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Barnstormers Logo ISSUE 442 - August 2016
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Van's Aircraft RV Celebration
By Kevin Moore, Contributing Editor & Photographer
Watford, Ontario, Canada
Oshkosh saw several anniversaries including the 30th anniversary of the Van's Aircraft RV-6, such as this one which flew as part of the celebration display of the RV-6.
EAA Airventure Oshkosh 2016 saw the celebration of Van's Aircraft, specifically the 30th anniversary of the RV-6 and more than 40 years of Van's Aircraft. There were dozens of RV's that attended the show and that took to the air in celebration of, not only the RV-6, but all Van's aircraft.
Two more RV-6 aircraft taking part in the flypasts of the line of Van's RV aircraft.
The celebration of RV's began with the take off of dozens of RV-6s, many forming up at a gathering point to return in a large formation. Others took to the air to perform multiple flypasts for spectators and others to perform aerobatic demonstrations. There were also other RV models that took to the air in celebration of Van's Aircraft.
A small formation of the RV-6 making a couple of passes during the show.
RV aircraft have been among the most popular homebuilt aircraft ever designed with more than 9000 having been built & flown in more than 45 countries. From its humble beginnings in 1972 with the building of the RV-3 in a small shop behind his house, Richard VanGrunsven built Van's Aircraft, Inc into an extremely successful and popular aircraft company.
One of the new successes of the company is the RV-12, left.
Looking sleek in all black is this RV-8, right.
Van would relocate the business to a larger facility in North Plains, Oregon to an airpark where they continued to grow with other RV designs. Eventually, after continued growth and success, the company moved to a much larger facility in Aurora, Oregon where they employ more than 50 people, as well as sub-contractors, manufacturing several hundred aircraft kits every year. The company continues to build on the success of their multiple designs and the popularity of their aircraft.
These two RV-4s put on a lovely aerobatic formation
display during the celebration of the Van's line of aircraft.
At Oshkosh, several types of RV aircraft were displayed by every-day RV pilots/owners as well as several aerobatic pilots in their RVs. Displays and performances were impressive. From single aircraft demonstrations and flypasts to small and large formations, the performance of the various types was evident, especially in the hands of very experienced pilots.
No matter the paint scheme, the lines of the RV-6 are sleek and, some would say, sexy.
The RV-6 has probably been the most popular of the Van's aircraft to date. It was designed to meet the need for an easy to fly, side-by-side aircraft and is even used as a military aircraft, known as the Air Beetle, by the Nigerian Air Force. They have been built as taildraggers and tricycle type with a number of different engine types and some with personal modifications based on pilots/owners needs & requirements.
Not as common as the taildragger RVs, there are some tricycle gear RVs such as this RV-7, left. There were some international participants as well such as this bright red Canadian RV-9, right.
Van's Aircraft displays were not limited to just the RV-6. Virtually all types of RVs were displayed either in the formations or in aerobatic displays. The colours and design styles are as individual as the pilots themselves and there seems to be no limit to what owners come up with in order to display their pride and joy.
Joe "Rifle" Shetterly putting his highly polished RV-8 through its paces.
One of the more impressive displays was performed by demonstration pilot, Joe "Rifle" Shetterly. Rifle displayed his RV-8 like it was a fighter aircraft, probably because he's flown several different types of fighter jets with the US military including the A-10 as the 2009 demonstration pilot for the US Air Force. In his military career, he's also flown the A-7, F-106, F-5, F-104 and the F-100, all of which are honoured by being represented in his aircrafts N-number (N76540).
Jerry "Jive" Kerby puts his tricycle gear RV-8 through a lively aerobatic display.
Also displaying the RV-8 was Jerry "Jive" Kerby in his aircraft, "Wild Blue." Jive has been flying for almost 40 years and has flown more than 60 aircraft types with an impressive 13,000+ hours of flight time. His final assignment as an Air Force pilot was the Phantom Heritage Flight pilot flying the F-4 Phantom. Despite his retirement, he's also flown the T-33, MS760, L-39, T-28, F-4 and MiG-17 as a civilian demonstration pilot but flying the Wild Blue RV-8A has allowed him to fly from smaller locations not suitable for larger, faster jet aircraft and has also allowed Jerry to take his skills and demonstration ability to a smaller and different audience. Jive displays his RV-8A in a wonderful performance that demonstrates both his, and the RVs, abilities.
Ken Reider & Jon Thocker fly a nice formation display with their RV-8s.
Redline Airshows displays two RV-8s in an aerobatic display by pilots Ken Reider & Jon Thocker. Both Ken & Jon have backgrounds in civil aviation but also have a love of aerobatics and have been flying together for over 10 years. Their RVs are kept in adjoining hangars at an airport in Cincinnati, Ohio where the two operate their own, individual businesses. Ken is a multi-engine and aerobatic flight instructor as well as a corporate pilot. Jon is a 25 year, retired airline pilot, as well as an A&P mechanic and has a passion for building and flying experimental aircraft.
In honour of the 30th anniversary of the RV-6, a large formation of 30 RV-6s flew overhead. An impressive feet for mostly your average, non-military civilian pilots.
RV-6 owners/pilots arrived at an airport near Oshkosh early in order to get together to learn how to fly formation in order to participate in a celebration honouring the 30th anniversary of the RV-6. These folks, at their own expense, spent several days and hours flying & training which allowed them to safely fly in their mass formation during the airshow.
The RV line of aircraft have been very popular and successful and Van's Aircraft will likely continue to see growth, with new designs, for many years to come.
There were also other performers and RV aircraft that were displayed during the airshow. The love that pilots, owners and builders have for their RV aircraft is evident in every build, with every modification, with every paint scheme and in every flight. RV people are keen to show off their aeroplanes to anyone who will listen, even to each other. If you're keen on a homebuilt/kitplane, you can't go wrong with an RV.
An RV-7 painted in honour of the RAF, left. The RV-4, right, was designed to fill a need the single seat RV-3 didn't have, an extra seat.

Van's Aircraft has probably been the most successful civilian aircraft designer/builder/supplier in many years. They have built on the success of their early designs and have refused to rest on their laurels. They continue to come up with new designs and with an excellent customer base and with superb customer service, they're likely to continue to grow for years to come.

Visit Van's Aircraft, Inc website for more information and to order your kit.
Van's Aircraft, Inc:
Joe "Rifle" Shetterly puts on a great display in his RV-8.
For more information on Joe and Rifle Airshows visit:
Enjoy watching Wild Blue and "Jive" in the wild blue yonder.
For more information on Jerry and Wild Blue visit:
Book your Redline Airshow RV performers for your airshow.
For more information on Redline Airshows visit:
For more information on EAA Airventure Oshkosh visit:
For more information on EAA Airventure Oshkosh visit:
Choose your version of Van's aircraft, from single seat to four-seat,
Van's may have an aircraft to suit your budget and need.
By Kevin Moore, Contributing Editor & Photographer
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