Drone light show returns to illuminate night sky at Oshkosh 2019

The dazzling drone light show that made its debut at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh in 2018 is returning this year with more than 100 lighted drones taking flight during the night airshows on July 24 and 27, during the “World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration.”

Great Lakes Drone Company demonstration at Oshkosh 2018. GLDC Photo

The 67th annual Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) fly-in convention is July 22 to 28 at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, Wis. The night airshows have become a favourite of the week-long event, featuring a new perspective on the precise flying skills displayed by aerobatic pilots.

The EAA AirVenture demonstrations will expand on the 2018 debut by Great Lakes Drone Company (GLDC), based in Watervliet, Mich. The company is one of just two U.S. companies authorized by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for such displays.

“EAA and GLDC worked closely with the FAA to make this pioneering and innovative event possible in 2018, and we’re aiming for even bigger things this year,” said Dave Chaimson, EAA’s vice-president of marketing and business development. “What makes this event especially memorable are the intricate manoeuvres that are capable by more than 100 synchronized drones, highlighting the possibilities of safe and responsible drone flying.”

GLDC has done numerous drone shows as stand-alone highlights at events and has been invited to additional airshows after last year’s performance at Oshkosh. During AirVenture, the LED-equipped drones will perform a 10-minute custom-designed “the History of Flight” show complete with musical accompaniment. The company will also exhibit during AirVenture in the Main Aircraft Display area, giving an opportunity for attendees to engage throughout the week with the drone operators and software developers.


“Through the combined efforts of EAA, the FAA and GLDC, last year we made history in the infancy of the commercial UAS industry by incorporating a commercial UAS operation into an active airshow performance,” said Matt Quinn, president of the GLDC. “We cannot imagine a more appropriate venue to perform with our self-built fleet than at the home of homebuilt aviation. EAA AirVenture will be forever our ‘airshow home’ where together we push the boundaries of aerial entertainment. Like any other aerial performer returning to Oshkosh, we will be doing it bigger, better and providing the audience an experience of a lifetime!”

The EAA AirVenture Oshkosh night airshows begin at 8 p.m. on July 24 and July 27, and are included with AirVenture admission. Announced schedules are subject to change based on weather or operational conditions

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