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What is the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA)?

Every enthusiast group has its crowning organization, their keeper of the flame. For aviation enthusiasts, our keeper of the flame is the Experimental Aircraft Association, also known as the EAA.

The EAA is more than just an enthusiast group for experimental aircraft. It is a cornerstone in our community that serves everyone from the recreational pilot to the propeller shop with a stellar aviation blog you love reading.

The EAA has branches dedicated to antiques, aeronautics, warbirds, homebuilt projects, research, and more. The EAA will happily accept membership from anyone interested in aviation. The EAA is integral to aviation, so we need to ask what is the EAA, and why does it matter to you?

We are here to make sure that you will be ready to go for the next EAA event, be it a local Northern California air show or flying out to Oshkosh for their annual Fly-In. For any propeller related needs, Contact Stockton Propeller today.

Two young girls behinda safety tape on a tarmac at an airshow with a propeller plane in the background

The EAA and its Events

If you’re not a member of the EAA, you have probably experienced one of its air shows. EAA chapters around the country have been regularly scheduling airshows since its founding.

Today over 200,000 members across nearly 900 chapters in the United States can be seen piloting their aircraft for millions of spectators almost every weekend of the year. Tour flights are also available from several restored vintage aircraft including, a Ford Tri-Motor, B-17 Flying Fortress, and a B-25 Mitchell.

Since its founding, the EAA has hosted a yearly Fly-In Convention with the first convention being held months after its founding in 1953 at Curtiss-Wright airport in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

By 1959, the EAA’s annual Fly-In Convention had already outgrown its original convention site. A new location was found in Rockford, Illinois, until 1969 when it outgrew its second venue, and finally arrived at its current home in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

Washington DC Capitol dome detail with waving american flag

Research and Legislation

When a group of aviation enthusiasts gets together in a room, it doesn’t take long to begin exchanging ideas. The EAA is the largest association of aviation enthusiasts, and research has gone hand-in-hand since its inception.

In 1971, the EAA Aviation Foundation made the first of its pivotal aeronautical research expeditions testing unleaded automotive fuel in airplanes. Since then, the EAA has worked with the FAA on the behest of aviation enthusiasts across the nation.

Some of their other research and legislation highlights include:

  • The creation of a Recreational Pilot Certificate
  • Alternative fuel research with the Florida Institute of Technology
  • Reform of third-class medical certifications.

From addressing the shortage of air-worthiness inspectors to getting the Hoover Bill passed, the EAA has been working with our government to help keep aviation accessible.

The EAA is one of the most essential lobbying organizations on capitol hill for recreational aviation enthusiasts in the United States, benefiting everyone from the local propeller shop to the ultralight enthusiast tinkering away in their hangar.

Preservation and Fostering the flame

Since the EAA’s founding, the preservation of aircraft has been one of their central tenants. Since its founding in 1962, the EAA Air Museum Foundation has grown into the world’s most extensive private collection of vintage aircraft.

The museum is not just a footnote to the EAA, when they had their first expansion to their headquarters, a museum extension and restoration hangar were at the top of the list.

Since then, they have created a replica of the Spirit of St. Louis, which visited 210 cities on the 50th anniversary of Lindbergh’s famous flight.

In 2003, the EAA also successfully recreated a faithful replica of the Wright Brother’s flyer that took flight on December 17th, 2003, 100 years to the day of their first flight.

The EAA plays a pivotal role in fostering aviation enthusiasm between free flights for kids and their Young Eagles program. Camps and scholarships are also offered to kids and teens to help usher in the next generation of aviation enthusiasts.

Flight academies are available with free introductory flights for adults who may be interested in flying themselves. The EAA knows that the youth is the future of our passion, and they are willing to do what it takes to make sure everyone who wants to get involved can get involved.

ultralight aircraft taking off against a blue sky

It is all about Recreational Aircraft

The EAA was initially founded in January of 1953 by Paul Poberezny from a rag-tag group of aviation enthusiasts in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The EAA quickly became the nation’s foremost aviation enthusiast group. Their award-winning magazine has been in print for members since 1958, and in recent years, they’ve added a podcast and an internet forum dedicated to recreational aircraft.

Aircraft building has always been an integral part of the backbone of the EAA, and a treasure trove of resources is available for the homebuilt aircraft community. Over 23 pages of plans for homebuilt aircraft are publically accessible on the EAA’s website. EAA members get access to a free version of Solidworks, which is available for computer-aided design when creating their designs. Hands-on assistance is available as well through workshops, volunteer service, and how-to tutorials.

For those that are more advanced in aeronautics, the EAA Founder’s Innovation Prize is available. It is awarded to EAA members who find ways to reduce the chance of in-flight loss of control incidents. This prize has created real-world safety advancements that save lives and make aviation easier for the beginner pilot.

Your local propeller shop is here to make sure you can reap the benefits of the EAA

Today the EAA Fly-In Convention in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, draws an attendance of 642,000 people from 93 nations! Although this is halfway across the country from Northern California, those with their own aircraft can easily make the trip, and Stockton Propeller is here to make sure you will be there.

We are here for your restoration, homebuilt project, or any other propeller-driven craft. Contact us today for your propeller related needs, and we will make sure you’re ready for your next adventure.

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flight

Top Airshows in the US

Airshows are a fun event for everyone. Sure, airshows have plenty for you if you own or repair planes, but they also typically feature fun components like stunt shows, too.

Airshows are popular in the U.S., so you’ll likely be able to find one near you. Check out our list below of the best U.S. airshows, or look for others near you.

But don’t worry: you don’t have to go to an airshow to get information about aircraft propeller repair service. From basic maintenance to a complete overhaul, Stockton Propeller can help with it all.

Reno Air Races

The Reno Air Races have been held in Reno, Nevada, for 48 years. They feature different races and performances.

There are also vendors and exhibitors. You can find information on things like flight schools and aircraft manufacturing, as well as purchase items related to aircraft.

One of the most exciting things? The Reno Air Races is the location of the National Championship Air Races, so there are six different classes of aircraft at the event: Formula 1, T6 Class, Biplane, Sport, Unlimited, and Jet.

You can see both racing and acrobatics. The aircraft race on three- to eight-mile courses. Pilots can be civilian, ex-military, or amateur.

In between races, acrobatic pilots perform. Other times, you’ll notice military fly-bys or demonstrations.

This combination makes it an excellent place for a pilot or enthusiast to bring the family. You get to enjoy the specialty, vintage, and modified aircraft, while the kids get to enjoy the acrobatics or military aeronautical technology on display.

So whether you like to watch the speed-of-sound-breaking jets or the vintage and stock propeller aircraft, you’ll find it at the Reno Air Races!

Want a tip? Sunday is the busiest day, so to beat the crowds, go earlier. However, if you want to see the final races, the Unlimited Gold Race, you’ll have to join the crowds on Sunday.

experimental aircraft at airshow

EAA AirVenture Oshkosh

There’s a reason the EAA AirVenture is known as The World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration. This weeklong event is the largest airshow with attendance over 500,000.

There are also more than 10,000 aircraft, and you’ll see all kinds, like vintage craft, homebuilts, ultralights, and warbirds if you make the trip to Oshkosh, Wisconsin, for this incredible event.

But wait, there’s more! It’s not just aerial performances and static aircraft on the ground at AirVenture. There’s plenty for kids or family members who aren’t pilots or aircraft enthusiasts.

For example, there are films, pyrotechnics, demonstrations, workshops, and kid-specific activities. And if you’re looking for a career path in aviation, you can attend the Aviation Job Fair to meet with employers.

Have a lot of kids? This might be the airshow for you: youth aged 18 and under get in free in efforts to introduce more young people to the joys of aviation.

The EAA AirVenture is also committed to encouraging females in aviation. There is a three-day EAA GirlVenture Camp during the airshow and a female-focused gathering called EAA WomenVenture, where women can network, build camaraderie, and enjoy special events.

P51 Mustang at airshow

Los Angeles County Air Show

The L.A. Air Show is a two-day event in almost-always-sunny Southern California. But don’t let the brevity of this airshow dissuade you: it’s full of impressive air performances as well as plenty of ground exhibits.

If you’re looking for daring and spectacular aerial displays, you’ll want to check out this show. If you wish to see Air Force fighter crafts blazing through the skies with precise movements or propeller planes executing acrobatics and stunts — or both! — you’ll find it here.

The L.A. Air Show also features a historical performance of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, complete with flaming pyrotechnic effects. But it’s not all serious: There’s a humorous skit involving a “stolen” 1946 Piper J-3 Cub that will have everyone laughing.

Educating and inspiring young people is a mission for this air show, so they have a STEM program included in the event. There are high school robotics teams in attendance, displaying their creations.

There are also hands-on exhibits where attendees can test out robots, and a new drone exhibit, too.

The event also has multiple panels. Speakers may include former war pilots or current aerospace industry workers.

If I can only go to one airshow, which one should I attend?

It’s hard to pick just one, and, of course, your location and availability might affect your decision, but the EAA AirVenture Oshkosh is the largest and highest attended.

If you want to go where everyone else is going and see most people and events possible, it’s probably the airshow for you.

However, if your focus is interacting with other pilots or enthusiasts, or exploring exhibits and vendors for information about aircraft propeller repair service, for example, you might be better off finding an airshow near you.

At a local airshow, even if it’s several hours away from you, you’re more likely to find other flight enthusiasts who live near you and aviation industry services in your area.

boy learning to fly paper airplanes at airshow

What’s the best airshow to take kids to?

For most kids, especially younger ones, the Reno Air Races and the EAA AirVenture Oshkosh are both excellent choices. However, most air shows these days have special areas or events for youth.

All three air shows featured on this page have STEM zones and drone zones. Both of these features will be big hits with tweens and teens.

The EAA AirVenture has a section called KidVenture, which not only has fun, hands-on activities but includes instruction areas where children can log actual flight simulation instruction with a certified instructor or earn official FAA credit.

If you’ve got a future pilot on your hands, EAA AirVenture’s KidVenture is a great place.

Whether you’re interested in repairing or maintaining a propeller because it’s less expensive than replacing it or because the propeller you need is hard to find, Stockton Propeller can help you out.

They’ll also work with you to modify stock propellers for experimental aircraft or better performance. Contact Stockton Propeller today to find out how they can help you.