[This is Steve’s post about his experience at the EAA (Experimental Aircraft Association) Airventure Museum, which he visited during a quick stop at Oshkosh, Wisconsin. I took a pass on this one – you know, some alone time!].
While planning our drive from Egg Harbor in Door County to Baraboo, Wisconsin, I noticed that it was a bit more than 200 miles – just about my limit for a driving day with Betsy. When I looked to see what was mid-way between the two cities, I was happy to discover that it was Oshkosh, home of the annual EAA Airventure gathering at Wittman Regional Airport. I decided right then to make a stop there.
Although I was really hoping to finally attend the Airventure show earlier this summer, we already had plans with friends that just wouldn’t permit it. So, even though the show was long over, I thought it might still be worth spending a night to check out the airport and nearby EAA museum. I’m glad I did!
After visiting at least a half-dozen air museums and exhibits during our travels so far, I felt comfortable rating this one. I enjoyed the medium-sized museum that displayed many aircraft from the beginning of flight until the present. But what made it unique was the area that detailed the Scaled Composites Voyager display, which flew the first non-stop, non-refueled flight around the world by an airplane in 1986. It took 9 days for the aircraft to fly 26,366 miles, piloted by Dick Rutan and Jeanna Yeager.
There was also a display and movie that showed how Scaled Composite’s SpaceShipOne flew into space as the first privately-funded space vehicle in 2004, winning the $10 million dollar Ansari X prize. The company continues as a leader in field of private space travel, and is scheduled to provide rides into space for civilians in the near future. Unfortunately, I don’t think we’ll be able to pony up the required $200,000 per person to take that flight anytime soon!
There were several other displays of original and replica aircraft that I found interesting. I’ve always been a fan of Charles Lindbergh and others who had none of the sophisticated navigational aids that I did while flying. It must have been pretty scary making those long and lonely historic flights!
Although the name Bugatti is synonymous with race cars, the only example of a Bugatti racing plane resides here. It has twin engines driving 2 counter-rotating propellers, an awesome example of unique engineering!
Even though we spent only one night in Oshkosh, we arrived early and I made good use of my day by visiting the museum and then taking my lovely wife to a Filipino restaurant recommended by our friend Lyndon. Why drive 200 miles in a day when I can drive only 100 and have so much fun?
Looks an interesting museum, Steve. I’m not a great aircraft buff but himself is so I accompanied him to the the Pima Air and Space Museum. So glad I did. Have you been?
Yes, I flew into Tucson with my pilot buddies and we went to Pima. Nice to see they are salvaging at least some parts from aircraft and not destroying all of them. Also checked out the Titan Missile Silo while in the area, did you get a chance to see that? Great tour! http://www.titanmissilemuseum.org
Didn’t see that, Steve. Wore ourselves out walking around all the aircraft at the museum.
We both would have enjoyed this museum. We have visited several Space Museums. The one that whichwaynow mentioned above is amazing.
I am with you on alone time though, Mona Liza.
As I saw your travel map I was wondering why Oshkosh was not marked, I thought Steve would enjoy the EAA. I visit Oshkosh every five years for the Pathfinder International Camporee hosted at the airfield and we get access to the museum which I thought is nice.
I asked ML to add our Oshkosh stop to the map, I think she just skipped it because we stayed only one night. But it needs to be there! I hope she sees your comment…Steve
Another destination bookmarked onto my pinterest board! Thanks for the information about the air and space museum and the restaurant!
Looks like a neat museum. Agreed, 200 hundred miles is really pushing the edge of comfort and 100 is plenty far enough!
When in Baraboo make sure to tour the Ringling Theatre. Lunch at the Little Village Cafe on the corner is excellent. This is my home now and I have had a great time exploring the area. Taliesen just south of Spring Green worth a stop…check out the Unity Chapel.
I wanted to check out the Circus Museum but did not get the same enthusiastic nod from hubby:( We enjoyed Baraboo and there is really lots to do and see including Taliesen.
Smart idea! Why miss something when your house is on wheels.
Glad Steve had a good time. I would have been with you taking a pass but not on that restaurant.
Although we would have both enjoyed this museum, alone time for both is not a bad idea. The restaurant sounds wonderful.
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