11:10 AM

Only at Oshkosh

The annual migration to Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, Wisconsin means something different to each visitor. To some, it is a chance to buy hot new equipment and avionics at show prices, and to others it is the row after row of show-quality aircraft lined up literally as far as the eye can see.

And while we all can agree it is the most fun any pilot or aviation enthusiast can have while still attached to the surface of our planet, there is one common denominator that every one of Airventure's attendee's share: The afternoon air shows!

Generally, the drill goes like this:

From the morning opening of the show through early afternoon, time is spent wandering the four gigantic exhibition halls, visiting all the groovy show planes at Aeroshell Square, eating grilled Brats or walking the miles of aircraft parking lots, looking at the most beautiful examples of each breed of flying machine imaginable. But as the afternoon winds down, everyone – except those tethered to some sort of exhibit booth – begins a mass eastbound migration to the edge of KOSH's runway 18/36. And for the next few hours, the very best of the very best in this country's aerobatics acts performs their "A" routines, and it is always, ALWAYS a great show.
Yes, if there is a hot aerobatic act in the USA, expect them to be in Cheese and Brats Land in late July, that's just the way it's always been. Of course, you can expect Patty Wagstaff, Julie Clark, Mike Goulian, Gene Soucy and Sean Tucker to be there, but I'll bet you didn't expect this, from the Airventure site:
"The only aerobatic helicopter show in North America will appear at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2008. Red Bull's BO 105 CBS helicopter, a stock Eurocopter/Messerschmitt Boelkow Blohm (MBB), will perform its unique maneuvers during the annual event scheduled July 28-August 3 at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh. Pilot Chuck Aaron holds the distinction as the only pilot licensed in the United States to fly aerobatics in a helicopter. His performances feature aerobatic maneuvers achieved previously only in fixed-wing aircraft, including loops and rolls, but also nearly the entire regimen of maneuvers reserved for fixed-wing aircraft; the Split-S, Immelman, Half Cuban Eight, and even the challenging Lomcevak, slightly modified by Aaron for the helicopter."
This is the kind of thing that makes Oshkosh, well, Oshkosh. Aaron's Red Bull MBB gets it's power from a pair of 425 hp Rolls Royce C-20B turbine engines that spin composite rotor blades mated to a solid titanium head. There is a great Youtube video of this act found here.

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