Published in Midwest Flyer Magazine April/May 2022 online issue.
EAA AVIATION CENTER, OSHKOSH, Wis. – The 50th anniversary of Van’s Aircraft RV series, which has become the world’s most popular kit airplane, will be a major element of homebuilt aircraft activities at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2022, July 25-31 at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, Wis.
“While aircraft kits have existed for more than a century, it was 50 years ago that Richard VanGrunsven introduced a model that would move the homebuilt movement into an age where kit aircraft would become dominant,” said Charlie Becker, EAA’s director of chapters and homebuilt community manager.
“Today, more than 11,000 completed RV models are the direct descendants of that first RV-3 in 1972. We invite all of them to be present at Oshkosh as we celebrate a half-century of success.”
A number of special events are planned as part of the 50-year celebration. Those include:
• Special Van’s RV parking areas in the AirVenture homebuilt aircraft area.
• Multiple forums and workshops focused on RV aircraft throughout the week.
• RV aircraft flying during the AirVenture air shows.
• A July 25 evening program at Theater in the Woods with Richard VanGrunsven, highlighting the history of the company that began as a backyard shop in Oregon.
VanGrunsven began Van’s Aircraft with a clean design, then selling plans and a few parts he manufactured himself for those aircraft. Soon the company began manufacturing complete airplane kits and introducing new models that after 50 years now include the latest design, the RV-14. More than 400 kits each year are shipped to builders around the world from the Van’s factory in Aurora, Oregon.
Specific details on all AirVenture activities during the 50-year anniversary will be announced as they are finalized. Van’s RV aircraft owners are encouraged to pre-register for the designated aircraft parking area at