Bob Allen, an EAA member since 1997, was born and raised in Anadarko, OK in 1927. A man who flew a Ford Tri-Motor traveled around the country selling airplane rides, and landed it in a field near his town. So at about six years old he and his older brother had their first plane ride along with about a dozen other people. This got him interested in flying.
He became a Real Estate Broker in Saginaw, Michigan. His wife was from Saginaw as well, and they were together for fifty years. They never did get used to the cold climate in Michigan. His wife Margaret died after forty-seven happy years of marriage. They had two children, Peggy Sue and Steven. Bob’s older brother Merle lived in Mission, which is why he moved to the valley after retiring from the real estate business. Bob and Steven still live in McAllen, TX.
Mr. Allen has always been interested in learning to fly, but couldn’t due to raising the children and the high cost of lessons. Since he was retired and single after moving to the Rio Grande Valley, he started taking lessons at McCreery’s from a man named George. However, after starting the lessons when he was in his 70s, he had a heart attack, therefore no longer able to obtain a flying license. About the same time he started flying classes, he started to build an RV-6A. He was able to work on it full time, so had it done in about three years. It was quite the sight for people to see an airplane being built in his mobile home park drive way and workroom. When it was ready to put the wings on, he took it out to McCreery’s. Max Cover purchased the tail dragger from him.
About a year later he got eager to build again, and says he “really enjoys the building part as it keeps the brain active.”
The second one was one he designed with his son, was the “Bob Allen/Steven Special.” Steven was an art major in high school and college, so was helpful with the engineering and construction of both planes. They mention that it takes a lot of measuring and patience to build. The second plane was a composite with blue Corning Styrofoam; “a sandwich construction fiberglass.”
This was also built in his driveway under the awning at his park, and is still there. They took it and the wings to McCreery’s, but the high wings weren’t quite right, so it’s back at his home. Bob still putters around with it. It may be done in a few months to finish the revised wings, depending on the weather. It has a four cylinder Volkswagen engine, and the doors are clear, so one would have quite a magnificent view from either seat.