EAA AirVenture OshkoshPhotographer: Frank Grealish
30th July 2011Location:
Oshkosh - Wittman Regional (OSH / KOSH), USA - Wisconsin
The 2011 EAA AirVenture air show at Oshkosh took place at Wittman Regional Airport during the last week of July, IrishAirPics paid a visit to the show on the Saturday with the intention of photographing as many aircraft as possible (for those that don't know, the number of aircraft present at Oshkosh for AirVenture number in the thousands).
Seeing as I had only one day at Oshkosh I made the decision to photograph what interests me most... warbirds & military aircraft.
Oshkosh was littered with Harvards / Texans, P-51 Mustangs and T-28 Trojans, also present, amongst other fine warbirds, was a Focke-Wulf FW-190, a Corsair and the CAF B-29 Superfortress "Fifi".
Early in the morning I met up with Steve Comber in the shadow of Fifi and after a spot of breakfast we spent the morning walking the static taking pictures. In the afternoon we moved to a position near the end of Runway 36 so we could photograph the departing and recovering aircraft.
The heat and humidity was a real issue but thankfully a kind family let us take shelter under the wing of their aircraft so that helped to eliminate some of the heat and helped make photographing the flying action that bit more comfortable.
After a while we decided to change position and move closer to the very end of the runway and we noticed dark clouds approaching from the northwest. We noticed there was a bit of a fuss going on and asked an air show volunteer what the situation was and he told us there was a storm with 55mph winds heading our way.
We decided to head for a bit of shelter as with winds like that all the aircraft, gazebos and tents present on the show ground can become airborne. While walking away from the crowd line we saw that the control tower was being engulfed by a huge cloud of dust, someone shouted tornado and we just started running!
As it turns out it wasn't a tornado but the winds were indeed strong, it's no fun running in a sand storm when you can't see properly and have picnic tables with their umbrellas flying at you!
The panic was over as quick as it started, and once the storm passed the sky made for some very dramatic photography (see the main image above).
Before the storm interrupted proceedings we were treated to flying by a Navy Heritage Flight formation, multiple Mustangs, Trojans, Nanchangs, a DC-3, the Honda Jet and the worlds only AeroCar.
Once all that fun was over we then made our way up to the other end of the airfield, back to the warbirds for some sunset photography before the night air show started.
One day is not enough time at Oshkosh, it is well worth the visit, but you really need a week to see everything that is there. If you only have one day at Oshkosh make a plan, know exactly what you want to do, just don't be too ambitions.