Two Stearmans fly formation with a Waco on a sunny afternoon in this photo from Oshkosh 2013.
There’s something appealing about the notion of flying an open-cockpit biplane. We live in an age where we insulate ourselves from the sensation of flight in automobile-inspired climate-controlled cabins surrounded by electronic gadgetry. A quest to be like the birds has made us more like machines.
Certainly, modern amenities add comfort and situational awareness that was lacking in the often-lethal glory days of flight. But it seems that what we’ve gained in terms of modernity has come at the expense of romance and glory.
I think Oshkosh invigorates aviators so because it reminds us why we fly on a more primal level. At least for me, experiencing aviation like this brings me back in touch with that element of glory that seems somewhat lackluster in modern flight.