Air Venture 2003

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In 2003, I was achieving the construction of my aircraft and I just needed a few nuts (platenuts), bolts and an extinguisher... So, I spent little time shopping for parts and more time visiting the few things I never saw.  Also, this year, I brought one of my two sons with me.  We really enjoyed our visit to Oshkosh.

Again, our camping installation was very simple when compared to those going there with their Prevost Car. My tent is the little red one with a silver cover on it.  Some people need more comfort than that and we were impressed when we saw one camper bringing a pool (complete with the pump/filter installation!)  We don't even have water at our site!

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Some time was spent looking at new Zodiac stuff... Zenith Aircraft presented their new XL options (dual stick and tail wheel).  ZAC's site looked less occupied since the CZECH kiosk was across the street.  Four models were on display:  a 701, a 801, a 601XL and a 640.  With so many models on display, it is still much better than many kiosks showing a single model!  I'm always impressed when I can meet the designer of my plane and ask him to approve some technical solutions to problems I have.  This happened once again this year when Chris Heintz looked at a hole spacing situation I have on my 601 HD.

Here are some 601-XL Detail pictures:

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Aside from that, I saw only one other Zodiac at AirVenture... I think that it would be beneficial for ZAC to make their planes more visible.  A simple list at their kiosk identifying the location of Zodiacs on the site would be helpful.  I wonder if they could also reserve a section for Zenair flyers in the Homebuilt section facing the flight line.  There are rows of Thorp, Cozy's, Lancairs..... and even a row of Sonex.  I did'nt mention the whole area reserved to RV owners.

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OK for the bad stuff... for the rest, we've been pretty excited.  For the first time, I spent a lot of time looking at the airshows.  

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People are nice at Oshkosh.  While coming back from the air show, my son noticed "XB-" marks on an aircraft.  The owner, Jesus Delgado, was there and I asked him where this plane came from.  He was very pleased to tell us how he came from Mexico and he was going to fly to Canada from Ontario to Prince-Edward Island.  Jesus sat Francis in the pilot seat of his beautiful aircraft and agreed to be photographed with us.  He also has a web site on the internet.

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Being with my son, we went to visit Kid Venture and the Museum.  Both are very nice and are worth visiting.  While I don't have pictures of the museum, we found it very impressive. There are many planes at Kid Venture where the kids can climb in them and operate the controls.  I explained Francis how the controls worked at what were the flight and engine instruments.  With the help of voluntary staff, he also built a plane, an helicopter and flew a RC model on a simulator.  For a kid who does not understand the English language, he did pretty well!

Sea planes come to Oshkosh at a different site.  There is a very nice sea plane base off-site attainable with by bus.   That site is very contrasting to the rest of AirVenture in that it is a very relaxing environment.   I took some time to sit down, and look at the beautiful lake (not shown on the pictures). 

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Finally, some miscellaneous pictures:

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Michel Therrien, (c) 1999 - 2003.