April 23, 2014 - One of the most universally recognized aircraft to emerge from the EAA homebuilt movement marks its 50th anniversary this year - the RLU-1 Breezy - and EAA is inviting Breezy owners and operators to bring their aircraft to AirVenture Oshkosh 2014 where a number of special activities are being planned.
Special Breezy T-Shirt Honors Carl Unger
Breezy enthusiasts can get into the celebration spirit before Oshkosh with a new 50th anniversary Breezy T-shirt honoring its late co-designer and pilot, Carl Unger, who provided many thousands of complimentary Breezy flights to people over the years. “We stopped counting after 10,000,” said Carl’s son, Rob.
The special commemorative shirt features Carl’s trademark red vest and tie with an EAA lifetime pin emblazoned on front, and his caricature on the back.
The one-of-a-kind 50th Anniversary Breezy T-Shirt is now available through the EAA online store in sizes S to XL, $17.99 for members, $21.99 for non-members. It’s also available in 2X for $19.99 (members), $23.99 (non-members). To order yours, visit Shop EAA. The T-shirt is also available at the museum store in Oshkosh.
The Breezy was designed and constructed in 1964 by EAA members Charley Roloff, Bob Liposky, and Carl Unger. It featured a pair of Piper PA-12 wings and a factory-new Continental C-90-8 engine in pusher configuration and seating for two side-by-side passengers aboard the welded 4130 tubing structure. Registered as N59Y, the first Breezy made its initial EAA fly-in appearance the following year at the annual convention in at Rockford, Illinois, and a tradition was born.
Untold thousands of people have experienced the unique thrill of flight in the open-air airplane - including an FAA administrator, Sen. Barry Goldwater, actor Cliff Robertson, the entire Concorde crew, Apollo astronauts – to name a few. N59Y, along with a Carl Unger mannequin, is now proudly displayed in the Homebuilt area of the EAA AirVenture Museum.
EAA Founder Paul Poberezny called the Breezy one of the most popular airplanes to ever appear at the fly-in, and credited Carl for getting many people excited about aviation. Over the years, thousands of people have received free Breezy rides from the red-vested Unger. Thousands of plan sets have been sold. Carl Unger, EAA 2515, passed away in September 2013, and his son, Rob, EAA 585561, has continued to make the plans available. Today around 1,000 Breezys in various configurations are flying.
Among the special activities in the works:
- Special assigned parking will be available for attending Breezys. Carl Unger would routinely park N59Y just beyond the Brown Arch at Oshkosh, Rob said, and plans are being worked out for a special Breezy area in that vicinity.
- See Breezy flybys during the week, and you won’t want to miss a special Breezy formation flight, including a missing man salute for Carl (date and time to be determined).
- Initially planned was a special Breezy dinner, but organizers are now planning (appropriately so) to be a part of the annual EAA Homebuilders Dinner Thursday evening, July 31. That night will include presentation of the first Carl H. Unger Award of Excellence.
Before AirVenture, everyone is invited to a pre-departure barbecue just south of Chicago at Bult Field (C56) the day before airplanes depart for Oshkosh. Food, beverages, fuel, and hangars will be available in the event of inclement weather, with nearby lodging and camping available.
Those interested in attending are asked to e-mail Rob at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The hope is to have as many Breezys fly to Oshkosh as possible for a fitting celebration. Of course, some owners may prefer not to fly their planes to AirVenture even though they’d love to participate. So a ferry service is being organized for Breezy owners to have someone from a pool of highly qualified pilots help fly their plane to Oshkosh. Those who are interested are asked to e-mail Rob at email@example.com.
All this and more details to come as they are finalized, so stay tuned. Keep up with further developments on the Breezy 50th Anniversary Facebook page.