EAA AirVenture On The Horizon

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With July 4 in the rearview mirror, the next big event on the summer calendar for thousands of aviators is EAA AirVenture, coming up July 28 to August 3. The campgrounds are already open, and thousands of workers and volunteers are getting the place ready for the annual influx. Pilots planning to fly in can access the NOTAM online, and other visitors can download a free app (available soon at the Apple Store) to help navigate the grounds. This week, EAA announced the schedule for its first-ever full demo by the US Air Force Thunderbirds -- at 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 3 p.m. on Sunday, August 1 to 3. Also appearing for the first time will be a batch of STOL aircraft from Alaska, showing off some amazing maneuvers.

There's something for everyone at Oshkosh -- hands-on experience in building your own airplane will be offered by Zenith Aircraft at the One Week Wonder display, where a complete kit aircraft will be assembled from scratch and rolled out by week's end. Innovation and new technologies will be abundant -- watch for the gaggle of homebuilts flying in from Mojave, two new diesel engines (one from Continental, one from EPS), flight displays of the latest Carter VTOL, and a full roster of presentations at the Innovations Center. A job fair on Wednesday from 12 to 3 will help those in career mode, and a college social on Friday from 5:30 to 7:30 welcomes students exploring aviation career tracks. For those in a shopping mood, Aircraft Electronics Association said this week it will hand out free copies of its brand-new "Pilot's Guide to Avionics" at its booth at AirVenture.

The forums area also is always busy, and on Saturday at 10 a.m. Sen. James Inhofe will host a briefing on his proposed update to the Pilot's Bill of Rights. The annual Teachers Day, hosted by Build A Plane, runs all day Tuesday, July 29, featuring a talk by Patty Wagstaff and free access to the show for educators. Whether you are at the show this year or staying home, you can keep up with all the news with AVweb's daily reports. Our crew will be working hard every day to cover every aspect of the show and bring you news, podcasts, blogs, and video directly to your computer, tablet, or smartphone.