World Record 35 ship formation

35 Ship World RecordBelow is an article submitted to the EAA, AVweb, and Vans aircraft. On 20-22 July, 35 Experimental RV pilots and planes converged on Whiteside Co Airport (SQI) IL to practice for their planned 35-ship formation at AirVenture07 to honor Richard VanGrunsven and Van's Aircraft on their 35th Anniversary of being at Oshkosh.  After practicing the 35-ship formation routine twice at SQI, the 35-ship departed SQI at 1300 on Sunday for a planned mass arrival at OSH at 1400.  They landed on RWY36 as 4-ship flights in echelon with 2000' spacing between 4-ships.<p> On Tuesday and Wednesday, 24-25 July, the 35-ship taxied out for 4-ship fingertip formation takeoffs. 

After takeoff, the #4s dropped into the slot for 4-ship Diamond formations, and the 4-ship Diamonds then formed two 16-ship Diamond of Diamonds formation with a 3-ship tacked onto the second. 

The two formations then entered the airspace over Oshkosh with a criss-cross maneuver followed by a joinup into a Double Diamond shape.  The 35-ship then transitioned in a Figure 8 pattern over OSH into an Arrow formation, then a Cluster formation, and then for the final pass they joined into a huge 35-ship Diamond shaped formation.  As far as we know, this is the largest close formation shape ever flown at AirVenture, or anywhere else. The formation then broke into 4-ship echelons for landing on RWY 27 with 2000' spacing between 4-ships.

This formation over OSH was the buzz along the flightline and particularly noteworthy as 35 pilots and planes remained mechanically sound and in precision tight formations five times over a five day period.  It was a fitting acknowlegement of 35 years of Van's Aircraft producing quality homebuilt kits, with more than 5000 now flying.

Stu McCurdy 35-ship
Flight Leader

UPDATE 05/05/2008 Guinness Book of World Records awarded us the "Largest civilian formation".