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Dick VanGrunsven designed and built the RV-6A as a tricycle gear airplane with side-by-side seating in 1986. The tricycle gear was used to accommodate the next generation of flight instructors who have little or no experience in taildraggers, a fact reluctantly accepted by Dick.

Dick hired Art Chard to help with the design because Art had constructed his own side-by-side version of an RV in the late 1970s. The RV-6A’s landing gear was set up much like the Grumman Yankee or any number of trigear aircraft, in that it did not employ nose gear steering. By fairing the new gear very nicely, the RV-6A came out looking lean and fast.

The RV-6A was an instant success and over 300 airplanes were under construction within the first two years the new design was on the market. Dick and his staff were overwhelmed with orders and were hard-pressed to keep up with orders while maintaining the quality of the kit.

In 1997, Dick wanted to supply EAA’s Young Eagles program with one of his RV-6A airplanes. EAA obtained an RV-6A quick-build kit, which was constructed by volunteers at EAA Headquarters in Oshkosh. Many people donated their time, talents, and money to help make the project a reality and the new plane was completed before the end of year.

The Young Eagles RV-6A is now used for informal instructional flights with the EAA Air Academy to provide a mechanism for students to apply the knowledge they have gained through the academy’s programs.

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