at Felts Field in Spokane to deliver the set of BD-5 plans I mentioned in my last blog post. Clark Taylor met us there to take the plans and show us around. Here’s a picture of Clark with the partially-finished BD-5 that he hopes to fly some day!

Clark Taylor of EAA Chapter 79 with his partially assembled BD-5

Clark Taylor of EAA Chapter 79 with his partially assembled BD-5

Some of you might remember that Arnold owned a BD-5 kit at one time, and he used one of the bulkheads to form the fuselage of the E-1. Here’s a picture of that bulkhead as installed in Clark’s airplane.

The BD-5 bulkhead that was used in the E-1 (as installed in a BD-5)

The BD-5 bulkhead that was used in the E-1 (as installed in a BD-5)

Clark also gave us a full tour of the EAA Chapter 79 Chapter House. I’ve been a member of many EAA chapters over the years, and this chapter has the nicest facilities I’ve ever seen, complete with large hangar, meeting room, and place to hang out for watching movies, airplanes, or even model railroads. If you’re in the Spokane area, be sure to stop by and give Chapter 79 a visit!

EAA Chapter 79 Chapter House, Felts Field, Spokane Valley, WA

EAA Chapter 79 Chapter House, Felts Field, Spokane Valley, WA

Arnold Ebneter and Gary Hertzler to be Featured at AirVenture

If you’re going to AirVenture in Oshkosh this summer, please join us on Friday, August 1, 1000-1145, at the Forum 2 tent for a “World Record Holders Chat” that will feature Arnold along with Gary Hertzler. Gary is the current world record holder for the C-1a closed-course distance record, and he previously held the C-1a straight-line distance world record that Arnold and the E-1 currently hold.

Here is a link to the website for more information about the forum: http://www.eaa.org/eaa/event/World_Record_Holders_Chat?id=184C559A6B8544F48ACBC7049C340336

Both Arnold and Gary will provide short presentations on their respective flights, and then I’ll moderate a discussion in a question and answer format that will include plenty of questions from the audience. The presentation is sure to be both informative and entertaining!