Returning for its 15th consecutive year as exclusive automotive sponsor for the world’s greatest aviation celebration, Ford Motor Company will bring exciting attractions and fan favorites to the 2014 Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) AirVenture Oshkosh. The popular Ford Hangar will feature state-of-the-art interactive attractions, the latest advances in automobile technology and the entire lineup of the most extensive launch of new vehicles in Ford history: all on the grounds of Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, Wis.
This year, Ford’s commitment to bring first-rate entertainment and attractions to the EAA annual convention includes an opening day concert featuring Kenny Loggins; a celebration of “50 Years of Mustang” activities, including Mustang pedal cars, electric cars, classic cars and the all-new 2015 Mustang; the nightly Fly-In Movie Theater with blockbuster and classic aviation films; the Raptor Rock Wall and Tough Tumblers Bungee Trampolines; and a closing Saturday evening dedicated to the Beatles. EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2014 takes place July 28 to August 3, a week in which Wittman becomes the busiest airport in the world.
EAA AirVenture attracts 10,000 aircraft each year, including nearly 2,500 show planes, and is expected to draw more than 500,000 aviation enthusiasts from more than 70 countries.
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, from which more than 48,000 EAA members have purchased or leased Ford Motor Company vehicles.
F-35 Lightning II Edition 2015 Mustang
For the seventh consecutive year, Ford will create and donate a unique Ford Mustang to be sold, via auction, at the Gathering of Eagles charity event to support the EAA Young Eagles program. This year, the Ford Design and Engineering teams created the 2015 F-35 Lightning II Edition Mustang GT. The car was specially built for AirVenture, drawing inspiration from the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II aircraft, which represents the pinnacle of more than 50 years of fighter technology. The nonprofit EAA Young Eagles has provided free introductory flights to more than 1.8 million young people since 1992, helping inspire and motivate the next generation of leaders, aviators and innovators.
The one-of-a-kind F-35 Lightning II Edition Mustang will be one of the first salable all-new 2015 Ford Mustangs. The design of the modified 2015 Mustang GT 5.0-liter Fastback exudes a creative connection to the F-35 Lightning II joint forces strike fighter, while highlighting the design features of the new Mustang. Ford Design Manager Melvin Betancourt and Mustang Chief Engineer Dave Pericak led the respective teams.
The exterior will showcase a customized glossy and matte titanium paint scheme with distinctive F-35 Lightning II aircraft accents, with a carbon fiber front splitter, rear diffuser and rocker moldings added. The interior will include performance gauges, modified instrument clusters, Recaro seats and embroidered F-35 Lightning II elements in the seats and floor mats, among other distinctive design elements.
Ford’s unique vehicles have become star properties for collectors and attendees, garnering more than $2.5 million to benefit the Young Eagles’ efforts. The F-35 Lightning II Edition Mustang will be on display all week at the Ford Hangar.
“The F-35 Lightning aircraft demonstrates unprecedented versatility and delivers state-of-the-art air superiority with its speed, agility, power and advanced technology. These are all attributes shared by the iconic Ford Mustang,” said Edsel B. Ford II, a member of the Ford Board of Directors. “As Ford Motor Company celebrates 50 years of Mustang, it is our honor to draw inspiration from the F-35, also celebrating 50 years, to support the next generation of pilots in the EAA Young Eagles program.”
Kenny Loggins and Blue Sky Riders Rock Opening Day
Ford will present legendary rock musician Kenny Loggins – with the opening act featuring his new project, country trio Blue Sky Riders with Gary Burr and Georgia Middleman – as the EAA AirVenture opening day feature concert, free of charge to all AirVenture guests that day. The concert performance will begin at 6 p.m., Monday, July 28 on EAA Plaza, adjacent to the Ford Hangar. Loggins, known for such hits as Footloose, Danger Zone This Is It and the Caddyshack soundtrack, has earned 12 platinum albums, a pair of Grammys and has hits on nearly all of the Billboard charts. Blue Sky Riders’ debut album Finally Home was released in January 2013.
Ford Presents the “Fly-In Theater”
Ford Motor Company will again serve as the presenting sponsor of the EAA AirVenture “Fly-In Theater.” Located adjacent to EAA’s Camp Scholler camping area, the open-air Fly-In Theater offers free evening entertainment for attendees. Each evening at approximately 8:30 p.m. (9:30 p.m. on Wednesday and Saturday), thousands of patrons will watch free aviation-themed movies on the theater’s five-story screen while sitting under the night sky. The 2014 lineup includes Wings (1927), Gravity, Star Trek Into Darkness, The Millionaires’ Unit: America’s Pioneer Pilots of the Great War, Man of Steel, Pacific Rim and Ender’s Game.
“Super Saturday” to Feature 1964 The Tribute
Ford welcomes the ultimate Beatles cover band, 1964 The Tribute during EAA’s “Super Saturday” at 6:30 p.m. on August 2. Rolling Stone Magazine called this fabulous four, which has performed more than 2,900 shows, “The Best Beatles Tribute on Earth.” The band will take the audience through a musical journey of the pre-Sgt. Pepper era center stage next to the Ford Hangar between afternoon and evening air shows.
1964 The Tribute features Mark Benson as John Lennon, Mac Ruffing as Paul McCartney, Tom Work as George Harrison and Bobby Potter as Ringo Star.
New This Year
The original American pony car, the Ford Mustang, celebrates 50 years of production in 2014, and attendees of AirVenture can help Ford commemorate the occasion with the “50 Years of Mustang” six-decade tribute at the Ford Hangar. A collection of classic Mustangs through the all-new 2015 Mustang will be on display, and children can ride on miniature replica Mustang Electric Pony cars, drive Mustang Pedal Go Karts or build their own with the Snap-Together Mustang models they can assemble on-site. Guests also can try their skills at the Mustang pinball arcade or hop in the Mustang 50 Years Photo Booth for fun with props as they memorialize their favorite decade in their own photo strip.
For high-tech activities, the Ford Hangar is the place to be. The Lockheed Martin F-35 Cockpit Demonstration System will allow show goers to “fly” the all-new F-35 Lightning II strike fighter aircraft. Instructor pilots will provide briefings and evaluate flight performances. In addition to examining their fighter flight abilities, visitors can test their driving skills on an ultra-realistic road course featuring the virtual Ford ST performance car or don an Oculus Rift headset to experience leading-edge 3-D virtual reality to ride along with the legendary Ken Block in his 650 HP Fiesta ST. Visitors to the Ford Hangar also can get up close and personal with the F-Series Workshop, featuring demos and displays, including a microscopic view of torture-tested Ford engines and active grill shutter demonstrations.
Model T Experience
Henry Ford’s Model T revolutionized the consumer automobile industry when it hit the market in 1908. More than 105 years later, thousands of EAA AirVenture attendees will join Ford in celebrating the innovation by taking rides in any of several Model Ts onsite with members of the Model T Ford Club of America. Guests can experience a ride in a Model T on Monday through Friday during AirVenture, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Ford Hangar.
A Truly Unique Destination
The Ford Hangar is one of the most popular attractions at AirVenture each year for activities and new vehicles, and 2014 marks the most extensive launch of new products in Ford’s 111-year history. AirVenture will be the first venue in the world for the public to see all the new 2015 Ford and Lincoln vehicles in one location. Ford’s all new versions of the F-150 and Super Duty pickup, the iconic Ford Mustang, the new design of the world’s best-selling nameplate the Ford Focus and Focus ST, the new Ford Edge, the newest Lincoln SUV the MKC, as well as interior and exterior redesigns of the Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator all will be on display.
The Ford Hangar area also will feature “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.
Free collector baseball hats will be given in celebration of six generations of Mustang, distributed free each day at the Ford Hangar. Campers should watch for the Ford Transit Connect distributing free ice cream each evening in the campgrounds.