EAA's Final Numbers, And A Preview Of 2015

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"It was a tremendous week," EAA Chairman Jack Pelton said on Tuesday, as the organization released its final figures for this year's show. "We filled Wittman Regional Airport with aircraft for the first time in several years, with both aircraft camping and parking areas completely full at mid-week." Pelton credited the first appearance of the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds for bringing in crowds, and said exhibitors reported "outstanding business" for the week, with some selling out of product. Attendance reached above 500,000 for the week, Pelton said, representing an increase over last year of 5 to 6 percent. Saturday and Sunday attendance was up 20 percent compared to the same days last year, and more than 10,000 airplanes flew into the area. The number of show planes was 2,649 -- over 300 more than last year. Pelton also offered a preview of what's in store for next year.

"Legendary aircraft innovator Burt Rutan indicated he would like to return to Oshkosh in 2015 to share some innovations with the aviation community," Pelton said. Also, he said EAA is working to bring the soon-to-be-restored B-29 "Doc" to the show as part of the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. AVweb's editorial director Paul Bertorelli was on the grounds all week, and offers his own analysis of why the show seemed to be on such an upswing this year.