A Piece Of Kitplane Aviation History Becomes Part Of EAA's Museum Collection
By Anthony Liberatore
On Monday afternoon at Phillips 66 Plaza, The RV-1 designed and built by Dick VanGrunsven, which was the basis for the entire line of RV series of aircraft designs, was dedicated in a ceremony in front of hundreds of RV fans that assembled in the hot Wisconsin sun to see it transferred to its new home . . . the EAA AirVenture Museum. On the dais was EAA's Chad Jensen, EAA President Rod Hightower, Ernie Butcher from Friends of the RV-1, and Dick VanGrunsven.
Chad Jensen spoke briefly and turned over the presentation to EAA President Rod Hightower. "I know I don't have to tell you what happening out there, but we are celebrating here the most successful kit aircraft company in history, and the most successful line of fabulously designed aircraft. “The RV-1 has had a tremendous impact on the lives of many of us and represents the innovation and creation the can-do-it-ness that we are known for at EAA," Hightower said.
Ernie Butcher from Friends of the RV-1, who spoke about the process of acquiring the RV-1. Ernie continued to speak about that process and that the next step was to convince Dick to allow the homebuilt community to make sure it was airworthy and allowed it to go on tour. Butcher recognized the EAA, Chad Jensen, Rod Hightower and gave special thanks to Tom Poberezny for making the induction of the RV-1 into the museum a reality. Butcher noted that a large team of dedicated individuals centered in Dallas came from from all over the country, to participate in the RV-1's restoration process. "You-all, all involved took such good care of it like what it is, well what it is, I suppose, a piece of aviation history," Butcher said, speaking of the tour.
At this point Dick VanGrunsven took to the microphone and noted that the RV-1 was created through continual improvements. "The whole idea the whole point along, To make and airplane that was enjoyable to fly, useful to fly," VanGrunsven said. He also noted he had something he wanted to share with the audience, his two and half year old grand daughter Lilley, wearing a jump suit his wife made for their son Greg, some 35 years ago. Dick also spoke of about promoting aviation education to inspire a new generations of aviators and noted one way it has been done has been by various education institutions building RV-12's.
After VanGrunsven was finished speaking, he handed EAA President Rod Hightower the key to the RV-1. "I think it is safe to say this is the key to innovation would you agree," Hightower said. At that point in the ceremony, Hightower presented VanGrunsen with a plaque commemorating the dedication of the RV-1.