Juris Grinbergs, 65, living in Riga is building a flying replica of the VEF Irbitis I-12. The project has been
underway since 2003.
The frame construction (fuselage, wings and tail) is well underway, and he has managed to obtain a
very rare 90-hp Cirrus engine, similar to the one used in the original aircraft 70 years ago.
Juris reports that, in 1990 when Irbitis was still alive, some enthusiasts had contacted him about building
an I-12, but with modern materials. Irbitis replied that this could be done, but it would no longer be his
aircraft - the I-12 was intended to be made of wood. Juris has taken this to heart and is building his copy
with the same materials used in the 1930s, working with Irbitis' signed blueprints from that time.
Juris Grinbergs does not have his pilot's license - yet. He has, however, logged flying time with an instructor
and does not anticipate problems passing the exams. For the time being he is remaining focussed on tbe
August 2008 - Juris Grinbergs writes that the aircraft is nearly complete and will soon undergo flight tests
and certification. He is delighted with the progress, and wishes to thank Ivars Zorgenfreijs, director of the Latvian Aviation Society,
who has been very supportive of this project. Hopefully, we may soon receive some 'in-flight' photos.
- Artis Drezin's newspaper article
- correspondence with J.Grinbergs