On July 22, father and son duo Bruno and Salvo Sanna of France arrived in Oshkosh, finishing a 12-day journey across the Atlantic Ocean in their RV-7. Both lifelong aviation enthusiasts, Bruno is a professional pilot in France.
“Personally, I’m a professional pilot,” Bruno said. “I was a fighter pilot in the French Air Force, and then I’m a private pilot now on the jets. But, as I used to say, it’s due to my father.”
Bruno grew up watching his father, Salvo, work on a variety of builds, mostly Van’s aircraft but also one of his own design. Together, they built the RV-7 they flew to Oshkosh.
“I was always not far from him when he built aircraft,” Bruno said. “I fell in love with Van’s.”
“They are tremendous,” Salvo added.
“To build, that’s a very pleasant and awesome experience, and we share it,” Bruno said. “And to fly, it’s also a very pleasant airplane, and very efficient.”
Efficiency was very important for such a long trek. Bruno and Salvo started in Toulouse, France, jumping from there to England, Scotland, Iceland, Greenland, Canada, and finally to Michigan before arriving in Oshkosh. According to Bruno, the trip went well.
“It was awesome and everything went well,” Bruno said. “We had no rush regarding the timing, so that’s what’s very, very good for that, because of the weather. No problem. We have waited enough time to take off with the good weather.”
Originally leaving France with two other aircraft, they arrived in Oshkosh with only one other, losing a friend to aircraft repairs in Canada.
Such a long trip in a homebuilt can be daunting, and one might expect many changes or additions to an aircraft in preparation. Besides a few special aspects in the original airplane build, Bruno said they only made one change for the flight over.
“The only modification was an additional tank,” Bruno said. “In front, [the airplane] is special, because I don’t think there are too many systems like this. We have an EFII system on the engine, which is all electronic fuel and ignition system.”
After such a long flight, Bruno and Salvo are happy to finally be at Oshkosh.
“We didn’t have time to come here before because of work,” Bruno said. “[This year] the timing was perfect, when we were building this aircraft. At the end of the building, we met with our friend, and thought why not go to Oshkosh? We decided to go.”
“It’s a dream come true,” Salvo said.