Archive: August 2014


Kitplanes August 2014 coverAs our industry continues to mature and anniversaries come hurtling at us, it’s worth recalling that in our August 2014 issue the venerable Van’s RV-4 was just then entering the “with kids” phase at 35. Paul Dye’s report reminds us that the “RV-4 was more than just a stretched RV-3, and it went on to inspire a generation of builders who realized that while a single-seat airplane was a wonderful machine for a pilot, the future of spreading aviation was going to be with airplanes that could carry a passenger to enjoy the experience. More than a generation later, the RV-4 kit is still available, and it continues to be an exciting sport plane that is a delight to fly.” Still true today, as the RV-4 remains in Van’s inventory with a standard kit price of $32,365 (no quickbuild option is available). Paul concluded, “All in all, I place the RV-4 squarely in the middle of the spectrum between the RV-3 and the RV-8 (the two other centerline-seating RVs). All three are remarkable airplanes, guaranteed to delight any pilot looking for a quality flying experience. The RV-4 is more maneuverable than the -8, less so than the -3, but if you want to have the option of taking someone along on a breakfast run, the -3 is out of the picture.”

Eric Stewart’s feature on propeller designer and manufacturer Craig Catto revealed that “Catto props are also a favorite for absolute speed and other records, where the prop can be optimized for a single flight condition. ‘Catto has been very supportive of our projects,’ says Dr. Paulo Iscold, professor of aerodynamics at UFMG in Brazil, consultant to several Red Bull and Reno air race teams and holder of four world records with his CEA-308. ‘The first prop that he sent for our 308 was almost perfect, and the second prop was better than perfect. I’m not afraid to say that Catto’s props are the best aerodynamic setup in the world today. He has been trying many different ideas through the years, and his propellers incorporate many features that are not listed in the usual literature. On the 308 I must remind you that we set the 3 km absolute speed record and the 3000 [meter] time-to-climb record with the same prop!’”

In this 2014 issue we celebrated 35 years of the Van’s RV-4, Craig Catto’s propeller design and manufacturing chops and the life and accomplishments of Paul Poberezny.

We remembered EAA founder Paul Poberezny a year after his passing. Amy Laboda’s story recalled Paul’s stature and value to the Experimental movement as well as the local Oshkosh scene. “‘He called a lot of people “son,”’ laughed John Monnett, founder and president of Sonex Aircraft, based in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Monnett’s relationship with Paul went back to around 1966 or so. ‘Tom and I looked a lot alike in those days…even Tom’s wife Sharon mistook me for him once from behind.’” Laboda continued, “It didn’t take the Pobereznys long to figure out that beyond the fly-in convention concept, membership expansion in their new-formed association could explode on a logarithmic scale by forming local chapters of EAA, first around North America, and then around the world. EAA’s membership rapidly grew from a dozen to a hundred, to a thousand, and by the 1980s, to 100,000 and more.”

Dave Forster’s piece on homebuilt tech support, which caught up with representatives from across the kit-manufacturing spectrum, concluded with: “Building an airplane is tremendously challenging, rewarding and sometimes frustrating. Tech support is there to help along the way. Treat them with a little consideration, and they will be there with you, celebrating your picture on the Completions page.”


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