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From the Editor - RV-1 Is Coming to Canada!

By Ian Brown, Editor – Bits and Pieces, EAA 657159

Last month I had the pleasure of attending the 38th annual Sun 'n Fun Fly-In at Lakeland, Florida. The weather was perfect - no severe weather like the tornado that marred last year's event. Although there weren't many Canadian aircraft in evidence, the visitor map indicated many Canadian visitors to the show, including probably several "snowbirds" wintering in the area.

Sun 'n Fun International Visitors - North America
Map of International Visitors - North America

As you can see from the photo there were a lot of attendees from Ontario and Quebec and quite a sprinkling from other provinces, too. The photo was taken on Thursday, so there were still three days to come with the busiest expected on the weekend. There was a very large attendance from Brazil, too.

Dick VanGrunsven's original design, the RV-1, was there showing its paces on the flightline. There was a dedicated show area for the plane and Dick was often there. This significant aircraft that signaled the start of Van's will do a summer tour of North America including a May trip through eastern and central Canada as well as a visit to the West Coast in late June. While there seems to be potential for other stops for fuel, the main dates are:

  • May 19-20: Fly-in breakfasts at Stanley, NS (CCW4)
  • May 26: Fly-in breakfast at Windsor, ON (CYQG) (Rain date: May 27)
  • June 23: Langley Fly-in at Langley, BC (CYNJ)

The RV-1 tour around the U.S. and Canada is generally anchored around weekend events as the aircraft flies from event to event during the week. The aircraft will be handed off from pilot group to pilot group as it travels around the continent. The first Van's design should be transferred to Canadian hands (Don Bertelsen and Ross Keirstead) in St. Stephen, NB, on or around May 14. It will then be ferried to Sussex, NB (CCY3), where it will sit until being ferried to Stanley, NS, for the Victoria Day weekend fly-in breakfasts.

This information is the latest we have and is subject to change, with weather being the main controlling factor. Kevin Horton will be organizing the Canadian segments of this flight and we thank him for this timely information.

If you enjoy air shows, loud noises, and lots of pyrotechnics, then you would have probably preferred Friday through Sunday at Lakeland with the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, the Commemorative Air Force's restored (and the world's only flying) B-29 FIFI, and several explosions along the flightline.

Sun 'n Fun provided admission discounts to both EAA and AOPA members. The food services were excellent with very few lines, decent prices, and generally good quality. Camping seemed to be very well organized as usual, and with the mostly clear skies, a good time was had by all.

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