...An Elite Club

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Assuming he makes it, Randolph will be among a handful of people on the list kept by Earthrounders who've flown a homebuilt around the world. So far, Australian adventurer Jon Johanson is the only RV owner (on that list) to make the trip and he's done it twice, including a loop over the North Pole, in his RV-4. Randolph's successful jaunt would be another feather in the cap for Van's Aircraft, which makes the RV series of kit planes. (Experimentals -- originating from all manufacturers -- now make up about 10 percent of the GA fleet.) According to the RV company Web site, Randolph's is one of 4,118 flying RVs, making it the most popular homebuilt. In fact, if all those RVs were registered in the U.S. (we don't know how many aren't), they'd represent about 20 percent of the homebuilt total, which weighs in at about 22,000 finished flying aircraft, according to figures supplied to us by the FAA.