RV builder/owner Tony Kirk took no chances when the predicted storm came though on the first Saturday night of AirVenture. He followed the lead, or maybe he started a trend—of the Van’s factory aircraft and wrapped the planes horizontal surfaces with moving blankets, cardboard, and cellophane packing material. It was relatively convenient to do this because Van’s had a truck full of these materials after bringing all their booth equipment and displays from Oregon. As it turned out, no one reported any significant hail, and Tony’s and the factory ships survived the winds without damage.

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Paul Dye
Paul Dye, KITPLANES® Editor at Large, retired as a Lead Flight Director for NASA’s Human Space Flight program, with 40 years of aerospace experience on everything from Cubs to the Space Shuttle. An avid homebuilder, he began flying and working on airplanes as a teen and has experience with a wide range of construction techniques and materials. He flies an RV-8 and SubSonex jet that he built, an RV-3 that he built with his pilot wife, as well as a Dream Tundra and an electric Xenos motorglider they completed. Currently, they are building an F1 Rocket. A commercially licensed pilot, he has logged over 6000 hours in many different types of aircraft and is an A&P, FAA DAR, EAA Tech Counselor and Flight Advisor; he was formerly a member of the Homebuilder’s Council. He consults and collaborates in aerospace operations and flight-testing projects across the country.


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