ARRL volunteer members will ensure amateur radio is well represented at the annual EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, July 25-31. More than 10,000 aircraft and half a million flying enthusiasts make Wittman Regional Airport the busiest airfield in the world during AirVenture.
The ARRL has participated in AirVenture since 2018, supporting an exhibit that encourages pilots and aviation enthusiasts to learn about radio communications and radio technology through amateur radio. ARRL Director of Public Relations and Innovation, Bob Inderbitzen, NQ1R, organized a booth (#2152 in Hangar B) and an all-volunteer team.
“There is a kinship between the aviation and amateur radio communities,” Inderbitzen said. “In addition to introducing newcomers to amateur radio, we plan to meet hundreds of amateur pilots at AirVenture. This is a great opportunity to showcase amateur radio at such a large event.” Frederick Hart, AA0JK, and Bob Inderbitzen, NQ1R wrote “Growing Amateur Radio, One Pilot at a Time” in the January 2019 issue of QSToutlining some of the opportunities and experiences pursued by pilots who become active amateur radio operators.
At KidVenture, a highlight for kids attending AirVenture, kids can build and take home a radio receiver to listen to air traffic and other nearby transmissions around 65-140 MHz. The kit, designed by engineering student Levi Zima, KN4YHS, with additional support from his sister, Kirsten Zima, KC9RWG, has been an ARRL offering since 2021 (see ARRL Radio Receiver Kit Introduction). “It’s great fun watching the AirVenture kids walk around with the radio kits they built and tune into the busy air traffic control tower throughout the event,” Inderbitzen said. “Radio communications is a key part of learning avionics. The ARRL is grateful to EAA AirVenture for sponsoring the activity, which promises to introduce many young people to radio.”
The EAA Warbirds of America Board of Directors will sponsor a special events station, W9W, which will air weekdays during the daytime throughout AirVenture. The station will be located on the Warbirds grounds near their headquarters, with the backdrop of the display of vintage and antique military aircraft. Look for W9W on 40 to 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 simplex bands. 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 sign up for the schedule to exploit W9W, please contact Ray Novak, N9JA.
Members of the Fox Cities Amateur Radio Club (FCARC) will operate station W9ZL from KidVenture’s Pioneer Airport – an activity zone for children and their families who frequent AirVenture. Club members and other volunteers will operate HF stations on 20 and 40 meters, SSB 6 meters (on or near 7.250, 14.270 and 50.150 MHz), as well as local communications on 2 meters. A special event certificate will be available.
Check the ARRL Special Events Database for more details on W9W and W9ZL.