Sunday July 30, 2006
Oshkosh
(Miscellaneous, Purchases)

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I just got back from Oshkosh about an hour ago. It was my first time to the epic aviation event and I had a great time. Friday, I was an idiot and neglected the sunscreen; needless to say, Saturday I had a colossal sun burn. Mostly, though, I had a great time. I saw many, many, many airplanes, spectacular aerobatics, a hell of a lot of people, and some cool explosions.

Friday, we (Nick went too) checked out the Aeroshell square (a huge C-17, the impressive B-1 bomber, and an assortment of others), walked around the flightline while watching the arrivals and departures, watched the (very long) airshow, and visited the Van's tent.

I'm 6'5" tall and had been concerned about my fit in an RV, but I had my first opportunity to sit in an RV-7 (one of Van's) and there were no problems. There were a few inches of clearance between my head and the canopy and I had no issues with my knees, the panel, and the rudder pedals. The only thing I noticed was that I probably wouldn't install a throttle quadrant on the left hand side of the panel (al la Dan Checkoway), as it might hit my legs.

Unfortunately, there were no more RV demo rides available for the rest of the show, so I'll have to look for one elsewhere. The only thing we didn't get to do at Oshkosh was fly.

The two airshows we saw were spectacular. I was very impressed by the aerobatic routines and there was a cool flyover by the Blue Angels. The most interesting flying I saw, however, was the capability demonstration by the B-1 bomber as it was leaving Friday afternoon. It's one seriously overpowered beast--in its last flyover, the pilot came screaming over the field doing at least 400 knots, kicked in the afterburners, and pitched up into a 40,000 feet per minute climb. It was impressive.

We visited most of the vendor displays and booths. I saw a lot of the companies that I've read about on Dan Checkoway's page and on the Van's Airforce pages. It was nice to see some of this hardware in person for the first time.

I had decided to go with the Avery Tools RV tool kit, so I placed the order this morning at their booth, taking advantage of several Oshkosh-specific sales they were doing. I got the full Avery RV kit, but replaced the hand rivet squeezer with the pneumatic one and added two extra yokes (thin/no-hole and longeron). It should ship out early this week.

We saw a lot more stuff, but I'm not going to discuss all of it here. I'd encourage everyone to visit the world's largest aviation event at least once in their lives. It's worth it.

Now, back to the topic of this web site: my RV-7. With the tool kit ordered at Oshkosh, I'm planning to place the empennage order with Van's this week. Everything will be here and ready to go when I get back from my RV workshop at the end of August! Oshkosh got me even more pumped up about this project.

I leave you with some random pictures from Oshkosh. I was horribly negligent with picture taking (mostly due to that sunburn I mentioned), so there isn't much.

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