In Letters to the Editor of your Oct. 19 issue, Lou Drendal commented on Meg Godlewski’s article about the 35-ship formation at Oshkosh in your Aug. 24 issue (“The largest OSH formation?”). He suggested that I was “not even close to correct” when I said it “was the largest formation ever at Oshkosh.” He cited several larger formations of T-34 and T-6 aircraft. He even included a picture of the 1999 T-34 61-ship formation.
Well, Mr Drendal conveniently excluded or overlooked the words “close formation” in the original article (“Formation flight honors Van’s RVs”).
As shown in his picture, the T-34s are spaced out with large distances between elements. It was not a close formation; rather, it was a long, extended trail formation of close formation elements.
The 35-ship formation which I led at the 2007 Oshkosh AirVenture was a series of 35-ship “close formations” in four different shapes, culminating in the large 35-ship diamond (see photo on page 12). All 35 aircraft had about three-foot wingtip spacing and 15 feet rudder to propeller spacing.
I still say this was the largest “close formation” performed at Oshkosh, until I can be proven wrong.
35-ship flight lead