Last year, Oshkosh saw record crowds, playing host to about 601,000 visitors from 87 countries, along with accommodating more than 10,000 aircraft during the course of the show. AirVenture 2018 kept up with the trend toward increased focus on training—companies like Lycoming and Piper were noting that the surge in pilot training had been good for business. In addition, there was a lot of buzz at the show about the debut of the BlackFly multirotor, a single-person VTOL designed to operate as an ultralight.
The D-Day Squadron was well into the planning phase for their (successful) mission, which saw 15 C-47 and DC-3 aircraft fly from the U.S. to Normandy this year to participate in events commemorating the 75th anniversary of the invasion of northwestern Europe by allied forces in 1944. Also on the warbird front, Doc’s Friends reported that construction of B-29 Doc’s new (now complete) hangar and attached education center in Wichita, Kansas, was running on time and under budget.
Lancair introduced its two-seat Barracuda, an all-composite, 200-knot kit plane. Mooney tendered its hopes to build 20 aircraft in 2018, with goals of ramping up to 40 aircraft in 2019 and about 50 aircraft a year after that. Cessna showed off its first full-scale Denali mock-up, and, to wrap up the 2018 event, EAA’s second-ever One Week Wonder completed its first successful flight just one day after the show ended. The Van’s RV12iS was built entirely over the course of the show week by volunteers ranging from experienced builders to show attendees who had never before touched a rivet.