The Experimental Aircraft Association’s “Project 21” initiative, including the first expansion of the EAA Aviation Center in Oshkosh in more than 20 years, will bring year-round aviation education and training to current and future aviators. Groundbreaking for the two-story, 30,000 square foot facility, connected to the EAA Aviation Museum, took place on Monday, April 26, with EAA and community leaders present.
“While the EAA Aviation Museum highlights more than a century of accomplishments in personal flight, a major part of EAA’s mission to grow participation in aviation is to offer high-level programming for current and future pilots,” said Jack J. Pelton, EAA’s CEO and Chairman of the Board. “Project 21 brings that vision to reality, and further strengthens Oshkosh as the home for those who pursue their dreams of flight.”
The $6.2 million project, completely funded via a capital campaign separate from EAA member dues, will feature an innovative Pilot Proficiency Center and a hands-on Youth Education Center. These facilities are adjacent to the museum’s current Eagle Hangar and will allow individuals and groups to experience all of EAA’s resources on a year-round basis.
The Pilot Proficiency Center features a state-of-the-art skill building and training center for general aviation pilots. It combines relevant safety forums with challenging simulator training sessions that address key flight safety issues. The new facility will focus on improving pilots’ overall aeronautical decision making skills.
The Youth Education Center brings aviation-centric experiences to the EAA Aviation Museum year-round. The 15,000 square-foot Youth Education Center will provide youth, their parents, and their teachers access to interactive and project-based activities that inspire and nurture the next generation of aviators.
Project 21 is Phase One of EAA’s long-range plan for its museum, which transforms the facility into one that encompasses history, training, and education. Completion of construction is expected by May 2022, with a grand opening scheduled for EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2022 in July of that year.
Ghidorzi and Associates of Wausau, Wisconsin, is the designer and general contractor for the project.