Team RV to make first Oshkosh appearance

Team RV, the world’s largest airshow team that combines precision formation flying and formation aerobatics, makes its first Oshkosh appearance this summer at EAA AirVenture, slated for July 23-29 at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh.

During their performances at Oshkosh, Team RV members will fly the RV aircraft from Van’s Aircraft. These kit aircraft are the most popular amateur-built aircraft in the world, with more than 7,000 of them currently flying. As the RV aircraft are built by individuals, no two are exactly alike, and the multitude of paint schemes creates unmatched colors swaths across the sky.

“Team RV is changing the face of airshows throughout the country with its unique and exciting performance,” said Jim DiMatteo, EAA’s vice president for AirVenture features attractions. “The team’s appearance is noteworthy as Van’s Aircraft founder Dick VanGrunsven will be honored during AirVenture 2012 for his contributions to sport aviation.”

Team RV consists of 12 aircraft that are capable of speeds in excess of 200 mph and gravitational forces of up to 6 g’s. The team flies tight formations of recognizable shapes and carries out difficult rejoins within the aerobatic at show center. Its four-ship aerobatic wing integrates diamond loops, Cuban eights, line abreast hammerheads, barrel rolls and more. Back on the ground, all ships salute the audience with a formation pivot turn and full smoke.

“Our routine requires intense concentration, highly developed stick and rudder skills, and complete trust in fellow wingmen,” said Mike “Kahuna” Stewart, Team RV founder and flight lead. “The reward of carrying out an action-packed performance with multiple aircraft can only be attained as a result of the passion and dedication of all team pilots.”

Stewart started Team RV in 2002 and since then, the team has evolved to a 12-man group that now headlines at national airshows throughout the eastern U.S. It has opened for the Blue Angels, the Thunderbirds, and the Snowbirds. Team RV members also took part in the 2007 and 2009 world record flights for the largest civilian formation ever recorded, both at Oshkosh, when more than three dozen RVs flew in formation over the AirVenture grounds.

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