OSHKOSH – EAA AirVenture kicked off in Oshkosh Monday , and while it’s a time to admire planes, this year, some aviation enthusiasts are actually building one.
While most of the excitement is in the air, volunteers on the ground have the goal of building a plane during this week. The project is called the “One Week Wonder.”
It usually takes about a year to build a plane from a kit. These volunteers are looking to do it in a week.
“And we hope to taxi it down the runway at three o’clock on Sunday afternoon,” explained Ron Wagner, chairman for the “One Week Wonder,” who continued, saying, “the purpose of this week is to show people, yes you’ve been dreaming about an airplane, you can build one.”
To prove the point, anyone who stops by the tent can help make the “One Week Wonder” a reality.
“People can actually pop a rivet, or pull a rivet and sign the log book, be part of the process,” Wagner explained.
And that means anyone, even a reporter with no mechanical expertise.
Visitor Steve Johnson told us pulling his rivet was an experience he won’t forget.
“This is really neat. You know? It’s like an ownership in something, you know, ‘I put a rivet in it, or I did this, I did that,’” said Johnson.
The people doing the bulk of the work are EAA volunteers. About 30 are broken up into teams, working on separate sections of the plane.
“We had such a good experience building our own that we like to pay it forward and help others build and this is such a good idea,” explained volunteer Marmy Clason.
Johnson agrees, saying, this is a great way to keep people interested in aviation.
“They’re sowing the seeds for the future and it’s really a wonderful thing to see,” he said.
And after about a day into the build, the volunteers said they were right on schedule. They were feeling pretty confident they’ll finish by Sunday.
“Sure! Of course! There’s lots of help, lots of people pulling rivets,” said Clason enthusiastically.
EAA has done the “One Week Wonder” three times in the past. The last time was in 1976.
This is the first time they’ve let anyone pull rivets.