The EAA AirVenture Museum is an aviation history museum in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. What began in a basement in the Milwaukee suburb of Franklin in the early 1950’s has grown to what it is today: no longer only a world class aviation museum, but now also one of the world's premier aviation gatherings, the EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, which is held for seven days in the summer every year. The gathering welcomes over 500,000 people from around the world each year who come to watch historic and military aircraft fly, conduct aerobatic performances, and view vintage, homebuilt and many other airplanes parked on the museum grounds.
Originally known as the Experimental Aircraft Association
Fly-In, the first event was held in 1953 at what is now Timmerman Field in
Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The gathering was only part of a larger event called the
Milwaukee Air Pageant. In their initial debut, only around 150 attended and
only there were only a few homebuilt and modified planes in the show. But over the
years, the event grew in numbers and spread by word-of-mouth, and it was
eventually moved to Rockford, Illinois in 1959.
In 1969, the event again moved, this time to the Oshkosh
airfield, to accommodate the rising number of planes and visitors. The variety
of aircraft increased to include warbirds, antiques, aeronautics, and aerobatic
performances. The museum and in the infrastructure were built relatively
quickly and the museum itself has since expanded to include a variety of
By 1969, it was becoming apparent that the EAA Fly-In
Convention had simply become too large an event for the Rockford facility,
which could no longer contain the whole show. Oshkosh city officials eagerly
sought the event, hoping the economic boost would bring new life to the area. Unsurprisingly,
by late 1969, the EAA board approved the move to Oshkosh.
EAA AirVenture Oshkosh (the new name for the Fly-In
Convention as of 1998) now serves as one of the world's premier aviation
events, attracting top government officials, corporate leaders and hundreds of
thousands of aviation enthusiasts. The area also holds the museum, which
attracts multitudes of eager aviation enthusiasts.
The ever-popular, week-long event holds a wide variety of machines
and attractions and gathers 10,000 airplanes each year. More than 500,000
aviation enthusiasts attend the event, and annually supply the local and state
economies with more than a $110-million boost.
In more recent years, the convention grounds and museum have
seen a multitude of visitor-oriented enhancements implemented into the area and
several improvements to the exhibit areas in order to retain the fly-in's