EAA AirVenture Oshkosh in 2010 to Celebrate 50th Anniversary of Popular Piper Cherokee Aircraft

 EAA AVIATION CENTER, OSHKOSH, Wis. – (Dec. 22, 2009) – One of the iconic general aviation airplanes of the past half-century, the Piper Cherokee, will be honored this summer at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, "The World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration," at Wittman Regional Airport on July 26-August 1.

       The four-place, low-wing airplane has been a staple at general aviation airports since its introduction in 1960. The original design has undergone several evolutions since that first year, but it remains a recognizable part of the flight training and recreational flying world.

       At AirVenture 2010, a mass arrival of 50 aircraft will kick off the golden anniversary event, with other activities and programs included for Cherokee owners and enthusiasts throughout the week. All Piper Cherokee clubs and owners groups are invited to participate in the activities.

       "There are just a few airplanes that are instantly recognizable as part of the flying community at nearly every airport, and the Piper Cherokee is among them," said Tom Poberezny, EAA president and AirVenture chairman.  "The design has been a part of aviation history for those learning to fly, enjoying the freedom of flight or using an aircraft as part of their business.  In addition, more than 250,000 young people have been flown in Cherokees as part of EAA’s Young Eagles program. With that superb legacy, we are eager to give all the Cherokee aircraft and enthusiasts a warm welcome at Oshkosh next summer."

       The historic mass arrival of Cherokees on Friday, July 23, just before AirVenture’s opening day, is being organized by the Cherokees2Osh group and has already filled its maximum of 50 aircraft.  All Cherokee owners and pilots are welcome to arrive at Oshkosh independently, however, and participate in all the other festivities.  More information on the group and other activities is available at the group’s website at www.cherokees2osh.com.

       The Cherokee received its type certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration in 1960 and was first shipped to the marketplace in 1961.  More than 30,000 Cherokees and their direct descendants, the Piper Warrior and Arrow, have been built over the past 50 years.

       "There’s no better place to bring together the greatest number of Cherokees for the airplanes’ 50th anniversary than Oshkosh," said Terry Hocking of Nashwauk, Minn., who is a lead organizer of the celebration.  "The Cherokee has been an important part of the aviation
community for the past 50 years, so we’re looking forward a great reunion of aircraft and people at AirVenture in 2010."

       Any additional highlights and activities during the Cherokee 50th anniversary will be announced as they are finalized by EAA.

       EAA AIRVENTURE OSHKOSH is The World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration and EAA’s yearly membership convention.  Additional EAA AirVenture information, including advance ticket and camping purchase, is available online at www.airventure.org.  EAA members receive lowest prices on admission rates.  For more information on EAA and its programs, call 1-800-JOIN-EAA (1-800-564-6322) or visit www.eaa.org. Immediate news is available at http://twitter.com/EAAupdate.