EAA announced a new focal point at the 2018 AirVenture airshow today – skydiving! The annual event, known to many simply as “Oshkosh”, will feature several different types of skydiving demonstrations this year. The Patriot Parachute Team, a regular at AirVenture, will perform their usual ‘flag jump’ to open the show, as well as a nighttime pyrotechnic routine during the night airshow. The Red Bull Air Force will demonstrate a low-altitude “BASE”-style jump from the Red Bull helicopter, and show off their highly maneuverable wingsuits alongside Kirby Chambliss’ Edge 540. The Vertical Elite group will be featured during the night airshow as well, using colorful LEDs on their suits to light up the sky. Perhaps the coolest performance will come from the International Skydiving Museum Eagles, a group of more than 100 jumpers who assemble into massive formations during freefall.
The article does not mention if the group will attempt to claim a new record for most jumpers in formation after 108 skydivers calling themselves “Eagles Over Oshkosh” set the Wisconsin state record during AirVenture 2015 appearance. They were attempting to grab the world record. Director of AirVenture Air Show Operations Dennis Dunbar says that fan reaction to that appearance was a driving force behind the 2018 focus. You can watch for yourself in our video below!
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Here is the full text of the EAA press release:
March 29, 2018 – A number of skydiving activities are scheduled to take place during the afternoon and night air shows on Wednesday, July 25, during EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2018, celebrating an area of aviation that has been less prevalent at AirVenture in the past.
“While skydiving has always been a part of AirVenture, the reaction to the mass parachute jump demonstration in 2015 reinforced a desire to see more of the diverse methods people use to depart ‘perfectly good aircraft’ and ultimately land with a parachute,” said Dennis Dunbar, director of AirVenture air show operations.
The Patriot Parachute Team will kick off the afternoon air show and the day’s skydiving activities, putting on a patriotic display of the American flag during the national anthem. In a second act, the team will demonstrate what it takes to be an elite U.S. Navy SEAL, and a member of one of the premier skydiving demonstration teams in the nation. The team will also perform a pyrotechnics routine in the night air show, highlighting maneuvers only their team has ever performed.
The International Skydiving Museum Eagles, named in honor of the Eagles aerobatic team, includes 100-plus jumpers from more than 10 countries. They will perform massive and intricately patterned formations, aweing crowds as they break away with lateral speeds of more than 70 mph and vertical speeds of 120 mph before their parachutes pop open.
The Red Bull Air Force will amaze crowds day and night with cutting-edge demonstrations and an AirVenture-first low-altitude base jump from the famous Red Bull helicopter. The Red Bull Air Force wingsuit pilots will demonstrate their maneuverability and flights made famous in motion pictures, while the Red Bull helicopter and Kirby Chambliss in his Red Bull Edge 540 fly formation aerobatics with the wingsuits.
Vertical Elite will streak across the night sky from miles above the ground in a sensational show. Diving with their heads toward the Earth, they will accelerate to 170 mph, with formations of skeletal LED visuals and pyrotechnics lighting up the sky before they land feet from our night air show attendees.
“We have gone out and found the most talented teams and individuals that represent their facet of skydiving and have gathered them in Oshkosh to put on a once in a lifetime opportunity to see what skydiving has to offer,” Dennis said.