The Meaning Behind “N76540”

The Rifle Airshows’ RV-8 is a highly polished member of the most prolific family of homebuilt aircraft ever made. N76540 is a beautifully built example with a unique history. The N-number tells the story of the builder (Eugene Gaddis) who served as a fighter pilot in the United States Air Force. The N-number stands for the jets that Gene flew during his time as a military aviator: 7 is for A-7, 6 – F106, 5 – F5, 4 – F104, and 0 represents the F-100 and the A-10.

In 2009 (while deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom) Rifle heard of Gene’s passing and that his airplane would be available for purchase. As an A-10 pilot, the idea of owning/flying an airplane that was built by someone who flew as part of the original A-10 test team was very appealing. The fact that N76540 was built straight, light, and flies like a dream made it an easy choice.

Gene’s F-100 was brought out of the Pima Air and Space Museum and put on static display during the 2010 Davis Monthan Air Force Base Open House. Rifle got permission to land N76540 during the show and capture some very special pictures.

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