DEARBORN, Mich., June 30, 2011 – Ford Motor Company takes EAA AirVenture Oshkosh to new heights in 2011, marking its 12th consecutive year as the exclusive automotive partner for the world’s greatest aviation celebration. The popular Ford Hangar will feature some of the latest advances in automobile technology, as well as many of the industry’s most revered classics, all on the grounds of Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, Wis.
Ford’s commitment to bringing first-rate entertainment and attractions to the annual convention of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) includes expanded car shows, new activities and an evening dedicated to the blues. EAA AirVenture Oshkosh takes place July 25 to July 31, a week in which Wittman becomes the busiest airport in the world.
Ford will donate a one-of-a-kind, naval aviation-inspired 2012 “Blue Angels” Mustang for auction to support the EAA Young Eagles. This organization has provided free introductory flights to more than 1.6 million young people since 1992, while also teaching the value of hard work, personal responsibility and enhanced math and science skills.
EAA AirVenture 2011 will feature 10,000 aircraft, including 2,500 show planes, and is expected to attract more than 500,000 aviation enthusiasts from more than 70 countries. The 59th edition of AirVenture also will host the largest collection of naval aircraft spanning all eras ever assembled in one location for the weeklong Centennial of Naval Aviation commemoration.
All Ford events and attractions are free and open to all EAA AirVenture attendees. Additionally, Ford offers a special Partner Recognition vehicle purchase plan to EAA members.
“EAA AirVenture is an annual opportunity for Ford Motor Company to celebrate our aviation heritage and the innovation it has inspired in our vehicles with people passionate about cutting-edge technology and engineering,” said Edsel B. Ford II, a member of Ford’s Board of Directors. “This year, AirVenture will be even more exciting as we also celebrate the centennial anniversary of naval aviation and 110th anniversary of Ford Racing with exciting new activities and themes at the Ford Hangar.”
REO Speedwagon Gives AirVenture a Rockin’ Start
Ford will present legendary American rock band REO Speedwagon as the EAA AirVenture opening day feature performance, free of charge to all AirVenture guests. Concert activities will begin at 5:30 p.m., Monday, July 25 adjacent to the Ford Hangar. REO Speedwagon is known the world over, attracting audiences across generations for more than 40 years. The group has sold more than 40 million records and charted 13 Top 40 hits, including No. 1 hits “Can’t Fight This Feeling” and “Keep on Loving You.”
Ford Presents the “Fly-In Theater”
Ford Motor Company returns this year as presenting sponsor of the EAA AirVenture “Fly-In Theater.” This open-air Fly-In Theater will offer free evening entertainment for attendees. Located adjacent to EAA’s Camp Scholler camping area, each evening at approximately 8:30 p.m., thousands of patrons will watch free aviation-themed movies on the theater’s five-story screen while sitting under the night sky. Each feature will be introduced by a celebrity presenter or legendary aviator and the 2011 lineup includes Harrison Ford and George Lucas as presenters.
Expanded Cruisin’ Legends Collector Car Show
EAA AirVenture guests can see spectacular performance machines such as the John Force Racing team cars, the ROUSH performance lineup and view some of the world’s most timeless, pristinely restored Ford Motor Company vehicles at the Cruisin’ Legends car show on Knapp Street near Warbird Alley. Due to the popularity of Cruisin’ Legends in 2010, Ford has expanded the concept this year to accommodate more vehicles. The featured themes: Monday, July 25 and Tuesday, July 26 – Hot Rod Heaven; Wednesday, July 27 – Fabulous Thunderbirds and Model T’s; Thursday, July 29, Friday July 30 and Saturday, July 31 – Mustang Stampede. The popular Ford mechanical bucking bronco also will be hosted in the Cruisin’ Legends exhibit.
EAA”s “Super Saturday” Transforms Ford Hanger to “Ford Hangar of Blues”
As an added bonus to EAA’s “Super Saturday” on July 30, Ford will present Da BLOOZE Bros. The “ultimate tribute band” to The Blues Brothers will take center stage for an energetic blues set from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Ford Hangar as it is transformed into the “Ford Hangar of Blues.” Da
Model T Time
Henry Ford’s Model T revolutionized the consumer automobile industry when it hit the market in 1908. More than 100 years later, thousands of EAA AirVenture attendees will join Ford in celebrating the innovation by partaking in a parade of fully-functional Model Ts, browsing an incredible collection of the vehicles and taking rides in any of several Model Ts on site with members of the Model T Ford Club of America. Experience a ride in a Model T on Thursday, July 28 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the EAA Museum entrance.
Freebies, Autographs, Zip Line, Rock Wall and Other Attractions
The Ford Hangar, located at ConocoPhillips Plaza, is one of the most popular attractions at AirVenture each year and is overseen by animated and personable Hangar Master Narrator “Hank” the Robot.
The Ford Hangar also will feature the Lincoln Legends and Heroes “Autograph HQ” with celebrities, aviation enthusiasts, legendary performers and other special guests on site at various times throughout the course of the event, interacting with fans and signing autographs. Personalities scheduled to sign autographs for fans at the Ford Hangar include Jack Roush, John Force, astronauts and pilots.
Ford Hangar guests will have the opportunity test their racing skills with the Ford Fiesta Rally Simulator, experience the Laguna Seca race track, and test their mettle in an F-150 game area Campers should watch for the Ford Transit Connect distributing free ice cream each evening in the campgrounds.
To stay connected to all Ford EAA AirVenture news, connect with the Ford EAA AirVenture team on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/FordAirventure or visit http://www.FordAirventure.com.
For more information on EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2011, visit http://www.AirVenture.org.