<July 29, 2007>

Airventure 2007

I got back today from Airventure 2007, and as usual it never disappoints. Of course, there were lots of nice RVs to look at and all sorts of fancy avionics, engines and accessories for my plane, but the real fun is seeing and talking to friends. Chad Jensen and I camped out in Camp Scholler for a few days and it was a blast. We are already talking about a repeat performance next year. One Airventure has passed and already I can't wait for the next.

I was able to meet many of the builders that I communicate with online, many for the first time. It sure it nice to put a face with a name, and I really appreciated all the thanks for the web site I received from several of you. I sure hope we can meet again in 2008.

There was so much to see (as usual) so rather than bore you with words, let's move right to the pictures. I have a few highlights and comments posted below, but you can also follow the links below to my complete Airventure photo galleries. Enjoy!

Rivetbangers.com Dinner at the Black Otter

Airventure 2007 Photo Gallery

You know you're getting close when you see this sign.

Our home for the next few days. Despite the occasional rain shower I really enjoyed camping in Camp Scholler.

P-51 "Gunfighter" taxiing by. Nice plane!

The first ever RV-7 on floats.

A 35 ship RV formation fly-by. This was absolutely amazing.

The cockpit of the Rans S-19. I was really impressed with this airplane, and if I weren't building the RV-7, I would probably build an S-19.

Tuesday night was the RV Family BBQ. That's the organizer Bob Collins on the left, with our cook for the evening Darwin Barrie in the middle, and Stein Bruch of Stein Air on the right. Just as it was last year, this was a great party!

The Carbon Cub from Cubcrafters. All I can say is... WOW!!! At the Alaskan Bush Plane festival, this thing took-off in 19-feet, yes 19-feet! The exciting thing is that they are considering offering this as a kit. I want one!!!

The engines on this Grumman F7F Tigercat were so clean you could eat off of them.

The U-2 made an appearance and taxied into the crowd. Very cool.

Air show time. This stock Stearman put on a good show, but because it didn't have inverted fuel it occasionally sputtered and spit flame and smoke. It sure got the crowds attention.

The new 4-ship act call the Collaborators. That's Sean Tucker in the lead, his son Eric Tucker on left wing, Ben Freelove on right wing, and Bill Stein flying slot. Ben and Bill are old friends from from my competition aerobatics days (Ben also gave me my last BFR), and it was nice to chat with old friends. Ben now teaches for Sean Tucker's school, and this was his air show debut. It looked like he was having a blast. Great job guys!

Ah, one of my favorite airplanes, the Sukhoi Su-31... sigh.

This is what it's all about, sharing a beer with friends after a long day at the show. Chad's dad Jeff drove up from Illinois and joined us for a few days. He's one cool laid back guy.

Before hitting the road, we visited the EAA museum. It was very cool, much cooler than I thought it would be, and we got to see the very first RV while we were there.