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Budd Davisson to Enter EAA Homebuilders Hall of Fame

Budd Davisson

We’re highlighting each of this year’s EAA Sport Aviation Halls of Fame inductees in eHotline. Check out next week’s edition for another profile on one of this year’s inductees.

Budd Davisson, EAA 22483, of Phoenix, Arizona, known worldwide for his extensive writings on homebuilt aircraft, aerobatic flight, and aviation safety, will be honored by EAA on November 10 with his induction to the EAA Homebuilders Hall of Fame. Davisson is one of five individuals to be honored that evening with various EAA halls of fame inductions.

Davisson, a native of Seward, Nebraska, received a degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Oklahoma, where in 1965 he used the Thorp T-18 as the class subject in structural analysis. John Thorp then recommended him for a job in California, where he experienced his first homebuilt flight in Bill Warwick’s 180-hp T-18, the first Thorp aircraft flying.

In 1966, while in college, Davisson attended his first of 53 EAA conventions by hitchhiking from Oklahoma to Rockford, Illinois, then the site of the EAA fly-in. In a quirk of fate, homebuilt designer Leeon Davis picked him up and had him fly 15 hours in five-minute DA-2A demo flights around the airport.

While finishing his master’s degree, Davisson instructed more than 1,000 hours for OU, graduated, and then instructed at an aerobatic school in New Jersey and formed a group to buy the sixth factory-built Pitts Special. Today, nearly 7,500 of his 10,500 hours are landing instruction in Pitts. He remains a CFII/MEL and is also type-rated in the B-25 and the P-38.

Davisson’s 1969 monthly column for Air Progress magazine, which went on to run for 46 years in three newsstand aviation magazines, was the first of nearly 4,000 magazine articles. Approximately half of his nearly 300 pilot reports have been on experimental amateur-built aircraft and EAA magazines have published nearly 400 of his articles, beginning in the late 1960s. Those writings range from welding to selecting designs, along with his monthly homebuilt Shop Talk column. Additionally, Davisson has averaged a forum presentation a day since the 1990s during EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, most covering homebuilt subjects.

For Curtis Pitts’ 75th birthday party, Davisson organized and led the building of a replica of the original Pitts Special. After flying and writing a story on the Bearhawk, Davisson licensed the design rights and helped start the factory in Mexico for the Bearhawk kit, teaching the workers welding and other skills.

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