EAA’s local chapters are all about people, bringing together individuals interested in learning more about aviation as well as sharing their own knowledge. We here in Chapter 33 take pride in our rich history, and many of our former (and some current) members have played surprisingly important roles in aviation history!
Founded in the early 1960’s by Red Miner, Marv Hoppenworth, John Wall, and others; our Chapter gets its full name (the Alexander M. Lippisch Chapter) after the famous German aeronautical engineer. Born in 1894, Mr. Lippisch gained an interest in aviation after watching a demonstration conducted by Orville Wright in Berlin in 1909. It wasn’t long until he himself became a pioneer of aerodynamics whose contributions to the understanding of flying wings, delta wings, and ground effect helped revolutionize the world of aviation throughout the 1920’s and 30’s. By the time WWII ended he immigrated to the United States, and after a short period working for American aircraft manufacturer Convair (where he helped design the F-92, the first flying jet-powered delta-wing aircraft), he moved right here to Cedar Rapids, IA in 1950 to work for the Collins Radio Company. During his time here, he continued to experiment and inspire others in pushing the limits of our understanding of aviation and aerodynamics. His focus shifted towards ground effect aircraft, where numerous designs were tested and flown. By the time he passed in 1976, hundreds of prototype aircraft ranging from simple gliders to rocket-powered fighters were credited to his design.
In the years since the inception of EAA and Chapter 33, we’re proud to say we’ve been part of numerous accomplishments–both big and small–including builders being featured in magazines, starting the emergency aircraft repair station at AirVenture (now run by neighboring Chapter 75), and even having our pilots fly one-of-a-kind airplanes for National Geographic documentaries! Our involvement with Young Eagles is another point of pride for our Chapter. Since the program’s start in 1992, literally millions of children nationwide ages 8-17 have gotten their first experience flying in a small plane through this program, and our Chapter consistently fulfills its duty in contributing to that number by holding many events throughout our region each year.
Geographically, the Chapter covers a wide area of Eastern Iowa, from roughly Vinton to the north, Washington to the south, Belle Plaine to the West, and Monticello and Tipton to the east, including the Cedar Rapids and Iowa City areas. These “boundaries” aren’t set in stone, however– we’ve been known to participate in (or even host) events well beyond those lines!
Because our Chapter is spread over such a large area, we have many members living across a wide range of Eastern Iowa. Many have built or are building their own aircraft, and have become members to share their knowledge and learn from others. Many others are pilots with no special interest in building, but want to become involved with the community either through fly-in events or Young Eagles Rallies. Yet other members aren’t even pilots at all, but wish to help be a part of our events. No matter what your background is, all are welcome!
We hold monthly meetings, typically on the 4th Thursday or Saturday of the month. Our meetings cover a wide range of topics, and may focus on a visit to a member’s house to see their building project, a presentation on some aspect of flying, or a potluck cookout. We strive to provide a balance of building and flying topics.
While our meetings and newsletter are definitely educational, the friendships and time together with other pilots and builders are the best parts of belonging to the Chapter. Feel free to contact us or visit one of our meetings, and we would love to have you become an active part of our Chapter!