VanGrunsven RV-1

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Role Homebuilt aircraft
National origin United States
Designer Richard VanGrunsven
Introduction October 1965
Developed from Stits Playboy

The RV-1 is a Stits Playboy that was constructed with modifications by Richard VanGrunsven. The aircraft was the first of a series of Van's aircraft that became the most popular homebuilt aircraft produced.

Design and development[edit]

Picture of an SA-3A Playboy shows the original struts and canopy arrangement

The first RV-1 was a Stits SA-3A completed on 3 October 1965. The Playboy is a single-place, strut-braced, low-wing aircraft with conventional landing gear. The aircraft engine was upgraded from the normally-fitted 65 hp (48 kW) powerplant to a 125 hp (93 kW) Lycoming O-290G. The resulting aircraft had good performance, but a high landing speed.[1] On 16 August 1965, the aircraft was registered as an RV-1. Modifications included a new aluminum wing with flaps, Horner wing tips, and a bubble canopy. The fuselage uses welded steel tube construction in contrast to the RV series that followed which uses all-aluminum fuselage construction. The flaps reduced the stall speed to 50 mph (80 km/h). A second series of modifications included a streamlined cowling, wheel pants and modified horizontal tail surfaces.[2]

Operational history[edit]

The organization Friends of the RV-1 was formed to restore the prototype RV-1. It was flown across the United States and Canada in 2012 to various airshows and events. On 23 July 2012, the prototype RV-1 will be showcased at the EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, prior to donation to the EAA AirVenture Museum.[3]

The Spirit of Flight Center air museum located in Erie, Colorado has an RV-1 which is airworthy. The Spirit of Flight RV-1 is displayed at the museum and at airshows and events.[citation needed]


Specifications (RV-1)[edit]

Data from Sport Aviation

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1
  • Length: 18 ft (5.5 m)
  • Wingspan: 20 ft (6.1 m)
  • Wing area: 90 sq ft (8.4 m2)
  • Empty weight: 738 lb (335 kg)
  • Gross weight: 1,065 lb (483 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Lycoming O-290G Horizontally opposed piston, 125 hp (93 kW)
  • Propellers: 2-bladed


  • Stall speed: 43 kn; 80 km/h (50 mph)


  1. ^ "EAA Airventure Museum RV-3 virtual exhibit". Retrieved 9 June 2012.
  2. ^ Lane Wallace (June 2012). "Van's Air force". Sport Aviation.
  3. ^ "Special Delivery: Arrival, Dedication Set for RV-1". Retrieved 9 June 2012.

External links[edit]