Upcoming Project on Runway 9/27


The continued reconstruction of Taxiway B includes the replacement of the High Intensity Runway Lights (HIRL) for Runway 9/27 and the in-ground lighting cans and electrical cabling for the runway lights, as well as the Distance-To-Go markers.


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New Improvements Underway


Residents of Winnebago County have been hearing about the proposed Taxiway B reconstruction project for many months, and have probably been wondering if and when the project is ever going to happen.


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Making a Difference


Minor Improvements Make a Big Difference


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Hangar C Overhaul


The crew of Wittman Regional Airport recently completed an overhaul of the electrical wiring and lighting in the C Hangar complex on the airport’s north side. Recent  advances in lighting technologies, and the overall need to update the electrical service to each hangar to better accommodate other devices needed to support tenants’ aircraft necessitated the work on this complex, which was constructed in 1980.


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Groundbreaking


It took over ten years of discussions, negotiations, ideas and presentations to reach the pinnacle, but the milestone of breaking ground for the new Oshkosh Aviation Business Park was finally accomplished on Thursday, September 4.


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Airventure 2014


The 10,000 visiting airplanes have flown home but the impact of EAA AirVenture resonates through the city of Oshkosh all year. EAA AirVenture, the largest annual event held in Winnebago County and the largest aviation convention anywhere in the world, experienced a more than 5 percent jump in attendance over 2013’s numbers as the flying world celebrated innovation, achievement and the value of general aviation.


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Wittman Rehabilitation Project


1. Terminal & FBO Ramp Rehabilitation. Areas of the terminal and FBO ramps, particularly in the areas of the Basler FBO office (original airline terminal), had failed concrete panels that were sunk, cracked, and the subsurface failed. 


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When corrugated sheets of galvanized steel were bolted to their structural steel skeleton in 1946, the 10 contiguous T-hangars on the east side of its 300 acres was Wittman Regional Airport’s answer to the boom in light airplanes that would surely follow the end of World War II the previous year. The demolition and recycling of the 68-year-old hangars makes way for redevelopment that will pragmatically meet the airport’s future aviation needs.

 

In their passing allow us to eulogize what they represented to a short-lived era in aviation. Focused on victory and the best use of limited resources, the design and manufacture of light airplanes during World War II was limited to the liaison “grasshoppers” such as Piper’s Cub, which became the L-4 upon getting its draft notice. With the end of the war, during which the United States trained pilots whose numbers counted well into six figures, everyone predicted an explosion of pent up demand for everything they had long been denied.

In preparation, Winnebago County built T-rooms for the expected newcomers. As the circa-1972 aerial photo above shows, the T-hangars were built square to the Kimberly Clark hangar, which has lived only in memory for several decades. Wittman Flying Service trained those pilots in the Civilian Pilot Training Program before the war and for the Army during it. Surely many of them would keep flying once they returned home to Winnebago County. And many of them did.

The airport must have been full of exciting activity. Steve Wittman placed eighth in the 1946 Thompson Trophy race in a modified Bell P-63 Kingcobra, and the following year Bill Brennand won the inaugural Goodyear race in Wittman’s Buster. Even with its clipped wings, the P-63 was too big for the new T-hangars, but Buster would surely fit.

As the operator of the one-armed crawler peeled the corrugated skin off the skeleton, one wonders what other aviation memories were lived in those long-serving hangars. Were the residents a like-minded community who cooked out on warm summer weekends after taking family and friends for sight-seeing rides? Were they willing hands ready to help a neighbor with some preventative maintenance or to be a holding hand for others who were building their airborne dreams?

Were you, at one time over the past decades, a member of the east t-hangar community at Wittman Regional Airport? If so, and you have stories you’d like to share, make a comment or drop us a line, and we’ll share them on the airport’s Facebook page, so this part of the airport’s history does not perish with progress.

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NOVEMBER 1

Aviation Committee Meeting

Airport Conference Room - 8:30 am

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DECEMBER 6

Aviation Committee Meeting

Airport Conference Room - 8 am

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