ARRL member-volunteers will ensure amateur radio is well-represented at the annual EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, on July 25 through July 31. More than 10,000 aircraft and a half-million flight enthusiasts make Wittman Regional Airport the busiest airfield in the world during AirVenture.
ARRL has participated at AirVenture since 2018, supporting an exhibit that encourages pilots and aviation enthusiasts to discover radio communications and radio technology through ham radio. ARRL Director of Public Relations and Innovation Bob Inderbitzen, NQ1R, has organized a booth (#2152 in Hangar B) and an all-volunteer team.
"There's a kinship among the aviation and amateur radio communities," Inderbitzen said. "In addition to introducing newcomers to ham radio, we expect to meet hundreds of ham-pilots at AirVenture. This is a great opportunity to show off ham radio at such a large-scale event." Frederick Hart, AA0JK, and Bob Inderbitzen, NQ1R, wrote "Growing Amateur Radio, One Pilot at a Time," in the January 2019 issue of QST, describing some of the opportunities and experiences pursued by pilots who become active ham radio operators.
At KidVenture, a highlight for children attending AirVenture, kids can build and take home a radio receiver to listen to air traffic and other nearby transmissions from approximately 65 - 140 MHz. The kit, designed by student engineer Levi Zima, KN4YHS, with additional support from his sister, Kirsten Zima, KC9RWG, has been an ARRL offering since 2021 (see ARRL's Introduction to Radio Receiver Kit). "It's great fun to see children at AirVenture walking around with the radio kits they've built and tuning in to the busy Air Traffic Control Tower throughout the event," said Inderbitzen. "Radio communications is a key part of learning about avionics. ARRL is grateful to EAA AirVenture for sponsoring the activity, which promises to introduce a lot of young people to radio."
The EAA Warbirds of America Board of Directors will be sponsoring a special event station, W9W, which will be on the air all week during daylight hours throughout AirVenture. The station will be located on the Warbirds' grounds near their headquarters, against the backdrop of the display of historic and vintage ex-military aircraft. Look for W9W on 40 - 10 meters near 7.225, 14.250, 21.235, and 28.425 MHz. The station will also operate on the 2-meter and 440 MHz bands, simplex. A special event QSL card will be issued for contacts with W9W. Icom America will support the event with HF, VHF, and UHF radio equipment. Other sponsors include Heil Sound, Radio Wavz, DX Engineering, and US Tower. If you would like to get on the schedule to operate W9W, please contact Ray Novak, N9JA.
Members of the Fox Cities Amateur Radio Club (FCARC) will be operating station W9ZL from Pioneer Airport at KidVenture -- an activity area for children and their families attending AirVenture. Club members and other volunteers will operate HF stations on 20 and 40 meters, 6-meter SSB (on, or near, 7.250, 14.270, and 50.150 MHz), plus local communications on 2 meters. A special event certificate will be available.
See the ARRL Special Events database for further details about W9W and W9ZL.
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