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Thread: HBC/HBP vs Vintage

  1. #1

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    HBC/HBP vs Vintage

    First, please don't take what I am about to ask as a complaint at all. I am just very curious as to how Vintage is parked/camped right out in the center of the action, while Homebuilt is quite a bit out of the way.

    How did this come about? This was just my second year flying in and I don't have any historical knowledge, but I figured that since EAA is based around experimental aircraft, the positions would be reversed.

    That being said, I really do like where HBC is located, I am just curious as to the history of this.

    Thanks,
    Shannon

  2. #2
    PaulDow's Avatar
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    Others who have been there more times than me can probably elaborate, or correct me. I believe in ye olden days, the center of the convention grounds was the brown arch. That would put homebuilding at the center. As more exhibits came in, there was more room to expand south, so that has become the center of activity.
    Also Vintage, and Warbirds, are more of a social activity. Homebuilding aircraft is a more solitary activity. That seems to provide the resources to develop a more organized presence than the HB people.

  3. #3
    FlyingRon's Avatar
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    Understand that the show center has moved south over the years. Paul is correct that the "brown arch" was indeed the center. Essentially the show ran from the the Com building with row after row of homebuilts on the flight line going north past the arch (which was slightly south of center) to the north where the warbirds started (they had frontage on the flight line and along the diagonal runway).

    Note originally, there was no dedicated homebuilt camping area. You were not permitted to camp in the homebuilt area. All aircraft camping, Vintage, Homebuilt, Amphib, whatever, went south. Vintage got a few rows of parking of their own (starting at the com building and in the area between the Hangar Cafe and the Theater in the Woods) but the rest of the south 40 was all camping, interspersed with homebuilts and vintage.

    I used to stand out on the taxiway with a "CAMPING WITH AIRCRAFT?" sign pulling vintage and homebuilts alike down in our area. The signs are still kicking around our operations building, but they've been obviated by the adoption of the GAC/GAP/HBC/HBP/VAC/VAP signs.

    Several things happened over the years.

    One was the takeoff crash of a DC-3 (pilot error, neglected to lock the tail wheel on takeoff) that ended up in the paved ditch between the runway and taxiway Papa. As a result the FAA made us move the burn line back. Previously, we parked planes pretty much all the way out to taxiway Papa. We lost a plane per row on that. The warbirds were substantially moved back as well.

    As a result of a subsequent turf "wars" the Warbirds got further displaced, Homebuilt lobbied for and got their own camping area and the south 40 camping got left exclusively to Vintage (and amphibs).

    The show got fatter. New exhibit buildings were constructed south and west of the old ones (the old ones remain as the government pavilions and the like). Bigger forum buildings replaced the older tents on condemned land (primarily the SOS brothers). Over the years the flymart and other outside exhibits were moved further south, all the way to the theatre in the woods and the red barn.

    The comm building is where the announcers stand and it's pretty much what they use for the center of the airshow acts, however, it's not even the center of the airport. When the jet teams (Blue Angels and the Thunderbirds) come, their acrobatic box is actually centered further south (right about the Papa 3 taxiway).

    Vintage space has been eaten up over the past years as well. Periodically they dump some exhibit tent in the middle of our north end though thankfully that has been gone the past few years. We lost a lot of space due to the construction of the perimeter fence around the airport and a road just inside of it. A larger Vintage Cafe, additional registration buildings, and the south 40 camp store further diminished the space.

    They did add some more parking last year reclaimed out of a corn field at the south end we dubbed "Green Acres." Last year it was it lousy shape as it hadn't been sufficiently firmed up after being cropped. This year, things down there even in our existing areas let alone the new stuff was often too soupy to park things in. When GA lost some room in the North 40 last year to construction, we got a bit of their overflow. We also did a small amount of that this year even though he North 40 (other than due to water issues) had gotten back the space they had previously lost.

    This is the first year we got close to closiong down there. Not that we have more space, but because we got really creative in parking people. We parked people at the end of the aisles and pushed some back into things that hadn't previously been spaces.
    Last edited by FlyingRon; 08-05-2017 at 10:56 AM.

  4. #4

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    Thanks for the responses! I figured it had to have been an iterative thing.

  5. #5
    L16 Pilot's Avatar
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    Also, and correct me if I'm wrong, wasn't the Brown Arch the entry spot to the flight line way back when you either needed a pilots license or be a guest of one to get on the flight line. Other spectators stayed behind the fence (?). Not sure what year that all changed.
    If God had intended man to fly He would have given us more money!

  6. #6
    FlyingRon's Avatar
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    Correct, there were TWO types of admissions back in the day. Normal admission got you into the exhibits/fly mart. To get through the arch, or south on Wittman road past the red barn, you had to have a "flight line" pass which either meant you were a pilot, a member of the EAA or some other pilot group (like AOPA), or otherwise approved.

    Of course, I remember back when you had to indicate to AOPA that you were either at least a STUDENT pilot or an aircraft owner to join as well.

  7. #7
    Mayhemxpc's Avatar
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    My first Oshkosh trip was like that. I went with my father, in his Baron and flew to Fiske approach. I was a relatively new pilot then and absolutely amazed by the approach and departure. Going through the brown arch with my flight line pass made me feel quite special. I was a young man then, as a wrote, a new pilot and recently returned from aan extended tour in Germany (and therefore reacquainting myself with America at the same time.) All amazing. I still tell people about the approach and departure that day. (It was just a day trip!) I am not saying that it should be like that today, but it was just very different. Today, we need to make more people feel that aviation is approachable for everyone and the non-pilot crowd at Oshkosh is reasonably well behaved - which is very different that other AirShow/aviation events I have participated in.
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  8. #8
    EAA Staff Joda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlyingRon View Post
    Correct, there were TWO types of admissions back in the day. Normal admission got you into the exhibits/fly mart. To get through the arch, or south on Wittman road past the red barn, you had to have a "flight line" pass which either meant you were a pilot, a member of the EAA or some other pilot group (like AOPA), or otherwise approved.
    Yes, that's true. Back then, your EAA membership card got you through the front gate free, and you had to pay a few bucks for the flight line pass. Also, EAA members used to be able to park for free, and non-members paid a few bucks to park. Then for a while EAA members got a discount on parking. All that went away in the early 80s, when they started rearranging the flight line and took the fence down that used to divide the flight line from the "general admission" area.
    Cheers!

    Joe

  9. #9
    FlyingRon's Avatar
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    It went away later than that. I think the general admission/flight line distinction disappeared in 1994. It was definitely in place in 1992.

  10. #10
    EAA Staff Joda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlyingRon View Post
    It went away later than that. I think the general admission/flight line distinction disappeared in 1994. It was definitely in place in 1992.
    Yeah, you could be right. I really don't remember when it changed. I ended up getting rid of all my old flight line passes when we moved to Oshkosh in 2001, so I can't check the years on the buttons anymore. That's too long ago for me to remember!!
    Cheers!

    Joe

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