Homebuilt groups meet

As the homebuilt community gears up to honor Experimental Aircraft Association founder Paul Poberezny at next year’s AirVenture, officials with the Aircraft Kit Industry Association (AKIA) recently sat down with senior staff at EAA to discuss a variety of issues.

Both organizations support the One Week Wonder project, in which EAA will invite the public to experience hands-on participation in the construction of a Zenith CH 750 (pictured below) at AirVenture 2014. Construction of the aircraft will be completed in one week, providing people with an opportunity to see how much fun and excitement is involved in building an aircraft, according to officials.

Zenith CH750a

Zenith CH750

EAA officials noted the association will be making changes to the area and activities in the north display area (where most kit makers display their aircraft) and the buildings just to the south of that area. AKIA is charged with coming up with an appropriate name for the display space.

Reflecting on a consensus of their membership, AKIA requested that EAA shorten AirVenture by one day, since the field is virtually deserted on Sunday. They also suggested having an “AKIA Day” at AirVenture, which EAA enthusiastically embraced, and will begin working on an outline for appropriate activities.

AKIA will provide EAA with a list of manufacturers’ representatives who will each spend time at Interview Circle during the week discussing the kits they have designed and are currently manufacturing. EAA was asked to provide AKIA members with a new exhibits liaison to assist with issues before, during and after the convention.

Dick VanGrunsven, CEO of Vans Aircraft and president of AKIA, expressed a wish for support and involvement with aircraft building projects for teens. He explained the benefits of involving young people in kit building, which are extensive. There was also candid discussion about Transition Training Instructors, LODAs, the Type Club Coalition and encouraging Angle of Attack Systems for homebuilts.

“The meeting was very positive and productive,” said VanGrunsven. “We covered many subjects. I found the people at EAA to be very understanding about the importance of the kit and homebuilt aircraft industry. AKIA looks forward to working closely with EAA to further our many mutual interests.”


  1. Keith says

    Building a plane at AirVenture won’t get “public ” involved — everyone there is already interested enough to spend a lot of money to be there.

    Instead, EAA chapters around the country should build major components at public venues, inviting observer participation, then send the parts to Oshkosh — to be assembled into the Plane of A Million Dreams. Builders would get a Certificate of
    Participation, which will include the address of a special website where they can see pics and video of the plane flying at AirVenture, and find their name on the list of builders.

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