Once again, Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, retained the title as “world’s busiest airport” last week.

According to Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) CEO Jack Pelton, a record 600,000 people and 15,500 aircraft attended EAA AirVenture – a week-long smorgasbord of air shows, aircraft displays and events dedicated to celebrate general aviation.

2017’s version featured landmark anniversaries. Seven Apollo astronauts reunited for the 50th anniversary of the Apollo Program. Buzz Aldrin, Frank Borman, Walt Cunningham, Joe Engle, Fred Haise, Jim Lovell, Al Worden, and flight director Gene Kranz recounted their experiences at the show on Friday night.

AirVenture 2017 was also the 90th anniversary of Charles Lindbergh’s non-stop solo transatlantic flight in the Spirit of St. Louis, the 75th anniversary of the Doolittle Raiders mission and the 80th anniversary of the iconic tube and fabric Piper Cub.

Spirit of St. Louis replica at the 2017 AirVenture.

One stroll across Boeing Square, the main street of the event, showed the power of GE Aviation’s engine line history. Center stage at AirVenture featured the A-10 Warthog (TF34 engines), the T38 (J85 engines), the Boeing 767 (CF6 engines), the UC-60 Blackhawk (T700 engines) and the Boeing B-1B Lancer (F101 engines):

A-10 Warthog featuring GE’s TF34 engines.

Boeing B-1B Lancer powered by four of GE’s F101 turbofan engines.

Around the field, there were also examples of GE’s H-Series engine, as well as other parts GE Aviation has manufactured during its 99-year history:

Thrush aircraft powered by GE’s H80 engine.

This Nextant G90XT aircraft is equipped with two EEPC (Electronic Engine Propeller Control) H80 engines.

GE entered the aviation industry in 1919 by building turbo superchargers to enhance aircraft engine performance at high altitudes. That continued through WWII, where GE built turbo superchargers for many warbirds, including the B-17 shown here.

You can find many aviation parts, including GE built ones, at EAA AirVenture’s “Fly Market.” Here is a WWII aircraft fuel gauge GE built for primary trainers. It was for sale for $100.

The AirVenture airshow featured the Blue Angels and their F404-powered F-18s, as well as a modified one-of-a-kind 1929 Waco biplane with a CJ610 strapped to the bottom of it. Sponsored by Jack Link’s Beef Jerky, the biplane has been dubbed “the Screaming Sasquatch.”

Blue Angels in their F-18s powered by two of GE’s F404 engines:

B-1B flyover. This aircraft is powered by four of GE’s F101 turbofan engines:

Humidity has its advantages… #kaboom #eaaairventure #b1bomber

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The B-1B also gave one of the biggest thrills of the week on Wednesday, showing the true power of GE’s F101 engines with a low flyover. Later that evening the night airshow and fireworks display lit the Oshkosh skies during a heavy rain downpour (GE Aviation was the title sponsor of the fireworks portion of the event).


Fireworks sponsored by GE Aviation:

GE Aviation was also making headlines with its latest development in the Business and General Aviation (BGA) space. The Advanced Turboprop (ATP), which will power the all new Cessna Denali, is scheduled for its first engine test by the end of the year. GE Aviation had a mock-up of engine on display, as well as a busy team fielding questions about the new powerplant.

During AirVenture, Aviation Week’s video team swung by the GE Aviation display to interview ATP Program Leader Paul Corkery about what drove GE to create a new turboprop:

While the ATP showed GE’s promise of things to come, another GE joint venture was honored for its current innovation. Flying Magazine announced during the show that the HondaJet, powered by GE Honda’s HF120, was the winner of Flying’s first ever Innovation prize. Flying Editor-in-Chief Stephen Pope said the HondaJet was selected for its long list of ingenious design features.

AirVenture 2018 will be held July 23-29. It will also mark GE Aviation’s 100th anniversary. What better way to celebrate than at the event dubbed “the world’s greatest aviation celebration.”