Parker Supports KidVenture at AirVenture - The Spirit of Aviation

Parker Supports KidVenture at AirVenture - The Spirit of Aviation - Air field - Parker AerospaceSince 1979, Parker Aerospace has supported AirVenture, the world’s largest fly-in air show, previously known as the Oshkosh Air Show. It’s now the “Woodstock” of the aviation industry, drawing huge numbers of exhibitors and attendees from all over the world.

The show is organized by the Experimental Aircraft Association or “EAA.” However, EAA might just as well stand for Everyone’s Aviation Association because this US-based event draws so many people from so many different parts of the aviation industry: pilots, mechanics, aircraft enthusiasts, builders of unique aircraft, civil aircraft OEMs, and even kids interested in aviation.

KidVenture is a series of interactive booths within AirVenture where kids learn basic aviation concepts and skills. Dick Knapinski, the director of communications at EAA, reports that in 2018 KidVenture had approximately 25,000 young people visit the booths. While they were of all ages, the biggest groups were between seven and 13 years old.

Parker Supports KidVenture at AirVenture - KidVenture - Parker Aerospace“KidVenture is vitally important not only as a part of AirVenture, but to the future of aviation,” 

“One of the best ways to inspire young people in any pursuit is to give them memorable experiences that they keep talking about, especially when they’re learning while having fun. That’s what KidVenture is all about. Kids often don’t have the opportunity to discover aviation and aeronautics through their usual activities, so this gives them the possibility to be open to a whole new area that we hope will spark additional discovery.” 

— Dick Knapinski, the director of communications at EAA



Parker Supports KidVenture at AirVenture - KidVenture - Parker AerospaceTo give kids a memorable and valuable experience, KidVenture organizers go beyond just showing aircraft and telling kids what aviation is. They engage kids on a deeper level. It’s similar to the old Chinese proverb: Tell me and I forget. Show me and I remember. Involve me and I understand.

The interactive part of KidVenture is essential to its success. 

“Kids (and anybody, really) would find ordinary presentations and demonstrations tedious after a while, especially in an event so full of sensory engagement as AirVenture. Engaging young people by having them put their hands and minds to work is a sure-fire way not only to create fun but also something tangible that kids and their parents often take away as a memory of the event.”

— Dick Knapinski, the director of communications at EAA


Parker Supports KidVenture at AirVenture - KidVenture - Parker AerospaceParker Aerospace has supported the KidVenture event for the past eight years with funding from both Parker’s Aircraft Wheel and Brake Division and Stratoflex Products Division. Parker’s support includes interactive displays that involve and engage kids of all ages. For the upcoming 2019 event, Parker Aerospace is working on a unique interactive wheel and brake display. It’s a hands-on activity that allows kids to see how the wheel and brake system functions. The display is designed so the kids have to take it apart, remove the wheel lining and brake pads, then reinstall them and put the assembly back together into a functional, working unit. 

In all, there are two dozen interactive stations on the airport grounds for kids to play with. If the kids attend all of them and are successfully signed off at each station, they are then eligible to receive a complete set of tools at the end of the process. This gift for kids is intended to help them remember what they learned at the event and get them involved in aviation at an early age. 

Parker Supports KidVenture at AirVenture - KidVenture - Parker AerospaceKidVenture also encourages and enables parents to hang out with their children for the entire day and share in the activities at each station. In this way, it’s not just an event for kids. It also becomes a special time for parents to bond with their children.   

“Our participation in the show is an opportunity to get in front of people and reinforce our brand,”

“We get a chance to remind people that the engineering, design, manufacturing, assembly, maintenance, and other aspects of our products are all carried out right here in America, by Americans.”

— Vern Rodgers, business development and marketing representative at Parker’s Aircraft Wheel and Brake Division


Parker Supports KidVenture at AirVenture - Young Eagles - Parker AerospaceParker Aerospace is also sponsoring a Young Eagles gathering in 2019. The money donated for this activity goes to general aviation airports and helps teach young people about how to maintain aircraft. Wheel and brake products are also donated to the event’s aerial acrobatic performers. 

Parker Supports KidVenture at AirVenture - AirVenture - Parker AerospaceParker Aerospace employees attending the show often answer questions, go to the airplane parking lot with customers, diagnose issues, provide consultation, and offer other services for the AirVenture attendees who own aircraft, as well as pilots and mechanics at the event. Employees of Parker’s Aircraft Wheel and Brake Division use this opportunity to get to know the customers who use Parker products. 

“Because aircraft parts are normally sold through Parker distributors, this event provides an important opportunity to meet our customers face to face,” 

“Success in this business is built on trust. It helps establish a higher comfort level with customers when you can shake hands and look them in the eyes. You can’t do that in an email, a text, or even over the phone.  Meeting with top management from our OEM customers in this setting can also open up conversations about their new projects and new applications of Parker products.”

— Vern Rodgers, business development and marketing representative at Parker’s Aircraft Wheel and Brake Division


Parker Supports KidVenture at AirVenture - Fighter Jets - Parker Aerospace2019 is the AirVenture show’s 50th anniversary. This year, AirVenture is also dubbed the “Year of the Fighter.” Parker Aerospace has products on nearly every fighter jet in operation around the world today, including the Lockheed Martin F-35 (arguably the world’s most advanced fighter jet after the F-22). To learn more about Parker’s role in supporting this aircraft, click here to read about Parker on the F-35 fighter.  

Parker Supports KidVenture at AirVenture - Apollo 11 anniversary - Parker AerospaceCoincidentally, 2019 is also the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, which happened in July of 1969. This moon landing marked the first time that humans landed on the moon and returned safely. Apollo 11 command module pilot Michael Collins will be the featured guest as EAA’s AirVenture 2019 commemorates the 50th anniversary of the mission. Parker Aerospace had more than 120 components on each of the Apollo missions



Parker Supports KidVenture at AirVenture - The Spirit of Aviation - Sandi Schickel - Parker AerospaceThis post was contributed by Sandi Schickel, eBusiness manager for Parker Aerospace’s Aircraft Wheel & Brake Division.




Related content

Parker’s Support of the Apollo Lunar Missions

F-35 Lightning II Fuel and Inerting System Powered by Parker Aerospace

High School Students Shine Bright in Solar Car Challenge

Helping Imagination Take Flight

Recent Posts by Author

Parker Aerospace & American Magic on Course to Compete for the 36th America’s Cup

The America’s Cup is the oldest trophy in international sports and the highest prize in sailing. Although it has a colorful history dating to 1851, America’s Cup wind-powered racing yachts...

Giving Back to the Community During the Holidays Across Parker Aerospace

Parker Hannifin believes that creating a better tomorrow for everyone begins with a commitment to positively impacting the lives of our team members and the communities we call home. Our culture is...

Parker Employees Volunteer to Support Local Social Causes

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) means different things to different people. For some, it means improving the communities in which they live or helping feed people in need of assistance....

Have a question about Parker products or services? We can help: Contact Us!

Comments for Parker Supports KidVenture at AirVenture - The Spirit of Aviation

Please note that, in an effort to combat spam, comments with hyperlinks will not be published.

Leave a comment