Destination Oshkosh: SGW Lands at AirVenture 2019

When you hear of the Wisconsin town of Oshkosh, one might think of overalls and industry. After all, the area was once known as “Sawdust City” due to the number of lumber mills in the vicinity.

But this special place in America’s heartland is known for more than children’s apparel and blue-collar work — it’s home to one of aviation’s most impressive annual events: AirVenture Oshkosh

Sponsored by the Experimental Aviation Association (EAA), AirVenture 2019 was the largest event yet — appropriate for its 50th year.

Touted as “The World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration,” this July’s gathering featured over 10,000 aircraft and 1,500 forums and workshops, not to mention attracted 642,000 attendees and 863 commercial exhibitors. To connect and strengthen our relationships with fellow aviation enthusiasts, we sent SGW Designworks President Tasche Streib to the event, where he quickly saw what all the hype was about. 

AirVenture 2019: Catching up with NASA

It’s not every day we get to rub shoulders with the fine folks at NASA. But at the event, we were able to witness, firsthand, how they are doing a lot more than ‘space’ work. Think: utilizing NanoElectric Fuel (NEF) and rim-driven motors and fans (RDM/RDF).

“NASA has a large presence at AirVenture,” relates Streib. “I think it is to show a breadth of what they’re doing, and as far as I can tell it is all sorts of things that are in the sky. Some is truly cutting edge, a long ways from being commercially viable, and some are to inform things that are happening right now with remotely controlled craft (drones) and how they will interact with the busy airspace.”

Additionally, NASA is investing resources in “machine learning and data crunching to improve systems engineering.” Streib feels strongly that many of our clients would benefit from this type of capability. So, in the months ahead, we’ll be focusing our attention on applying these learnings to help us address this client need.

Our Takeaways

There were other ways our attendance at AirVenture 2019 will further inform our product design and development work here at SGW.

Explains Streib, “There are a number of simulation companies that are in the market now, and they have interesting backgrounds. Some are coming from the medical simulation space, porting that over to flight. Given the level of realism they’re achieving, this might give us either another angle on how we prototype and test, or be another place to use our skills to further those markets.”

SGW’s AirVenture Highlight Reel

If you follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter, you may have seen some of our updates from AirVenture 2019. But given the sheer size of the event, there was much more to share. See below for a few additional highlights from our week in Oshkosh.

For starters, we saw a number of useful products that could be game-changers for our clients.


And it wouldn’t be an airshow without beautiful aircraft. The event had planes as far as the eye could see.


We even spotted a couple of Idaho companies — Boise-based AeroLEDs being one of them. (Way to rep our hometown, guys!)


You’ve heard of electric cars and e-bikes, but it was pretty cool to see airplanes powered by electricity.


We saw lots of great support for female pilots, too.


Check out this twin-turbo, supercharged diesel aircraft engine from DeltaHawk.


We also made time to geek out on tools and radios with fellow aviation and tech enthusiasts.


Post-event, our Boise team has been both impressed and inspired by our AirVenture experience. “It’s an overwhelmingly cool place to go,” says Streib. “People are building interesting things, trying to get more efficient flight — everything from a diesel aircraft piston-driven engine (really odd) to fully electric aircraft. It was very, very fun to be in the middle of all that.”

To see examples of SGW Designworks’ development work —including for the aviation industry — browse our portfolio.