T. Claude Ryan
Owner, Ryan Aircraft Company
It was always my father’s dream to build and fly his own air plane. His inspiration was the barnstorming exploits of pilots like Charles Lindberg. Years after a long and successful career as an aeronautical engineer on the West Coast for Ryan Aircraft, Convair and General Dynamics he grabbed his slide rule, disappeared evenings into the garage and produced his first home-built aircraft.
Encouraged by friends to market his creation he formed his own company and the VP-1 was officially launched. As a professionally engineered air plane it quickly proved to be a popular, inexpensive to build and reliable answer to a wide variety of sport aviation enthusiasts. Whether amateur, commercial or experienced military pilots, all were eager to experience the simple pleasures of seat-of-the pants aviation. Moreover the Volksplane helped to foster the emergence of the emerging home-built market within the EAA.
Growing up I was able to witness my father’s enthusiasm for aviation, whether it be flying model air planes, piloting gliders off the California cliffs, designing combat aircraft in the defense industry or exploring the possibilities of manned space flight. Later as a young man I was able to appreciate the fulfilment of his youthful Depression era dream of building and flying his own creation - the VP-1.
At the end of his life in 2009 it remained his dream and hope that his unique contribution to the home built aviation market would continue and remain a part of the legacy of sport aviation. As the manager of Evans Aircraft, it is my privilege to continue his legacy and to keep that dream alive among like minded enthusiasts now and in the future.
— Peter Evans