Kitty Hawk Aerodrome near Pretoria called on RV pilots to join them for the very popular RV fly-in, and boy did they answer the call with a total of fifty four RV’s making the trip. The weather was wonderful except for the wind gusting at times.
The fly-in was not only for RV’s though anyone was welcome to join in an amazing breakfast buffet served up by Rikus, Alison and the team at the Kitty Hawk club House. In total there were a whopping seventy five visiting aircraft this included a trike, gyros, some helicopters and a variety of fixed wing aircraft.
The kitty Hawk RV Fly-in has been running annually for the last few years but this one was by far the best attended. The RV community is growing at a very rapid pace in South Africa as elsewhere in the world, every fly-in there seems to be a some new members of the RV family that haven’t been seen before.
This year there were thirteen RV-10’s; I can’t remember ever witnessing so many of these wonderful aircraft at the same place at the same time. The RV-10 is the only four seater in the Vans RV Stable, it has earned a very good reputation for its robust design coupled with very comfortable flight characteristics and speed, and it is fast becoming a favourite amongst general aviation pilots with a need for some extra space.
During the morning the Raptors RV formation team decided to go out and practice in the Kitty Hawk aerobatic box, unfortunately the Raptors are not currently active on the Airshow circuit but hopefully they will be back next year . Pierre Gouws, Ryan Beaton, Dion Raath and Trevor Warner, The original Raptor team, were joined by three understudies in a beautiful seven ship formation. The original team the broke off and delivered a very polished practice, once again proving that they are a world class aerobatic outfit.
The day wasn’t only about aircraft as the Classic Car Club of Pretoria joined in the fun, bringing out there prized vehicles for display. Invariably aviation enthusiasts appreciate these wonderfully restored machines so partnering with a classic motor club always makes for a good combination.
This year’s event was jointly sponsored by Sport plane builders and Robin Coss, both very experienced RV builders for those pilots who want a RV but can’t see themselves building it themselves. They were joined by Atlas Aviation Oil who graciously stepped up to assist with the event.
Richard van Grunsven could never in his wildest dreams expected the popularity of his designs when he designed the first RV in the seventies. The R range has since grown to eight different models, of which some are available in nose wheel and taildragger configuration. Vans seem to have built an aircraft to meet the needs of any pilot in the general aviation spectrum from the very light RV-12 LSA which is powered by the ever popular Rotax 912iS Sport or 912ULS 100 hp engine, to the very comfortable RV-10 four seater which is powered by the bulletproof 260 hp Lycoming IO-540. Vans RV aircraft are all home built and as a result a network of RV home builders has emerged and they are always willing to offer advice to anyone building a RV anywhere in the world, help is always at hand.
Dawie Pretorius Airport manager and Frank Van Heerden did a sterling job of planning and executing this enormously successful event. Nigel Musgrave was on hand to monitor all aspects of safety with a host of volunteers that did duty as marshals in the hot sun, thanks for all the effort guys. Another word of thanks must go to Francois Pretorius for keeping everyone entertained and informed throughout the day.
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