Verville Sport Trainer

The Museum's eye-catching Verville Sportsman AT open-cockpit biplane is the sole survivor of the ten aircraft of the type built in the early 1930s. It was the last of the production airplane designs to come from the fertile mind of the inventive genius Albert Victor Verville, whose lifetime service in many government aviation roles earned him the citation "Elder Statesman of Aviation." Assessing the airplane market of the late 1920s, Verville saw the need for a rugged training biplane for both military and civilian markets, as well as for affluent sportsmen pilots. Unfortunately, like so many airplanes of the depression era, its high price forced the end of production before the aircraft could establish a market foothold.

In 1958, Alfred Verville initiated a search for the Sportsman aircraft in his desire to see it donated to the Smithsonian's National Air Museum. After locating one from William Champlin, Jr., president of Skyhaven Inc. in Rochester, New Hampshire, Champlin responded favorably to Verville's request and it arrived at the Museum in 1963.