Sun, Apr 01, 2012
Will Add Spectacular Laser Lights To AirVenture Night Air Show
ANN April 1st Special Edition
Seizing on what he calls a "golden opportunity," EAA president and CEO Rod Hightower announced April 1st that the organization would be purchasing the airborne laser test bed recently retired by the U.S. Air Force. The Boeing 747 has already been added to the lineup for the very popular Night Air Show at AirVenture 2012.
"Laser light shows are very well received in planetariums all over the country," Hightower told ANN. "We saw this as a golden opportunity to add something really unique to what is already a spectacular night air show which wraps up AirVenture. And don't tell anybody, but we've actually got the money to do this."
Since the laser used on the test bed was powerful to destroy a missile in the boost stage, Hightower said it would certainly be adequate for igniting the pyrotechnics at the end of the show. "Imagine a Boeing 747, and this one looks like it's right out of Star Wars, making a low pass across 18-36 blasting laser beams out of its nose and igniting all those barrels of fuel used for the finale of the show. It'll become the 'can't miss' spectacular everyone will be talking about."
EAA has already begun the process of working with KOSH officials to apply for AIP grants for Wittman Field to extend the runway to accommodate the big Boeing, and a new hangar will have to be built as well. Until those improvements can be completed, the 747 will be based at General Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee. "It's just one more way we can make AirVenture truly the worlds' greatest aviation celebration," Hightower said. Terms of the purchase from the U.S. Government were not disclosed.
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