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Richard VanGrunsven

Richard VanGrunsven
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Richard "Van" VanGrunsven learned to fly in 1956 at the age of 16. An engineer and aircraft designer, he founded and developed Van's Aircraft, Inc. into the acknowledged leader in kit aircraft. He often speaks and writes about flying skills and safety. A life in aviation, including thousands of hours piloting both powered aircraft and sailplanes, has given him plenty of time to consider what makes pilots unsafe…or safe. He prefers the latter.

Error Chain

The takeoff might better have been described as a launch. With the new 150-hp Lycoming engine in my 700-pound RV-3, it was off in...

AKIA Industry Insights

Advice to designers and one designer's response.

Unusual Attitude

Vans Aircraft founder Richard VanGrunsven considers flight safety, and how improving our building and piloting skills would do more to reduce the number of mishaps than additional regulations would.

In Case You Missed it

Kitfox Super Sport

With 4000 kits sold, a million hours flown and a loyal customer base, you just knew that the Kitfox would somehow find itself back in production. It's been out after the previous company, SkyStar Aircraft, went bankrupt in 2005, leaving builders in the lurch.

X Marks the Spot

Light and slow, yet lacking control skittishness, the X-Air is a simple and fun way to go nowhere in particular. By Bob Grimstead.

Unusual Attitude

Doug Reeves, creator of the Van’s Air Force web site, shares his personal philosophy about what it takes to fly safely and responsibly.

The Other Oshkosh

Camp Scholler comes alive during AirVenture.