Sat, Nov 11, 2006
Prototype Kit LSA Entry Makes First Hop
Van's Aircraft flew its RV-12 prototype for the first
time Thursday, November 9, with Dick "Van"
VanGrunsven at the controls.
The RV-12 is the newest design in Van's line of kit planes
marketed to the experimental crowd. It's intended to meet FAA
requirements for Light Sport Aircraft (LSA).
All of the Van's designs have earned a reputation among builders
and pilots alike for their simplicity, ruggedness and efficiency,
and because they're just plane (sp) fun.
The company added some new design features to the RV-12
prototype such as removable wings, full-span flaperons and a
fully-moving stabilator. All or none of these might make it to the
production kit depending on how each performs during flight
Van's advertised performance goals for the RV-12 include:
- Flying qualities equal to or better than the RV-9A
- A 550 lb payload
- 750 lb empty weight
Design goals to help builders include:
- A low parts count, to reduce kit costs and assembly time
- Systems installation at the lowest possible level of structural
- Minimal use of composites
- Maximum use of simple hand tools
Tentative data on the company's website lists the RV-12 as
having a wing span just over 26 feet, total lenth of just
under 20 feet, 20-gallons of fuel capacity, a Rotax 912S 100
hp engine and a ground-adjustable Sensenich propeller.
Van took off and flew the RV-12 over the Aurora, OR
airport Thursday morning sampling its takeoff, landing and
slow flight characteristics. A short blurb on the company website
wouldn't go into details about how the prototype flew, but it did
say Van was grinning when he popped the canopy after landing!
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