By Willie Bodenstein

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The idea for a Museum dedicated to the homebuilders movement was proposed by Paul Poberezny the founder of the EAA (Experimental Aircraft Association) in 1958 and the museum was founded in 1962 when Steve Wittman after which Wittman Regional Airport was named donated his famous Air Racer, 'Bonzo' to the EAA.

Entry to the Museum that is situated on the western boundary of the grounds close to Highway 41 is free for visitors to AirVenture. The Museum is dedicated to the pioneers of aviation and the homebuilder's movement and the displays focus on historical and experimental aircraft.

Don't expect to see row upon row of Warbirds although there are quite a few on display outside in the park like grounds and more inside. In 1960 the EAA was granted eligibility to receive surplus military aircraft from the USAF (United States Air Force) and its collection now includes the Northprop F-86 Scorpion, North American F-86 Sabre, Lockheed T-33 and P-80 Shooting Star, Republic F-84F Thunderstreak, P-38 Lightning, B-25 Mitchell Bomber, de Havilland Mosquito and P-51 Mustang amongst others

The museum's collection is so extensive that it is impossible to feature all the aircraft on display in this report. Some of the aircraft are household names like the Aeronca C-2-N Deluxe Scout, Cessna 150H, Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15bis, Piper J3C-65, Pietenpol Aircamper, Thorp T-18 and Waco UEC. Others like the Chotia-Vorndran JC24-B Weedhopper, Driggers 1-A, Haufe-Dale Hawk 2, Hegy R.C.H.I. El Chuparosa, Lesher Teal, Unruh Pretty Prairie Special III and Volmer Jensen-Ramey VJ-23E Swingwing probably never found favour but none the less illustrates man's quest to conquer the sky and make flying possible and affordable to the average man in the street.

When in Oshkosh a visit to the museum is a must. This entry in the visitors book just about sums it up: "The Museum is absolutely amazing! The displays are breath taking and like no other anywhere in the world! Where else can you touch a moon rock and an asteroid chunk whilst surrounded by the biggest display of great experimental aircraft, the pioneers of flight and legendary Warbirds? Some may have failed others succeeded. However all contributed to the history of flight.

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Oshkosh 2014
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