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 important roles in aviation history!
Our Chapter was founded in 1961 by Marv Hoppenworth, Red Miner, John Wall, and others. We are the Alexander M. Lippisch Chapter, honoring the famous German aeronautical engineer who gained an interest in aviation after watching a demonstration conducted by Orville Wright in Berlin in 1909. He became a pioneer of aerodynamics and contributed much to our understanding of flying wings, delta wings, and ground effect, which all revolutionized aviation throughout the 1920s and 1930s. After WWII ended, he immigrated to the United States and began working for American aircraft manufacturer Convair, helping to design the F-92 (first jet-powered delta-wing aircraft). He then moved here to Cedar Rapids in 1950 and worked for the Collins Radio Company. At Collins, he experimented and inspired others to push the limits of our understanding of aviation and aerodynamics. His focus shifted to 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 designs.
We’re proud to say that our Chapter has many 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, millions of children ages 8-17 nationwide have gotten their first experience flying in a small plane through this program. Our Chapter hosts several Young Eagles Rallies each year across our Chapter airports flying hundreds of youth and providing many with their first flight experiences. In recent years, we have also begun offering Eagle flights for adults interested in learning more about aviation.
Our Chapter is spread over a large area in east central Iowa, and we strive to hold meetings and events at our "member" airports - Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, Belle Plaine, Marion, Monticello, Tipton, Vinton, and Washington. Several members have built or are building their own aircraft, and some became members to share their knowledge and to learn from others. Many other members are pilots with more of an interest in active flying (not building), and they add to our active aviation community. Some members aren’t active pilots or may be student pilots - but all join together to create our vibrant Chapter 33. No matter what your background is, you are welcome, and we look forward to meeting you!
Check out our Calendar - our monthly meetings are customarily held on the 4th Saturday of the month at 10:00 AM. These gatherings include a wide range of activities - e.g., build project visits, aviation presentations, safety seminars, potluck cookouts, etc. Please see the Event Calendar page for more details.
If you've got an interest in aviation, be sure to stop in and join us at a meeting. All are welcome! Got a question - contact us! We would love to have you become an active member of our Chapter!