Glasair’s 30th anniversary Fly-In began last Friday and by noon on Saturday, there were more than 50 Glasairs, GlaStars and Sportsman aircraft at Flabob Airport (RIR) in Riverside, Calif.
The occasion was the annual gathering of the Glasair Clan, which coincided this year with the 30th anniversary of the company. Aircraft were flown into the Southern California airfield from as far away as Florida and two Glasair owners came commercially from Iceland.
There were many fly-overs, hours of inspecting airplanes and chatting in the shade by the EAA Chapter One building. Over 100 people attended lunch and in the evening there were a series of talks. The highlight of the night was an hour of reminiscing and recounting the early years of Glasair, when the company shared an airstrip with a pig farm. Company founders Tom Hamilton (pictured below) and Ted Setzer traced their decision to give up careers as dentists and embark on designing and testing airplanes. Hamilton described a little two-place tandem aircraft that few people ever saw and that he only flew three times before Setzer set fire to it. It was, admittedly, according to Hamilton, an unsuccessful precursor to the first Glasair.
Flabob seemed like an appropriate location for the party, since Tom Wathen owns the airport and the Glasair Company. He has his own Sportsman and pulled out his collection of homebuilt replica racers: the Comet, Meteor, Firecracker and Caudron. “With the Young Eagles program going on in the morning and all the Glasairs arriving, the place got to be very busy,” said Wathen. “It’s amazing to see the energy that develops when you get a bunch of builders together and they have an opportunity to compare notes.”
There were a number of Sportsman aircraft at the event, which were produced through Glasair’s Two Weeks To Taxi Program.