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Mike Armstrong
07-27-2006, 10:28 PM
Just noticed this posted on the Vans website homepage...AirVenture handouts.

http://www.vansaircraft.com/ ...scroll down.

http://www.vansaircraft.com/pdf/12.pdf

Note the 'gullwing' design!...just kidding, it's that reflection optical illusion again :D

InsideOut
08-03-2006, 07:24 PM
Discussion on the RV-12 has really died down after Oshkosh. The flyer Van's posted pretty much reiterates what we already know. Looks like we're all waiting for pictures after the canopy has been mounted, it's painted, or news of a test flight.

'Late 2007' is a long time to wait unless we get a glimpse every now and then.

Rob Davis
Denver, CO

Mike Armstrong
08-04-2006, 10:30 AM
Back on July 26 I e-mailed the webmaster for the Vans website and asked if they would be updating the RV-12 info after Osh. They said that its on the "to do" list but it will be the same info thats in the new RVator that "just came out a couple of weeks ago".

Is there a new RVator out yet that I haven't received? I believe my last one was the 'Third Issue'.

PatrickW
08-05-2006, 08:43 PM
Van's is a great company, with some really great planes.

But life goes on, and none of us are getting any younger, and when the RV-12 does fly it will still be a new design with no history...

Seeing real people fly in with real planes that they built themselves trumps seeing any companies "prototype", Van's included.

After talking with a lot of people at Oshkosh this year who actually flew in planes that they built, I must admit that I'm seriously leaning towards another companies kit.

- Patrick

Rozandshu
08-06-2006, 08:42 AM
Go on don't hold us in suspense,which one??

otterhunter2
08-06-2006, 09:58 AM
Could it be the RANS S-19. Personally, I'm leaning towards it too. Okay don't shoot the messenger. The S-19 apears to have the following advantages IMHO:

Slider canopy vs for now a RV-12 Tipup
Gas tanks are plastic and in the wings vs in the fuselage for the RV-12
Pedal brakes vs a hand lever on the stick of the RV-12
Flaps vs flaperons
Prototype to fly in Sep 06 and is available for sale now vs the RV-12 is a POC


The following are pluses for both companies:

Both are well respected in the homebuilt community
Both provide excellent support and pricing for their products
Both have fielded in excess of 4000 kits to the homebuilding community
Both can be trusted

Since these fine aircraft are restricted to meet a similar mission they do have a lot in common.

Rotex 912 ULS engine
Removeable wings and emp for transport but it appears the VANs solution is more robust
Similar prop solutions
Similar landing gear
CNC matched hole construction
I'm assuming almost identical pricing
Pull rivet contruction
700-1000hr completion times for a non-quick build kit

Okay guys that is my take on these two great examples of cost effective aircraft engineering. Shoot away!!!!!

LOL

:D

RV6junkie
08-06-2006, 10:17 AM
Van's is a great company, with some really great planes.

But life goes on, and none of us are getting any younger, and when the RV-12 does fly it will still be a new design with no history...

Seeing real people fly in with real planes that they built themselves trumps seeing any companies "prototype", Van's included.

After talking with a lot of people at Oshkosh this year who actually flew in planes that they built, I must admit that I'm seriously leaning towards another companies kit.

- Patrick

Patrick,

When I visited AirVenture in 1988 (it was just called The Annual Convention back then) there was only a few customer-flying RV6's. One was built by Allen Tolle, and he stood by that aircraft for 12 hours a day giving people any information they made need.

I went home and ordered an RV6 kit. Should I have waited for 500 of them to be built and flown? No.

It was obvious from the quality of Allen's aircraft (and the lack thereof in the prototype) that almost anyone could build this new design.

I was an early adopter of the RV6 design, and I look forward to having the same status for the RV-12. Van's makes the best flying SE aircraft in the sky. From what I have read, they intend to have the same joyful feel in the -12 as they do in their other (proven) designs. I have flown many different homebuilt aircraft. They are not all created equal. In fact, some of the other popular designs are down-right spooky to fly.

I’ll stick with the proven track history of Van’s Aircraft, Inc. Thank you very much.

Gary Corde
RV-6

Rozandshu
08-06-2006, 10:23 AM
Otterhunter,

Completely agree that the Rans looks a great aircraft.... but....don't you think that if the two are so similar the true winner will be the one that is the most enjoyable to fly?

The RV12 will come from a proven stable of great aircraft and would seem to have that as a real advanntage over the S19 which is a definate step into new territory for Rans.

Until they have a fly off to directly compare I guess it's all a guess! But I agree It's a sweet looking aircraft and I cann't wait for it to fly.

caitlinRV
08-06-2006, 12:35 PM
:p Well I'm going to weigh in on this one, and please lets keep an open mind. If we are going to use the logic that past achievements will certainly define that a new product from the same factory will surely be a success. I will have to wait for the Cessna LSA. A proven company with some models in production for over half a century. Cessna has never built a LSA aircraft before, but neither has Rans, Vans or countless others. :o It will be worth the wait I feel to see these aircraft fly and to judge them on their performance, not the fact that their predecessors were a success. :rolleyes:
:) Caitlin :)

jrsites
08-06-2006, 02:36 PM
Prototype to fly in Sep 06 and is available for sale now vs the RV-12 is a POC

The -12 is supposed to fly about the same time. So aren't both airplanes realtively "unknown quantities" at this time?

It's really semantics. If Vans was calling the -12 a "prototype" instead of a "POC", and were accepting orders, would the S-19 still have an advantage?

The real difference here is that RANS is taking people's money and making commitments for an airplane design that they don't know anything more about than Van knows about the -12. Van, on the other hand, has an airplane that is just as far along, but he won't take anyone's money and won't commit to building it until he fully understands the airplane and the market. I know which makes me more comfortable.

jrsites
08-06-2006, 02:56 PM
A glimpse inside the LSA thoughts that have been turning over in my head:

What's going to be interesting is to see how the cost of an LSA kit compares to a production LSA like Cessna's. The LSA category gives its greatest advantages to the manufacturers, as it greatly reduces the certification costs. This, in turn, allows the manufacturers to reduce the price of the airplane.

LSA kit manufacturers don't enjoy that benefit, obviously. Van has been saying this, and a lot of people are missing it, but there's nothing inherent in the LSA category that are going to make LSA kit airplanes appreciably less expensive than a non-LSA kit. The cost of an RV-7 or RV-9 is based upon the cost of material in the airplane and the portion of the overhead costs the manufacturer passes on. There is not much less metal in the -12 than there is in any of the other RVs, and a new Rotax is going to be just as much as a used Lycoming. Bottom line: expect a -12 kit to end up costing just about as much as a -7 kit.

On the other hand, with the reduced certification costs of a production LSA, Cessna's overhead costs will be greatly reduced. This means that they can bring a new, certified, airplane to market for much less money (relative to other production airplanes).

At the end of the day, LSA kit manufacturers won't be able to reduce the cost of their kits much, but Cessna will be able to make a new LSA for much less than what it would've cost them to make a 152 again.

Sure, a $75,000 to $100,000 Cessna LSA is still much more expensive than a $20,000 to $30,000 RV-12, but that's a much smaller gap than the difference between a $40,000 to $50,000 RV-9 and a new $275,000 172. With the -9 and 172, the extrene difference in cost AND performance makes building a no-brainer for many. With the -12 and Cessna LSA, the difference in cost is less drastic, and there will be no difference in performance. I think there could be a larger number of people for whom the $45,000 to $80,000 difference in cost of a production Cessna LSA is well worth the opportunity cost of a couple of years of their time, especially since the airplane they fly away immediately after writing the check does everything that the RV-12 his neighbor is still building will do.

David-aviator
08-06-2006, 03:01 PM
The RV-12 with its pulled rivets, flaperons and fuselage fuel tank is quite a departure from the traditional RV. I wonder if it will stay that way once flight tests begin.

The design features are due to the rules of LSA, the dumbest being the top speed limit. Pulled rivets, in part, probably are used is to add drag and slow the machine, perhaps the first such design effort ever in aviation history. They certainly cost more than bucked ones, why use them otherwise. Again, the top speed limit of LSA is utterly stupid. How much more difficult is to fly at 120 vrs 150 knots.

Flaperons (?), imaging makeing an approach with them extended. In a gusty wind situation, would not the retracted side (to keep the wings level) cause the stall speed of that wing to increase and perhaps result in a mini snap roll, or at least, a significant yaw in the direction of the extended flaperon? It's like making a split flap approach and landing.

I've not flown a flaperon airplane or know anything about them. The only such machine that comes to mind is the Kitfox.

dd

Deuskid
08-06-2006, 07:42 PM
A glimpse inside the LSA thoughts that have been turning over in my head:

What's going to be interesting is to see how the cost of an LSA kit compares to a production LSA like Cessna's. The LSA category gives its greatest advantages to the manufacturers, as it greatly reduces the certification costs. This, in turn, allows the manufacturers to reduce the price of the airplane.

LSA kit manufacturers don't enjoy that benefit, obviously. Van has been saying this, and a lot of people are missing it, but there's nothing inherent in the LSA category that are going to make LSA kit airplanes appreciably less expensive than a non-LSA kit. The cost of an RV-7 or RV-9 is based upon the cost of material in the airplane and the portion of the overhead costs the manufacturer passes on. There is not much less metal in the -12 than there is in any of the other RVs, and a new Rotax is going to be just as much as a used Lycoming. Bottom line: expect a -12 kit to end up costing just about as much as a -7 kit.

On the other hand, with the reduced certification costs of a production LSA, Cessna's overhead costs will be greatly reduced. This means that they can bring a new, certified, airplane to market for much less money (relative to other production airplanes).

At the end of the day, LSA kit manufacturers won't be able to reduce the cost of their kits much, but Cessna will be able to make a new LSA for much less than what it would've cost them to make a 152 again.

Sure, a $75,000 to $100,000 Cessna LSA is still much more expensive than a $20,000 to $30,000 RV-12, but that's a much smaller gap than the difference between a $40,000 to $50,000 RV-9 and a new $275,000 172. With the -9 and 172, the extrene difference in cost AND performance makes building a no-brainer for many. With the -12 and Cessna LSA, the difference in cost is less drastic, and there will be no difference in performance. I think there could be a larger number of people for whom the $45,000 to $80,000 difference in cost of a production Cessna LSA is well worth the opportunity cost of a couple of years of their time, especially since the airplane they fly away immediately after writing the check does everything that the RV-12 his neighbor is still building will do.

salient arguments for sure... but what about maintenance? If you build it [as an experimental] can you not then maintain it for significantly less than if you buy a Cessna or other certified? The maintenance issues are, for me, as important as intitial purchase price.

ymmv,

John

jrsites
08-06-2006, 09:22 PM
salient arguments for sure... but what about maintenance? If you build it [as an experimental] can you not then maintain it for significantly less than if you buy a Cessna or other certified? The maintenance issues are, for me, as important as intitial purchase price.

ymmv,

John

I am far from having even a passable understanding of all the LSA category rules, but my understanding is that buyers of a production LSA will be able to maintain the airplane themselves after taking a short maintenance course.

Mike Armstrong
08-06-2006, 09:26 PM
The idea of building a 'Vans' kit is very appealing because, well...its Vans. Vans is such a well known and trusted name in the industry that its very easy, especially for those new to airplane kit building, to feel at ease about what they are about to spend their hard earned money on. Its not only the aircraft design itself, but the reassurance that it will fly, as advertised, after you've spent litterally years and thousands of dollars building it. There are RV building classes, RV clubs, RV websites and RV groups. You say 'RV' at an airshow and someone is sure to know what your talking about. When you build an RV you join a 'family' of other RV builders. Pretty cool stuff and hard to not be attracted to.

But, building a kit plane cannot be taken lightly. It's a long and at times, frustrating endevour. You better love 'everything' about that aircraft before you get involved with it or your unlikely to bother finishing it when times are tuff, and there will be tuff times, you can bet on it. I dont think you can afford to compromise on what is important to YOU when it comes to what YOU envision as your 'baby'. For example, if you love the thought of a taildragger taking shape in your very own garage but 'this time' you'll settle for a tricycle gear, or if you love the 'fighter plane' feeling a tandem cockpit gives you but 'this time' you'll settle for a side by side, ect, ect, then your really taking your chances on 'finishing' your long and expensive project. Just ask those that have gone through it, they will confirm what I'm saying.

Point being, Vans has unveiled 'their' vision of what an LSA should be (albeit it is subject to change), if its not what you yourself envision an LSA, your LSA, should be, then even if it is a 'Vans' kit its not the one you should attempt to build.

I myself am not 100% sold on what Vans has come up with so far with the -12 and I find it tough not to want to join the RV family of builders as soon as possible but I know caution is the word. I'm willing to see what the 'final' design of the -12 will be and if its not what I envision my LSA to be then Vans or not I'll have to look elsewhere.

RudiGreyling
08-07-2006, 01:21 AM
Hi Guys,

Ditto, I have to agree on the following points: The stick brake lever and the long flaperons are not my favourite Van's 'innovations' in the RV12.

The stick brake lever looks cheap and ugly, currently. I hope the flaperons will give the same flying and handling capabilites of a seperate flap/aileron system, that makes RV's so popular.

If I have to choose currently, I'll take a plane without them.
I think the primary reason for the flaperons is due to removable wings.

I think with the rest, vans is spot on with the airplane.

A pitty that sport pilot rules limit top speed...that does not makes sense.
The other portions of the rules makes sense. Slow speed landings, max weight, bagage, etc etc..

I wonder why they (EAA) have limited the TOP speed? Any ideas?

Regards
Rudi

the_other_dougreeves
08-07-2006, 10:38 AM
Hi Guys,

Ditto, I have to agree on the following points: The stick brake lever and the long flaperons are not my favourite Van's 'innovations' in the RV12.

The stick brake lever looks cheap and ugly, currently. I hope the flaperons will give the same flying and handling capabilites of a seperate flap/aileron system, that makes RV's so popular.
Yes, I have to agree that the brake lever is ugly. However, my hope is that this is a prototype, and Van will improve this.

I wonder why they (EAA) have limited the TOP speed? Any ideas?

Regards
Rudi
Can't say that I understand that myself. MGTW, 2 seats and stall speed all make sense. There are a few LSA that could exceed 120kt (e.g., CTSW) but have to re-pitch the prop to stay under. 120kt doesn't make sense to me either.

My WAG would have to be that the FAA wanted it. In many ways, the 150/152 was the model for LSA performance. Hence, 120kt was adequate. I can see the logic, but I'd rather not have the top speed requirement.

BTW, my only other real beef with the whole LSA / SP thing is the 10k MSL limit for sport pilots. It should be fine east of the Rockies, but it won't work well in much of the west.

warren hurd
08-07-2006, 04:53 PM
My WAG on theLSA limited top speed is to enable wider cockpits and make the plane more comfortable.
The main contributor to speed is drag reduction, and the easiest way to reduce drag is to narrow the cockpit.

Notice the LSA have wide cockpits?


Warren
AHYUP (http://ahyup.com)

the_other_dougreeves
08-07-2006, 05:25 PM
My WAG on theLSA limited top speed is to enable wider cockpits and make the plane more comfortable.
The main contributor to speed is drag reduction, and the easiest way to reduce drag is to narrow the cockpit.

Notice the LSA have wide cockpits?
Consider:

T-211 Thorpedo - 39" wide, 120Hp, 85 to 90kt
Evektor SportStar - 46" wide, 100Hp, 100kt
CTSW - 49" wide, 100 Hp, 130+kt (outside US - LSA props are repitched to 120kt max)

However, there is some argument for "super sizing" the cockpits for Americans ;)

Strmn8r
08-08-2006, 07:38 AM
I think everyone is worried that Van is limiting the -12 to the LSA standards. If I recall correctly he is going to license it in the experimental category (although they are calling the -12 an LSA now) so they do not expect it to meet the LSA standards. It will in a specified configuration as the rules require, but I'm sure with some gear leg fairings, wheelpants, changing prop pitch and a few other trimmings it will far exceed the LSA limitations.

As far as pulled rivets I believe it is to help slow it down also, and for pure simplicity of construction. No dimpling, countersinking or deburring, just line up, cleco in place and rivet. I also think they will have a hard time selling it if the construction time is more than 500hrs.

Perhaps I'm off base having never built anything like this, but just my thoughts.

Mel
08-08-2006, 09:41 AM
In the 100-120 mph speed range, drag has little effect. You won't see the difference in speed between pulled and driven rivets. The pulled rivets are to simplify construction. On the negative side, pulled rivets are heavier and higher cost.
As far as top speed limitations, they were put in place because the Sport Pilot rule was developed primarily for lower time pilots with no high performance time.

Jamie
08-08-2006, 09:54 AM
We had a local gentleman who was on the SP/LSA rulemaking committee come and speak to our EAA chapter. He noted that the speed and weight limitations in the rule were mostly due to "protecting" people on the ground. Lower speed + less mass = less momentum in a crash. This jives with Mel's comments.

I thought the speed thing was a bit silly though. It doesn't matter if you have a 100hp engine or a 200hp engine on the nose. If you pull a wing off the the max speed is irrelevant -- terminal velocity is what matters then.

RV6junkie
08-08-2006, 10:54 AM
I'm not too bothered by the top speed limitation. Sure, I do wish it was a little higher, but as Strmn8r mentioned, the right prop, wheel pants and the correct intersection fairing will do wonders to reduce drag.

If I'm going to fly a LSA, I'm gonna make the best of it.

Having drilled, deburred, dimpled, driven, squeezed (and even drilled-out a few) 12,000+ solid rivets, you'd think I'd welcome pulled rivets...but I just can't seem to get past not using the skills I've developed. For that reason I might look to use solid rivets where possible, and pulled rivets where I can't. It's not a speed or a weight thing - it's a me thing.

As far as cost, I'm guessing that it's gonna breakdown as follows:

RV-12 Kit (Crated and Shipped)............$17,000
Rotax 912ULS......................................14,000
Exhaust, prop, & engine accessories.........4,000
Flight & Engine Instruments....................3,000
Avionics (COM, GPS, TXP, Encoder, ELT)....5,000
Electrical and Mechanical Systems............2,000
Paint (If I can build it clean, less paint)....3,000
Interior (DJ makes nice stuff)..................1,000
Misc airframe hardware...........................1,000

That's $50,000. I may be high in some areas, but low in others. I don't have any experience with the Rotax engines so I don't know what I will have to buy and/or fabricate to complete the install. And, since I had an early RV6 kit, I bought or built a lot of stuff that is now included or optional in the modern kits. So lets call it $45 to $50k.

In any event, I’m looking forward to this. When I built my RV6, it was just my wife and I. Now I have 3 sons (more helpers) and I’m hoping to build an aircraft that they can learn to fly and enjoy. Moreover, it is my hope that they will get the same sense of “I can do anything” that I got from building my RV6.

Looking forward to Van’s first flight report…

Gary
RV-6

RVbySDI
08-08-2006, 11:56 AM
Pulled rivets, in part, probably are used is to add drag and slow the machine, perhaps the first such design effort ever in aviation history. They certainly cost more than bucked ones, why use them otherwise.Having built a tube and fabric airplane that utilized pulled rivets exclusively I can tell you that it is most definetly the ease of construction that is the factor for the decision to use them instead of bucked rivets. Pulled rivets allow for one person to build the complete airframe without any "bucking partner". That is one of the big issues I have discovered in building the RV. It takes two to tango with bucked rivets.

Flaperons (?), imaging makeing an approach with them extended. In a gusty wind situation, would not the retracted side (to keep the wings level) cause the stall speed of that wing to increase and perhaps result in a mini snap roll, or at least, a significant yaw in the direction of the extended flaperon? It's like making a split flap approach and landing.

I've not flown a flaperon airplane or know anything about them. The only such machine that comes to mind is the Kitfox.My above mentioned tube and fabric airplane uses flaperons. Your description of what you forsee as happening is not the case. When the "flaps" are cranked into the flaperon they simply extend both ailerons downward (I can also deflect them upward by about 10 degrees or so) when they are engaged. The flaperons are primarily effective as flaps on a straight and level approach (level in terms of not banked rather than in terms of the pitch angle). When banking the plane the flaperons function like any other ailerons whether cranked down or not.

One other thought about flaperons is that they tend to span a greater length of the wing therefore there is more surface acting on the airflow than in normal aileron configurations. This can help maintain control of the airplane when approaching stall speed. If the wing tip part of the wing is approaching stall, because the flaperon configuration will span more of the wing than a conventional aileron, there will be more of the flaperon available to help maintain control of the wing if other parts of the wing are not stalled.

Rozandshu
08-09-2006, 02:31 AM
Could the Hand brake design be a weight saving feature? I've had a few flights in an Ikarus C42 that has a hand brake and I have to say that now I quite like it!
It's very good for short strip work and easy to finesse brake input.

RV6junkie
08-09-2006, 06:18 AM
Could the Hand brake design be a weight saving feature?

In a 1300 pound, 100HP aircraft that stalls at a near walking pace, what do you need brakes for, other than to hold the aircraft still? The hand brake might save a few ounces, but more importantly, it is simple to design and install.

I've been using hand brakes on my motorcycles and bicycles since I was 10 years old. I don't see any problem using one on an LSA either.

Thinking back, I use to fly an old PA-28-140 "Flight-Liner" that had a single hand break at the base of the IP between the front seats (it also had the window-crank trim in the headliner and a push button starter). A quick tap...er...pull of the breaks was all it took to transition from landing to taxiing.

It worked quite well in Piper's stripper model.

the_other_dougreeves
08-09-2006, 02:39 PM
In a 1300 pound, 100HP aircraft that stalls at a near walking pace, what do you need brakes for, other than to hold the aircraft still? The hand brake might save a few ounces, but more importantly, it is simple to design and install.
Several operators of the Rotax 912 have found that if you idle the engine at 2000 RPM vs 1500, the gearboxes last longer. This means more time on the brakes during taxi. Pads are cheaper than gearabox rebuilds!

RV6junkie
08-09-2006, 06:18 PM
Several operators of the Rotax 912 have found that if you idle the engine at 2000 RPM vs 1500, the gearboxes last longer. This means more time on the brakes during taxi. Pads are cheaper than gearabox rebuilds!

That's only 880 rpm at the prop (using the standard 2.273 reduction drive).

David-aviator
08-09-2006, 08:09 PM
My above mentioned tube and fabric airplane uses flaperons. Your description of what you forsee as happening is not the case. When the "flaps" are cranked into the flaperon they simply extend both ailerons downward (I can also deflect them upward by about 10 degrees or so) when they are engaged. The flaperons are primarily effective as flaps on a straight and level approach (level in terms of not banked rather than in terms of the pitch angle). When banking the plane the flaperons function like any other ailerons whether cranked down or not.


Sounds, like you've flown the tube and fabric airplane with flaperons.
Would you mind sharing your impression of how its roll rate and stability on final compare with an RV with conventional ailerons and flaps?

dd

the_other_dougreeves
08-09-2006, 09:41 PM
We had a local gentleman who was on the SP/LSA rulemaking committee come and speak to our EAA chapter. He noted that the speed and weight limitations in the rule were mostly due to "protecting" people on the ground. Lower speed + less mass = less momentum in a crash.
I guess this explains why when the Aussies adopted their LSA standard (http://www.auf.asn.au/operations/LSA_explained.html), they didn't include the 120kt limit - not much to hit in the Outback ;)

RVbySDI
08-10-2006, 07:43 AM
Sounds, like you've flown the tube and fabric airplane with flaperons.
Would you mind sharing your impression of how its roll rate and stability on final compare with an RV with conventional ailerons and flaps?I am more than happy to give my impressions but I don't think it would do us much good to compare my tube and fabric plane with the RV. It has a 29 foot wingspan with 5 foot chord and all but 8 ft of the span has flaperons with an 8 inch chord. The empty weight is 475 lbs. It has a Vne of 110 mph, cruise of 75 mph, stall 38 mph. I am not too sure compairing such a plane to an RV would be very helpful.

Rolling this plane at lower speeds is not much of a problem nor is it an issue of how fast it can roll. It is a very stable flying airplane. As far as the functionality of the flaperon I can say that they work great. This airplane is a fun low and slow flyer. It is not designed for any aerobatic flying or speed flying. It does have a lot of wing and not very much weight. I have flown it over the fence at about 40 mph and find it extremely stable at that speed.

The flaperons are effective on my plane. In my opinion they will be an asset for the RV12. I think the real thing to consider when evaluating the 12 and the flaperons is the mission for the airplane. It will not be aerobatic, it will be designed for a slower cruise speed than any other RV, it will be used to get from point A to B for that $100 hamburger (or if we can't reign in these escalating fuel costs $200 hamburger :( ), it will most likely not be seeing a great deal of yank and bank flying.

I am not sure attempting to compare it to an exsisting RV model will be the way to evaluate this plane. Perhaps it would be best to compare it with airplanes that have comparable performance characteristics. That being said I don't even think we can compare it to my tube and fabric plane either. In my estimation, a plane that might stack up well in comparison might actually be the Cessna 150/2. I know Vans has always tried to compare his planes to Cessna planes but in this case I think it may be a good comparison, although I think the Vans planes, including the RV12, will always come out ahead in the comparison.

David-aviator
08-10-2006, 09:14 AM
[QUOTE=RVbySDI]I am more than happy to give my impressions but I don't think it would do us much good to compare my tube and fabric plane with the RV. It has a 29 foot wingspan with 5 foot chord and all but 8 ft of the span has flaperons with an 8 inch chord. The empty weight is 475 lbs. It has a Vne of 110 mph, cruise of 75 mph, stall 38 mph. I am not too sure compairing such a plane to an RV would be very helpful.

Steve,

I agree. It is not a valid comparison. Thanks for the information, as I said earlier, I know nothing about flaperons except reading a flight report years ago on the Kitfox that was not all that impressive. The airplane was on a short list to build at one time.

dd
LSA/GOED (Gettin' Older Everyday)
:)

PatrickW
08-10-2006, 07:50 PM
Could it be the RANS S-19. Personally, I'm leaning towards it too. Okay don't shoot the messenger.OK - no potshots at the messenger :)

The S-19, as far as I know, has not yet flown. It was not present at the RANS booth at Oshkosh when I was there.

Both the S-19 and the RV-12 have one characteristic in common: they are both unproven. Zero are flying...

To be a serious contender in the broader market, any product (such as an airplane) has to have a certain amount of presence in the real world.

I look forward to the day when there are several hundred S-19's or several hundred RV-12's flying so that I can go and look at them with my own two eyes and make an evaluation.

- Patrick

PatrickW
08-10-2006, 08:12 PM
Patrick,

When I visited AirVenture in 1988 (it was just called The Annual Convention back then) there was only a few customer-flying RV6's. One was built by Allen Tolle, and he stood by that aircraft for 12 hours a day giving people any information they made need.

I went home and ordered an RV6 kit. Should I have waited for 500 of them to be built and flown? No.Before there was Airventure, it was the EAA Convention - and before the EAA came along they called it the "Ultralight Airshow". Oshkosh has an aviation history that pre-dates the EAA, part of which I am happy to have witnessed (the EAA had it's big gathering in Rockford before it came to Oshkosh).

During one of the pre-EAA Oshkosh airshows (1968 or 1969 I think), there was a new aircraft called the "Breezy". Lot of press coverage, and a lot of guys started building their own...

A few years later, there was a hot new plane called the BD-5. Lot of guys put down their money and started building their own...

Then there was the Avid. Others too, but I'm sure you get my point...

You got lucky with your RV6, and you should be proud of your accomplishment. But I am not as quick to roll the dice today as you were in 1988 with an unproven design like the RV-12 (or the S-19).

- Patrick

Phyrcooler
08-10-2006, 08:54 PM
But I am not as quick to roll the dice today as you were in 1988 with an unproven design like the RV-12 (or the S-19).
- PatrickI think we (those watching this market) are all anxiously watching to see how the RV-12 comes together - and what kind of test results are produced. I am more willing to trust Van's due to their reputation at that point.

I think that one of the big differences between now and 1988 is that we are dealing with manufacturers that actually have a track record. Acording to their website, VAN's has over 4700 completed kits out there. RAN's, Zenith and Sonex all have a lot of kits out there to boot. These are not start-up companies hocking their first plane with a "trust us" moto.

Fortunately, I am not in a position to start untill later next year. Hopefully by then I'll have enough comparative data to make a decision. Until I see some hard stats on the RV-12, the strongest contender for me is the 601XL - with my concern being what appears to be a lack of rollover protection. The other option is the Sonex - but they do not as of yet offer a QB option.

PatrickW
08-11-2006, 04:45 PM
Until I see some hard stats on the RV-12, the strongest contender for me is the 601XL - with my concern being what appears to be a lack of rollover protection. The other option is the Sonex - but they do not as of yet offer a QB option.I was giving very serious consideration to the Sonex - their owners have nothing but praise for the design, and I also visited their facility at KOSH.

They've got a nice routine set up, with CNC cut parts and a highly organized warehouse/shop, and a neat, clean office building.

There was a Sonex parked there with the "Tall Guy" modification - essentially it adds a few inches of head room in the cockpit. I got to sit in it, but it was pretty tight for me. I'd be *perfect* if it were a single seater, with the seat dead-center. But I passed it by as I would like room for my wife to be beside me.

I also looked at the Zodiac 601. Several were at Oshkosh this year, and I watched one land and taxi in, after which I spoke with the pilot at length. A couple of Zodiac owners let me sit in their planes, and they were comparable in roominess to an RV-6 that I've flown, with the notable exception being a center console in the Zodiac.

To further contrast it, I also fly a Warrior. The Zodiac is 3" wider on the inside at the shoulders (according to my tape measure), but the Warrior is a couple inches wider at "head level". I didn't make the same measurements on the RV-6, but it feels to me that it's got to be pretty close to the 601.

- Patrick

RV6junkie
08-11-2006, 07:52 PM
There was a Sonex parked there with the "Tall Guy" modification - essentially it adds a few inches of head room in the cockpit. I got to sit in it, but it was pretty tight for me. I'd be *perfect* if it were a single seater, with the seat dead-center. But I passed it by as I would like room for my wife to be beside me.

I too gave a look at the Sonex. I got real excited about it when I saw it fly in the showcase at Sun-n-Fun this past spring. I ventured over to the booth, spoke with John Monet's son and then attempted to get myself inserted into the cockpit. To say I didn't fit too well would be kind.

I'm 6'1 and 180 pounds. As Patrick mentioned, if it was a single seat aircraft, I might fit better. But no way could I fit a full-sized, or even a half-sized, adult next to me.

I know that Ken Scott is taller than me, and he also tips the "Bubba" scale a bit more than me too. If he can fit in the -12, I know I'll slide right in.

Phyrcooler
08-11-2006, 09:12 PM
Yes - the Sonex is small - and that is also a factor in my decision process. I am 5'11"/180 - with a compact wife (5') :) and could probably make it work... but I like the size of the Zenith much better. I am still gauging the quality/support of the Zenith. However, a huge issue that makes me wait for an assessment on the RV-12 is the tremendous support of the RV crowd - especially this unequaled website.

dj

plossl
08-13-2006, 12:26 PM
I hope you guys won’t forget to keep an eye on the S-19. It doesn’t have the network that the 12 will have, and you’ll probably see ten or twenty RV12s for every S-19, but Rans has a great reputation, and this looks like a strong aircraft. It looks like it will have a stronger wing than the RV12, but you won’t be able to remove it as easily. It has a sliding canopy (which I prefer living in hot S Carolina), a larger baggage, and outboard gas tanks instead of a bomb under your butt. It probably will be 5 knots slower with it’s slightly larger wing area and while I consider Randy Schlitter one of the most capable designers, it will be a true miracle if he beats Van in the handling department. That said, if I had to put my money down today, I’d go for the RV12 primarily due to the quick remove wing. But if you bring it on home every night or roll it into a box, I say to myself, why limit yourself to aluminum? Look at the Escapade (Just Aircraft). Proven design, 2 minute wing fold; doesn’t anyone love high-wingers anymore?

the_other_dougreeves
08-13-2006, 04:53 PM
It has a sliding canopy (which I prefer living in hot S Carolina), a larger baggage, and outboard gas tanks instead of a bomb under your butt.
Yes, AMEN to the sliding canopy - I flew in a T-211 Thorpedo today, and sliding open the canpoy in flight was a godsend in the 100+ Texas heat. It's worth giving up 8 knots for the cooling! ;)

RV6junkie
08-14-2006, 06:54 AM
Van really likes the pop-up canopy. I don’t. Having built/owned/flown an RV6 with a slider, I must say that the slider is preferable to the pop-up. The only exceptions being 1) maintenance access behind the panel (I really HATED working on my back under the IP) and 2) forward visibility. To be completely honest, I never noticed or was bothered by the roll-bar. So argument #2 above is a real stretch. And number 1 – I’m willing to make the trade.

I’m hoping that a slider will be an (early) option for the RV-12.

PepeBorja
08-23-2006, 12:12 PM
I am glad to see that the only dumb idea to ever come out of Van’s has been the “removable wings” concept. Any plane that you have to put the wings on/off is a plane that will never fly too often or will kill its owner one day when he/she forgets to do something associated with the delicate process of assembling the wings. What about "Oops, I dropped my wing!!!!"

What a bummer it will be to have to “assemble” a $50K plane each time the owner wants to go flying. Jeez Van’s what were you thinking off? Sacrificing flaps for removable wings with flaperons is a bad choice in my opinion. The roll rate will suck big time. It will be like driving a bus.

For a slow flyer, I’d preferred a high wing design rather than the low wing design as it offers better visibility and more flexibility for landing on unpaved runways. No much “out of the box” thinking for this design other than the “let’s make the wings removable deal”. Where did that idea come from?

Jose Borja
Elk Mound, WI

n5lp
08-23-2006, 01:22 PM
I am glad to see that the only dumb idea to ever come out of Van’s has been the “removable wings” concept. Any plane that you have to put the wings on/off is a plane that will never fly too often or will kill its owner one day when he/she forgets to do something associated with the delicate process of assembling the wings. What about "Oops, I dropped my wing!!!!"

What a bummer it will be to have to “assemble” a $50K plane each time the owner wants to go flying. Jeez Van’s what were you thinking off? ...

There are, in fact, many thousands of aircraft that have the wings removed after every flight and reattached before the next flight and many of them cost well over $100,000. Delicate process? No, not when the glider wing attach method is used.

I don't think Van intends that the RV-12 wings be removed that often, but I don't hear glider pilots complaining about it, even when it is done for each flight. In fact the time to trailer a glider is often less than the time it would take to properly tie it down. Admittedly, that is with a sophisticated purpose built trailer.

DeltaRomeo
08-23-2006, 01:37 PM
...snip...What a bummer it will be to have to “assemble” a $50K plane each time the owner wants to go flying.....snip....
The wings are/were designed to be removable, for example, for transport home for the winter months or for major repair, etc. They were not intended to be removed/attached before each flight, although I guess you could do that. It would take hours.

All this per Ken Krueger's speech at OSH, which I saw.

b,
d

Phyrcooler
08-23-2006, 03:55 PM
Sacrificing flaps for removable wings with flaperons is a bad choice in my opinion. The roll rate will suck big time. It will be like driving a bus.

For a slow flyer, I’d preferred a high wing design rather than the low wing design as it offers better visibility and more flexibility for landing on unpaved runways.
Jose Borja
Elk Mound, WII would only suggest that VAN's reputation speaks for itself. I do not believe that they will put anything out that has a sucky roll rate (that isn't a bad word is it? :) ) nor drive like a bus. If the flaperon idea doesn't work in this POC - I bet they chuck it or fix the problem.

In regards to the high-wing... I would be one of the first in line if we could have VAN's qualities in a high-wing aircraft. But, so far that is not VAN's market, and there is not another competetive high-wing metal kit out there that I am aware of.

PepeBorja
08-23-2006, 05:08 PM
I should clarify my comment on the removable wing.

The problem is that the decision to go that route introduced by default other design issues such as the flaperons, fuel tanks, and attachment of wing to fuselage.

I keep my airplane at home just a mere 200 feet from my house. If I had to take the wings on /off every time I fly I would go crazy. How about those lazy evenings flying solo? Who’s going to help me assemble the bird without any risk of damage to a wing?

This topic has been picked apart in many forums of other brands (Kolb, Challenger, Titan, Rans, etc) and the conclusion is always the same: Good idea for the very few that could use it due to premium hanger fees but needles for the vast majority of the US population. The advice is always the same: if you have to assemble it you will fly it less and less. So, if it is needless, why should it be in my Airplane in the first place?

Gliders are huge contraptions and placing them in a hanger may not be very practical all the time. Besides they have no fuel either to worry about and they are flown a few times a year so taking them home makes sense. They are more of a toy and just like a boat that makes its way to a lake 5 times a year. Moving off the field for repairs… all airplanes have removable wings, more easier than other. In those rare events, taking them apart is just part of the repair itself.

I think it was a bad idea to have the removable wing and that is my humble opinion as it introduced some compromises and complexities to what could have been a simple design. The high wing would have been a nice touch for an airplane that will be used for short scenic trips at low levels rather than spending time at nose bleed altitudes where most RVs spend their time covering ground and going places. The high wing is easier to operate from unimproved fields and floats less in ground effect, which is needed when all you have is 1000 strip.

Van’s RV12 plane is plain vanilla (looks like a Zenith or many of the Euro designs entering the LSA market). The RV12 success will be due to his reputation of great designs and precise kits rather than the looks or perhaps its handling.

Time will tell if the removable wings turn out to be a good idea but I am afraid Van’s did not listen to the vast majority of owners in that removable wings are way, way down at the bottom of the list of features we’d like to see.

Jose Borja
Elk Mound, WI

InsideOut
08-23-2006, 05:42 PM
I for one am glad that Van's is thinking outside the box on the RV-12 and consequently they are taking the heat for it. Sounds like some of the critics would rather be building an RV-9 anyway.

n5lp
08-23-2006, 06:42 PM
...
Gliders are huge contraptions and placing them in a hanger may not be very practical all the time. Besides they have no fuel either to worry about and they are flown a few times a year so taking them home makes sense. They are more of a toy and just like a boat that makes its way to a lake 5 times a year. Moving off the field for repairs… all airplanes have removable wings, more easier than other. In those rare events, taking them apart is just part of the repair itself.

...

Jose,

I understand and don't disagree with most of your comments about the RV-12 easily removable wing. I really don't think it is that important either.

However, I would like to correct some impressions you have of gliders.

1: Many gliders do have fuel to worry about as self launchers have become more and more popular. Like the RV-12, the fuel is typically carried in the fuselage.

2: Gliders do tend to be unwieldy, but it is rare that they are taken home between flights. Typically they are stored in the trailer (portable hangar) on the flying field.

3: "Flown a few times a year?" I don't think this is any more typical of gliders than powered planes. In either case some are and some aren't. Many glider pilots fly several contests a year. Van has been known to fly a few. In ONE national contest one can expect to fly 9 days of around 6 hours per day. That adds up to over 50 hours in less than 2 weeks time.

4: "A toy." Yes, they are absolutely a toy. The typical RV is what? What would an RV-12 be?

5: No serious glider pilot is going to fly 5 times a year, just as no serious power pilot is. Some years I fly more glider hours and some years more power hours, but glider hours do tend to pile up faster. I think I had 800 hours in gliders in about 5 years. It took way longer to get that many power hours.

13brv3
08-23-2006, 07:23 PM
I love the easily removable wings! That's my absolute favorite feature of the RV-12 design. I agree that very few people will install and remove their wings every time they fly, but at least you have the option.

Being able to transport the plane easily is a nice thing. How many people have had to remove wings on an RV after an off-airport landing? I have, and it ain't fun, especially with Navy helicopters flying all around you all day :eek:

For me, being able to take it home during hurricanes is a prime benefit. My garage will survive, but the hanger won't. Sadly, this has been proven a couple times in the last few years.

I for one hope everything works out with the current design, so they don't have to consider eliminating the removable wings. I also hope they are truly "easily" removable.

Cheers,
Rusty (RV-12 may be in my future)

PepeBorja
08-23-2006, 10:01 PM
Sorry I did not mean to offend anyone with my comments about the removable wing being a dumb idea. I just found it to be dumb to compromise a design based on an option that the vast majority of people do not even think about. I am not sure how many people that can afford to spend 50 grand building an airplane can't afford to hanger it.

I was wondering where Van's got the idea that the plane had to have it. I read his reasoning on the factory website and it still does not make any sense to me since the RV12 will cost almost as much as a 7 or 9 to build. I do see the reasoning for gliders for having them since they only have a very limited and purposeful recreational use.

I owned 2 planes for almost 1000 hours and never found me wishing for being able to trailer them home. I did trailer my first plane from Dallas to Wisconsin and that was enough to convince me the risk is not worth the effort. Handling the wings is a chore that, just like bucking rivets, takes two people.

I hope it all works out but my first plane was a Challenger with flaperons and it rolled really bad. The fix was to shorten the flaperons to ease the control stick forces but the slow roll was still there. The lack of real flaps will probably make it difficult to operate in 1000 strips or approach at steep angles on obstructed runways.

I sold my partially complete RV7 kit and am waiting on newer LSA designs to build one using the 912ULS engine. The RV12 lacks the sexy looks the RV7 I was building had and I am not totally crazy about it as it lost the RV looks we like so much. I will wait until the RV12 flies to make my decision but my heart is on a high wing design.

I have no doubt the design will sell well give Van’s reputation and quality of kits, but a Van’s high-wing strut-less design would have been really out of the box thinking for a company that sells only low wing fast airplanes.

Maybe there will be an RV14 in the future to meet the demands of those of us that like to fly low and look at the scenery without a wing blocking the view.

Jose.

Mike Armstrong
08-24-2006, 01:35 PM
It's my understanding, and I could be wrong, that...

1) The category of Sport Pilot was created Primarily for the 'average joe' that has always wanted to be a pilot but previously could not afford to do so. This 'average joe' would typically be interested in fun, round the patch, weekend daytime flying, nothing more, just fun recreational flying. These folks could, if interested, take this 'foot in the door' and continue their training to go on to more avanced licenses and more complicated aircraft and flying...or not. There are thousands of these 'wanna be pilots' among the many aviation enthusiasts at any given AirVenture and perhaps thousands more across the country. All of which add up to a huge potential market to tap into. Secondarily, Sport Pilot gives the many GA pilots out there that suspect they are no longer going to be able to pass their medical a way to continue their passion for flying.

I think both categories of folks will benifit greatly from Sport Pilot.

2) The LSA category and its parameters are tailored made for the new Sport Pilots and the type of 'for fun' flying they intend to do. These aircraft are purposely designed to be as simple to fly and operate as possible, including for some, the ability to be trailored 'if need be'. Removeable/folding wings simply gives those that currently cannot afford or dont have access to hanger space another option to owning their own aircraft, nothing more. If someone is able to afford adaquate hanger space then they can just leave the wings attached like any other aircraft, nothing says its mandatory to take them off after each flight and go thru the 'emmense hassle' that glider pilots have been doing sucessfully for many years, if you dont want to.

3) Vans has been around for a long time and has been the most sucessful kit builder to date. They know what their doing and have the forsight to see a potential market just as Cessna has done. Designing a side by side, tricycle gear aircraft that has the 'option' to be trailered gives the RV-12 three of the most marketable features an LSA can have. It will have the one most desirable feature that the many folks that will absolutely need to have in order to be able trailer their LSA to own it and it will have a desirable configuration for teaching and instruction.

Anyhow, I think Vans has a very marketable design. It's not what I wanted the -12 to be, which would have been a tandem, taildragger but I realize that would not have been a good 'first' Vans LSA to start out with.

Oh, and dont forget, this design is indeed a POC. It may fly like ****, who knows. The flaperons might well suck or that handbrake on the stick may suck, ect., ect it hasn't even flown yet!

otterhunter2
08-24-2006, 02:08 PM
To me the biggest plus of the RV12 design is the trailering feature. Up here in the Great White North our winter flying is how do I say, Challenging. Most of the time you are digging the ship out of a snow bank or hoping some snowplow doesn't bury it until spring. So, the idea of popping the wings off and bringing the baby back to a warm garage is very appealing. This would allow for some time to install those must have christmas presents and play pilot in the cockpit when it is -40 and blowing +40kts outside.

Again, JMHO.

:D

RV6junkie
08-24-2006, 10:20 PM
If I had to take the wings on /off every time I fly I would go crazy.

I think you've missed the point. No one is suggesting that an RV-12 owner will remove the wings after every flight. For those of us who only fly for 6 to 9 months of the year, it would be nice to be able to bring the aircraft home, or find a smaller space at the airport.

The high wing would have been a nice touch for an airplane that will be used for short scenic trips at low levels rather than spending time at nose bleed altitudes where most RVs spend their time covering ground and going places.

Ah, who said that RV owners fly at "nose bleed" altitudes? That is just a ridiculous statement.

They are more of a toy and just like a boat that makes its way to a lake 5 times a year.

The whole point of the LSA category is to make owning an aircraft more like owning a boat or other expensive "toy"

all airplanes have removable wings, more easier than other

Yes, my RV6 has "removable" wings too. It only takes a few hours and a few friends. Of course, everytime they are removed I spend a few hundred dollars in bolts and nuts too. I'd rather try to land it in my back yard than drive it there

but I am afraid Van’s did not listen to the vast majority of owners in that removable wings are way, way down at the bottom of the list of features we’d like to see.

Did you take a survey? I bet Van's did - not only do they run a fine business, they seem smart too, ya know :D

RudiGreyling
08-25-2006, 03:53 AM
Another vote to "No removable wings"...I don't need it..but still like the 12. I currerntly fly an ultralight trike, with a removable wing. I have taken the wing off once or twice for transportation. It always suffers some kind of tranportation rash. Now If I can't fly there, I don't go there. I have said it before, I like the 12 but the removable wings, flaperons, and hand break lever are not appealing to me at the moment.

otterhunter2
08-25-2006, 04:19 PM
Okay, now do not shoot the messenger in this VANS centric forum!! As we are all waiting for the latest updates on the RV-12 it should be noted that the closest competitor to the RV-12, the RANS S-19 has posted some updates on their web site. Both of these aircraft are shaping up to be classics, IMHO. Very interesting to follow the developments as they mature into true flying machines.

:D

http://www.rans.com/3S19.htm

az_gila
08-25-2006, 05:54 PM
Another vote to "No removable wings"...I don't need it..but still like the 12. I currerntly fly an ultralight trike, with a removable wing. I have taken the wing off once or twice for transportation. It always suffers some kind of tranportation rash. Now If I can't fly there, I don't go there. I have said it before, I like the 12 but the removable wings, flaperons, and hand break lever are not appealing to me at the moment.

Rudi.. go find your nearest sailplane club and find out how they put the gliders away into 26 ft. long tubes.... :)

With the correct fittings and padded carriers, no damage will be done.

My wife and I can put my 15m sailpane away in 20 minutes, and 10 of that is taken up fixing up stuff in the cockpit.... This is done every flight during the season, and no rash occurs.

The wings of the RV-12 will be lighter than my 165 pounds (each) sailplane wings, I bet.... ;)

gil in Tucson

PepeBorja
08-25-2006, 08:04 PM
I think you've missed the point. No one is suggesting that an RV-12 owner will remove the wings after every flight. For those of us who only fly for 6 to 9 months of the year, it would be nice to be able to bring the aircraft home, or find a smaller space at the airport.



I was going by the website's explanation of why Vans decided on the removable wing...

"If hangar rent is $75 per month, the extra cost of these design features, plus the effort of disassembling and trailering, is arguably not worth it. If hangar rent is over $200/mo, disassembling , trailering and home storage become a more appealing option. If the average monthly utilization is 4 flights, then the user saves $50 per flight."

English is not my first language but it is clear to me what the text says: If the hanger rent is high the owner will just take the plane home after every flight. Is that not clear language?

IMHO, if a person can't afford $200 a month on a hanger how the heck they are going to come up with the $50Gs to get the plane on the first place? The biggest concern should be fuel consumption and that's where Van's got it right by choosing the Rotax 912ULS engine but that's a given that all other LSA builder's are pursuing.

I have gone around this topic with other airplane makes and the conclusion is always the same: a really bad idea for a powered airplane used for recreational purposes and occasional cross country trips.

Let's look at it with a logical mind.

Must own a vehicle capable of towing the trailer. If you don’t own one you are going to have to buy one. So you may have two vehicles and insure both or will have to trade the fuel miser for a bigger gas gussler capable of towing the trailer and airplane combination safely. In my case I would have to give up my 99 MB E320 and 91 Honda, both paid for, and get a 1/2 ton truck and make payments on it.

Must own a trailer capable of towing and storing the airplane safely. That’s not inexpensive. A good rig will have to be custom built for several thousand dollars. I don;t have one so might as well budget about $5K or more for one.

Where to store the trailer? Some communities do not let home owners have big trailers in front of their homes. In my case I own my own airport so I hae plenty of space to park it (zero cost).

Protection. A trailer loaded with an airplane IS an attractive target for a thief.

So, it’s a nice day to go flying and we decide to go for it. First I have to get the trailer and hitch it to the truck, a chore that may take 5 minutes or more. Then I have to drive to the airport and be careful with the precious cargo.

I arrive at the airport and have to find a spot, unload the creature and hopefully have a helper to get the job done. Say that takes 30 minutes to do (unload, mate wings, hook up electrical connectors, pin wings, mate pitot, etc) . For going x-country for a weekend Ibest move the trailer out of the way and that adds more time, say an extra 5 minutes to drive the trailer away to a suitable parking spot. All of that rigging has to be done with extreme care not to damage the wings or miss a step and end up sans one wing in flight or a lost control surface. If I don't have help I may be SOL.

When the flight is complete, the process is reversed with another 30 minutes or so carefully placing the plane back on the trailer and moving it back to its resting place at home or wherever it is to be kept.

The total process takes 1 hour or more. How many times will the person do the same routine before they get sick of it will be a matter of time. We are creatures of convenience and when flying becomes a chore we will end up doing less and less of it.

The alternative I would propose to anyone is to spend the same hour driving to an airport that IS further out of your home and find a cheaper hanger. That way one gets to keep the fuel miser car and have none of the aforementioned chores and expenses to do. If you want to fly just hop on the car, drive a longer distance and avoid the headaches of trailering, storing, and possible insurance implications to protect the cargo.

The good news is that the idea is just a concept and they will realize that the compromises imposed by the choice are just not worth the effort (fuel tank location, track width, tail feathers size, flaperons, accessible center spar, etc).

If the market wanted removable wings they would have been made available a long time ago. As it stands, the only ones I know that do it are the Kitfox, Europa, and Catalina. In the case of the Kitfox and Catalina they are foldable, which is a concept that makes more sense since the process takes only a few minutes to complete and keeps the plane at the airport (i.e. no trailer needed). It would be interesting to find out how many Europa USA owners trailer their planes home.

I know many worship at the altar of Van’s and think he can do no wrong. I happen to like Vans airplanes a lot but I believe he made a mistake with this gamble. Only time will prove me wrong and if I am wrong I loose nothing. If he is wrong he will miss a great opportunity. As it stands, the S19 has better looks and has none of the goofy design compromises that Van’s self imposed with the removable wing idea. At the very least, I hope he makes two models the RV12FW and the RV12RW. That way we all end up a happy bunch and not argue with each other.

Jose Borja
Elk Mound, WI

n5lp
08-25-2006, 08:25 PM
...

English is not my first language but it is clear to me what the text says: If the hanger rent is high the owner will just take the plane home after every flight. Is that not clear language?

IMHO, if a person can't afford $200 a month on a hanger how the heck they are going to come up with the $50Gs to get the plane on the first place? The biggest concern should be fuel consumption and that's where Van's got it right by choosing the Rotax 912ULS engine but that's a given that all other LSA builder's are pursuing.

...

But Jose, nowhere does Van's require you to derig the airplane every flight. As far as we know so far, the penalties for having OPTIONAL wing removal will be minimal. Fuel in fuselage may be the major one, and many Champs and Cubs and such have that. I think they are pretty nice airplanes.

Now if the RV-12 turns out to be some kind of pig and if that character is somehow attributable to the easy wing removal option and Van's markets the plane anyway then I guess there will be some basis for complaint.

jrsites
08-25-2006, 09:10 PM
English is not my first language but it is clear to me what the text says: If the hanger rent is high the owner will just take the plane home after every flight. Is that not clear language?

Not to be combative, but my interpretation of Van's website copy is a little different:

"If the hanger rent is high the ownercan, if it makes sense for them in their particular financial and logistical situation just take the plane home after every flight"

I'm sorry, but just don't understand why the strenuous complaint about an optional feature that has been designed into the airplane. It's like a person who lives in Southern Texas complaining about the car they just purchased having an anti-skid system, which will never be used because there's no snow in Southern Texas.

RatMan
08-25-2006, 10:07 PM
In my case I own my own airport so I hae plenty of space.....

Ah great! Problem solved, you don't have to ever remove the wings so there's not really a need to complain about it.

At the very least, I hope he makes two models the RV12FW and the RV12RW.

If you mean "Fixed Wing" and "Removable Wing" then you will be pleased! Just put a bolt in the hole and DON"T remove it!

That way we all end up a happy bunch and not argue with each other.

Doubt it, as long as there are pilots and builders there will be opinions that differ. I hope that doesn't change.

Phyrcooler
08-26-2006, 12:35 AM
Okay, now do not shoot the messenger in this VANS centric forum!! As we are all waiting for the latest updates on the RV-12 it should be noted that the closest competitor to the RV-12, the RANS S-19 has posted some updates on their web site. Both of these aircraft are shaping up to be classics, IMHO. Very interesting to follow the developments as they mature into true flying machines.

:D

http://www.rans.com/3S19.htmI'm a bit confused...

How is it the RANS folks have specs listed... which you assume would come from an actual FLYING airplane... AND they are selling kits... yet there are no pictures of said aircraft? The only thing I can find are building photos on their own website. Hmmmm... :rolleyes:

It is a nice looking drawing...

flymustangs
08-26-2006, 07:55 AM
Probably the same way Van's has determined that the RV-12 will fall within the LSA specs. Please people, let's not attack Rans just to prop up Van's. Is that really necessary anyway?

RV6junkie
08-26-2006, 08:38 AM
I was going to respond, but John, Larry and jrsites said what I was going to.

Thanks. :)


But I will add the following: my hangar rent is $300 per month. Lucky for me, we can squeeze 2 RV's into the hanger space. Still, between insurance and hangar rent, I've spent well over $3,000 before the wheels have even left the ground. If I can reduce the cost of insurance and rent by half (or even a quarter), I have saved a lot of money, perhaps my entire fuel bill for the year.

I have a pick-up truck, so pulling a trailer isn't a problem. But just about any car/SUV can pull 1,000 pounds.

Jose, it would appear that the RV-12 is not for you. The aircraft hasn't even flown yet, but you have decided that the design makes too many compromises for your needs. Don't be such a nay-sayer. Wait for the flight report, see what changes are made to the design - and then make an educated decision.

Phyrcooler
08-26-2006, 11:00 AM
Probably the same way Van's has determined that the RV-12 will fall within the LSA specs. Please people, let's not attack Rans just to prop up Van's. Is that really necessary anyway?My appologies if my statement was perceived as an attack on RANS. It was not meant that way. Just a little sarcastic disappointment at their update only being a couple more construction pics. Frankly, the RANS is just as much in the running for me as the RV12 at this point. I look forward to a face to face comparison of features and a flyoff between the RV12, S-19, and the 601XL. As much as I am a big fan of VAN's - I will buy the best aircraft for me for my first kit. I am closely watching the development and features of all.

You engineering types maybe can vouch for figures that specific on a paper/computer only aircraft. Nowhere on the specs does it say "ESTIMATE". So for a non-engineer type like myself... well I just assumed for a long time that there MUST be something flying out there somewhere. Especially since they appear to be taking money for them. Are there folks out there building an S-19 at the same time RANS is building their FIRST?!

One of the main design elements I like that VAN's is pushing in the RV12 is his "cabin-forward". As Rudi mentions, he has included other elements that I too am not so sure about - but will not critique until we have an actual product we can evaluate on its merits.

rv8ch
08-26-2006, 02:30 PM
There are places where hangar rent is high, and there are places where hangars are just not available at any price. At my local airport there is a guy with a PC-12 that leaves it out in the rain, sun, and snow. He can't get hangar space, and I would guess that he can afford it.

Those of you that live out in the country with lots of space and cheap hangar rent should count those things among your blessings. Not everyone can live in those wonderful wide open spaces.

If the removable wings on the RV-12 allow Van's to sell 10% more than they would have otherwise, then I'd say that was a great design decision. From what I have seen of the RV-12, I'll be ordering a tail kit when it comes on the market, mainly because of the removable wing feature. I want to be the first kid on the block with a finished airplane on a trailer in the driveway. :)

svanarts
08-26-2006, 02:54 PM
Maybe a guy could make a trailer hangar to lug behind his motorhome. Instead of pulling that little car or boat around. :) I could see one of these things in my retirement years.

RatMan
08-26-2006, 03:14 PM
Bet these guys could do it.

http://www.mmfabrication.com/

A bonus for those that wonder how to put wings on all by your lonesome, check this out ....
One man rigging. (http://www.mmfabrication.com/Rigging.htm)

PepeBorja
08-27-2006, 06:49 AM
Today calls for a nice day here in Western WI.

The plan is to go to the Cumberland WI fly-in, 68 Mi NE, for B-fast and an aerobatic demo, then I head SE 100 MI to Cherry Hill for the largest UL gathering in the area with music, food, and antique cars and machinery on display. From there I head home, which is a 65 MI flight and call it a day.

All that is left to do is hitch the trailer, find a partner, go to the airport and assemble the beast. Piece of cake.

NOTE. the prior is a not really the way it is going to happen. Actually I will walk 150 feet to my hanger at home and pull the airplane out. No trailering or assembly is necessary.

Last night I changed the oil in my Rotax912S after 60HRS. Total cost is under $20 using a NAPA Gold filter and 3 QTS of Honda motorcyle oil. I wil use a about 10 gallons today and clock almost 2Hrs using $3/G auto gas. Flying is dirt cheap with a Rotax.

With cost like that, I would not be surprised at all to see the RV12 fleet accumulating hours faster than the bigger RV planes. I tell you nothing wipes the RV Grin faster than the shock at the 100LL pump. Forgeet about hanger rent, what about the pump bandit? Filling in an RV can cost $150!

Well fellas, that's what flying behind the RV12 may be like for some lucky guys that get one (some may have to add an extra hour or two to take the plane to the airport and rig it for flight).

Time to go preflight and do wheels up in 15 minutes. I am glad I don't have to do the trailer and assembly dance because my couch is looking very inviting right about now.

Removabel Wings? Brilliant Vans, Brilliant!

Jose Borja
Elk Mound, WI

jrsites
08-27-2006, 08:18 AM
Time to go preflight and do wheels up in 15 minutes. I am glad I don't have to do the trailer and assembly dance because my couch is looking very inviting right about now.

Removabel Wings? Brilliant Vans, Brilliant!

Jose, with all due respect, please tell us what we are all missing. I have tried, but I fail to understand your point.

Just because the RV-12's wings can be removed does not mean they have to be removed. Someone like you, with affordable hangar resources already in place, can put the little bugger in it's home, all fully assembled, and enjoy hassle-free flying whenever they want to.

Not all people enjoy access to inexpensive hangar space like you do. In this very post you mentioned that the reduced operating expense of a Rotax-powered airplane will likely be one of the great draws of the -12. So Vans has found a way to reduce the cost of owning and operating a -12 even further by giving some owners the option of foregoing hangar expense for some or all of the year.

So the -12 has wings that can be removed, but don't have to be removed. Please, Jose, can you tell us exactly how that would negatively affect those such as yourself who have a hangar to put an RV-12 in?

Last thing: If you really like the RV-12, except for the whole removable wings thing, why not just make one, but leave the little handles off the end of the wings and put permanent bolts in all of the places where there would be removable ones at the wing/fuselage attach points? Viola! You've got an RV-12 with "fixed" wings.

jbDC9
08-27-2006, 09:36 AM
Well fellas, that's what flying behind the RV12 may be like for some lucky guys that get one (some may have to add an extra hour or two to take the plane to the airport and rig it for flight).

Time to go preflight and do wheels up in 15 minutes. I am glad I don't have to do the trailer and assembly dance because my couch is looking very inviting right about now.

Removable Wings? Brilliant Vans, Brilliant!

Jose Borja
Elk Mound, WI

No offense Jose, but you're beating a dead horse here. You don't like the folding wings idea, you've said it numerous times here. We get it. So here's an idea; avoid the RV-12 and get something else that makes you happy.

You've also mentioned several times that you have your own strip and hangar right out your back door. Good for you, you're a lucky guy... but perhaps you should consider that most people are not as fortunate and some can't get a hangar at any price; being able to remove the wings and take it home might be the only way they could keep an airplane. I'm sure there are quite a few out there that actually like the idea of removeable wings.

RV6junkie
08-27-2006, 01:01 PM
With cost like that, I would not be surprised at all to see the RV12 fleet accumulating hours faster than the bigger RV planes. I tell you nothing wipes the RV Grin faster than the shock at the 100LL pump. Forgeet about hanger rent, what about the pump bandit? Filling in an RV can cost $150!

What?

Cruising around the local area my RV burns about 8 gph. That's less than $40 - and that's not going to wipe the RV grin off anybody's face. And best of all, I don't have to mix oil with the gas like that overgrown weed-wacker engine of yours. By the time your plane gets to the airport I can have my wings off and the annual complete.

I will walk 150 feet to my hanger at home and pull the airplane out.

So let see if I understand you - you have a runway at your home. Could you mention it a few more times, just in case I forget.

Sheesh dude, give us a break.

caitlinRV
08-27-2006, 04:44 PM
:) Hiya guys :) Maybe some technical data could stop some of the banter about the removable wings for the RV12. The prototype was at OSH for all to see and the fortunate ones who visited it personally have passed on the following information. The wings have long spar stubs with a large diameter bushing hole at the stub end and at the wingroot end. The assembly sequence would be to slide one wing into the slot on the side of the fuse until it bottoms against the fuse side and engages the flaperon actuator. The tricky part I understand is sliding in the opposite wing against the friction of the wing already in place without disturbing it's position. Once this is done the assembler must climb inside the cabin and install these large steel pins through the fuse structure, into the first wing bushing and then through the second, then repeat the process on the opposite side. I was told the difficulty is in aligning all six entry points for the pins. It was said that two people would be needed to accomplish this in a timely manner. Wear in the attach points seems inevitable since there is play in the entire assembly noticed when the end of the wing was able to be jiggled easily while on display. Also noticed was that some of the structure has loose rivets from being shipped by truck to OSH. This subject about the RV12 in my opinion is somewhat "beating a dead horse" and only when this aircraft flys and accumulates some actual testflight data would I even consider possibly owning one. The problem with the LSA catagory is that all entrants are restricted to the same flight speeds and weights, so it comes down to what kindof flying you want to do, and how soon you want to do it, and what can you afford. The Cubcrafters Sport Cub is certified, turn key and fly away. They have over 75 orders for completed aircraft, not kits! This LSA market will be demanding with so many aircraft to choose from that I feel it will be hard to sell a kit that will require an investment of 50K, plus a lot of time in the garage to build it, for the same performance offered by the flyaway manufacturers. All just my opinion, but we are a sharing group...have a good one :) Caitlin :p

az_gila
08-27-2006, 06:40 PM
:) ....The tricky part I understand is sliding in the opposite wing against the friction of the wing already in place without disturbing it's position. Once this is done the assembler must climb inside the cabin and install these large steel pins through the fuse structure, into the first wing bushing and then through the second, then repeat the process on the opposite side. I was told the difficulty is in aligning all six entry points for the pins. Caitlin :p

Caitlin... this sounds like a typical sailplane assembly sequence - Van does own one after all.... :)

The trick is to install one of the pins partially through the fus. structure and the first wing stub to hold things in place while the second wing is being installed... standard sailplane operating procedure... This stops the first wing from moving out of position

Perhaps Van doesn't use his prototype shop folks as crew when he flys his sailplane..... :D

The big pins probably should not wear much... a 50 ft sailplane at 1000 lbs gross and only a 24 inch spar overlap has more stress on those pins than a LSA at 1320 lbs gross with a 36 ft span and a 42 inch spar overlap...

gil in Tucson

jrsites
08-27-2006, 07:16 PM
...I feel it will be hard to sell a kit that will require an investment of 50K, plus a lot of time in the garage to build it, for the same performance offered by the flyaway manufacturers...

I've begun thinking the same thing the more I've pondered the whole LSA market. It wouldn't surprise me one bit if the -12 kit never goes into production.

The way I see it, there are two markets for LSA:

1) Those who've lost their medical.
2) Those who want affordable, simple, fun flying.

Now, I keep asking myself how many of those in category 1, those who don't have a medical, are really going to be up to investing a couple of years of build time to get their airplane? In my mind, that leaves those in category 2 as the primary potential purchasers of an LSA kit as relatively complex as Van's.

So then I ask myself how many of THOSE people are going to want to invest somewhere around $50,000 and two years of build time just to get an airplane that doesn't have any significant performance advantage over something like the Cessna LSA, which they are saying they would try to bring to market at somewhere between $75,000 and $100,000.

I don't know, I'm just not sure where a big market for an LSA kit is going to come from.

caitlinRV
08-27-2006, 07:26 PM
:) I have been around the sailplane crowd and have soloed a sailplane so I know about the mechanics of it all. The RV12 was designed using the theory behind the detachable wing but IMHO failed in the practice. I say this because the pins used to attach the wings to a sailplane are easily reachable through the cockpit, not buried deep within the cabin as in the RV12 making it hard to line them up and slide them in it would appear. The big factor is that a sailplane is relatively close to the ground making it easy to lean in and hook things up, the RV12 is a tricycle gear and the sides are much higher, making the assembler climb inside to do the task. When we compare sailplanes to power planes and think about ergonomics in design I think you will agree we are talking apples and oranges here :p Caitlin :p

RV6junkie
08-27-2006, 07:29 PM
The way I see it, there are two markets for LSA:

1) Those who've lost their medical.
2) Those who want affordable, simple, fun flying.


You forgot about the third market;

3) Those that ENJOY building airplanes, not to save money, but truly enjoy the process.

And not all aircraft are equal. Just because you can get a cub replica for similar money does not mean you are getting the same value. I have a hundred plus hours in aircraft like the J-3 and 7AC. Nice airplanes, but I wouldn’t want to own one – especially at $50,000 to $100,000. If your goal is to get into the air for cheap money, there are clapped-out C-150’s all over the country just waiting for a new owner.

The RV’s are special planes. They reward their pilots with control harmony and response that is addictive. I hate to harp on this point, but if you haven't flown an RV, you really have no idea what I'm talking about.

If the -12 flys like other RV’s, I know where my hard earned money will be going.

I don't know, I'm just not sure where a big market for an LSA kit is going to come from.

Not from us! There are only 625,000 or so pilots left in the country. That is down from 1,000,000 when I started flying 25 years ago. If aviation is going to grow, or even survive as a recreational activity, we need to bring NEW people into aviation. The LSA category has been designed to attract new people into this sport/activity.

David-aviator
08-27-2006, 07:47 PM
What?

Cruising around the local area my RV burns about 8 gph.



Can not resist jumping in here :)

My RV burns about 5.5 gph throttled back in closed loop with 87 mogas or 91 mogas or 93 mogas or 100LL. (The engine doesn't seem to care)

Let's see, the current price of auto fuel is $2.64 at the local Walmart. That comes to $14.52 per hour for fuel for local loligagging. Now, I could haul butt and burn 14 gph, but what for? To burn all that fuel would take the fun out of it and have less to grin about.

Actully, just kidding. The Lycoming can be throttled back to 5.5 gph also and do just fine except in most cases is married to 100LL.

dd
RV-7A N707DD
Subaru H6

PS I agree with the guy about the RV-12 going no where. Unlike the regular RV's, there is much competition out there for 120 knot airplanes. In that size and speed restriction, I really like the airplanes with the 0200 or 0235.

jrsites
08-28-2006, 08:09 AM
The RV’s are special planes. They reward their pilots with control harmony and response that is addictive. I hate to harp on this point, but if you haven't flown an RV, you really have no idea what I'm talking about.

I hear ya! I have flown an RV, and not just on a factory demo flight. The fact that I have extended experience flying an RV (http://www.vansairforce.com/community/showthread.php?t=10250) is what has me so danged eaten up with building one some day!

I agree that in all liklihood, the RV-12 will fly better than most of the LSA aircraft out there, kit or otherwise.

As I've said in another post on this subject, I just don't see how a -12 kit can be significantly less expensive than a -7 or -9 kit. It's roughly the same amount of metal. Van's overhead is the same. A new Rotax is roughly the same cost of a used Lycoming. There just don't appear to me to be significant opportunities to make a conventional construction aluminum LSA aircraft kit cost less than a non-LSA kit aircraft.

A manufacturer like Cessna has all the advantages in driving the cost out of their offering. Why is that? Because the majority of the cost is in the labor to build the thing. Cessna can significantly reduce the cost of a factory-built LSA as compared to a factory built 172. And THAT'S where the category holds promise: For someone who just wants to have something to play around in on the weekend, but doesn't want to spend $250,000 for a 172 just to go get the occasional $100 hamburger. LSA holds promise as a great entry-level aircraft to introduce those who have the resources and ability to someday purchase and fly more expensive aircraft (important point).

So, back to your point. If a person who qualifies for a Private Pilot License is going to buy a kit, and a kit for an RV-12 costs nearly as much as a kit for an RV-7, why in the world would they EVER buy the kit that produces an airplane that is limited to 120 knots?

Let's go with your 3rd category of people who enjoy building. Are they also going to fly the airplane that they eventually finish building? If so, then see my question above. If they just enjoy the building and plan to sell when finished, then wouldn't most people be likely to spend their time building an airplane that has the better resale value? And which would that be between an RV-12 and RV-7?

If the -12 flys like other RV’s, I know where my hard earned money will be going.

If the -12 flies like other RVs AND it was appreciably less expensive than a -7 or -9, then my hard earned money would also be going to a -12 kit. But if (as I suspect) only 5% to 10% more money can get me an airplane that does not have the LSA performance restrictions, then I will be spending that extra 10% in money to gain that extra 50% in speed.

If aviation is going to grow, or even survive as a recreational activity, we need to bring NEW people into aviation. The LSA category has been designed to attract new people into this sport/activity.

Absolutely, completely, 100% agree. But ask yourself, HOW is it that LSA was designed to attract new people into aviation? By making it less expensive! Only one problem in the case of a -12, though. It's not (again, in my opinion) going to be considerably less expensive than one of Van's non-LSA kits. So again, I go back to asking myself why someone new to aviation who has decided to invest time and money in a kit aircraft wouldn't rather build something like a -9, which is easy to fly like the -12 likely will be, but also can legally go 200 MPH, if the -9 is not considerably more expensive than the -12?

As I've said, I think the LSA category offers great opportunity for manufacturers like Cessna. I think that there is a whole lot of people out there who are ready to be introduced to aviation. And I think that there are a lot of people who would gladly pay $75,000 to $100,000 for a factory built airplane that they can build time in before they take the leap up to their PPL and a $250,000 Skyhawk.

But I just don't see a large group of people who are clamoring to spend $30,000 to $50,000 for the right to BUILD their introduction to aviation, and then end up with an airplane that does nothing more than any other LSA out there. I mean, don't so many build RVs because in exchange for their building time they end up with an airplane that is nearly twice as fast and costs one-fifth a production "spam can"? With the artificial restrictions on LSA performance, that particular motivation is completely wiped out. Build an LSA, and all you're doing is exchanging your time for savings in acuisition costs. Build an RV-7, and you're exchanging your time for savings in acquisition costs AND considerable increase in performance.

Lastly, I just don't see how someone who wants to get into aviation will look at a RV-12 kit that costs nearly as much as an RV-9 kit, and purposely opt to purchase and spend years making an airplane that won't grow in capability with the pilot. If a new aviation buff is going to spend $50,000, and they have even the slightest thoughts of someday having their PPL instead of just heir SPL, why would they invest years of their life building an LSA when they could spend the same amount of money and step right into the more capable airplane?

To me, it all comes down to economics and tradeoffs. In my opinion there just aren't enough economic benefits and positive tradeoffs to an LSA kit to justify buying and building one instead of a "standard" kit. There are, in my mind, enough economic benefits in buying a production LSA airplane as opposed to a Part 23 production airplane (espcially when there are few performance tradeoffs between the two), though, to justify buying one of those. And I'm talking about something like Cessna's LSA, if it ever sees production, not a Cub or Aeronca reproduction.

PepeBorja
08-28-2006, 08:55 AM
Jose, with all due respect, please tell us what we are all missing. I have tried, but I fail to understand your point.

Jrsites,

Thank you for keeping it cordial. I have seemed to have stirred a nest of Africanized Bees with my comment of the RW being a dumb idea and have received my share of poignant remarks. I will retract my initial impression of the RW being a “dumb idea” and label it a “Poorly Thought” idea.

Yes, one could leave the wings mounted permanently and pretend they are there forever, but that does not remove all of the compromises inherited by the choice in the first place, does it? The RW design, by Vans own admission, brought a series of design choices that they would not normally make. That’s the point I am trying to convey! Why design and compromise an airplane around a feature the vast majority of buyers does not need or want? It would be like Ford making only hybrid Mustangs.

Van has always catered to the go fast people seeking to replace GA airplanes for his designs. He even has a name for it of “Total Performance”. I believe on that and even bought an RV7 kit myself! The goal for most of these pilots is to go from “point A to point B” in the shortest possible amount of time while looking at their panels full of sophisticated instrumentation, talking to ATC, filing IFR, and having Auto pilots doing some of the flying. Call me crazy, but the panel designs on the majority of RVs support that assertion and one look at the vendors in this forum tells me that’s the case too from electronics to Oxygen systems they have it all. These folks spend little time looking at the scenery below, and by that I mean really looking not just merely admiring the environment from 8500 MSL. That market that Van understands well and sells to exists and is represented in this forum very well.

There is also another huge market out there whose goal is the opposite. We crave to spend time in the cockpit going from point A to point B looking at the scenery below go by at a reasonable speed of between 80 and 120MPH and do that with 5GPH or less. Our goal is to spend a lot of time inside the airplane logging hours and flying with the eye balls fixed outside rather than spending little time in the airplane going places fast. This Sunday I logged 2.8 hours attending 2 fly-in events. My GPS odometer read 197 NM covered on 12 gallons of auto gas for a net cost of $36. The second one had a 1300 foot sod runway where an RV would not dare land. That’s the type of flying the market for LSA represents. It is not the old and tired pilots w/o physicals or the average Joe’s that can’t afford to get a PPL. It’s a whole bunch of us out there that believe flying and spending time in the cockpit flying at 1000 AGL is a lot more important than getting there at 160 Knots. If we can do that inexpensively then what is to hate?

I will sign off with two examples of close friends with RV6’s. One is a TD, the other one a ND.

The first one flew a Mooney and then gave it up for an ultralight. Talk about change. He later found a used RV6 in 2000 for $45K and bought that and sold the UL. Today, he flies mostly by himself because the rest of the pilots he knows fly slower airplanes. He is looking into LSAs to try and rejoin the group and stop paying over $4 per gallon of gas (he is wealthy but hates paying for avgas, go figure). Anyway, he went to OSH to see the RV12 and came away disappointed because the plane looks nothing like is RV6.

The second one lives at an Airpark, the kind where the homes are next to the runway. He also bought a used RV6 around 2000 and flies the regional fly-in circuit with it. Last summer he got a Sky Ranger with the 912S and has racked over 100 hours on it. He seldom flies the RV6 now.

Those are two examples illustrating one pilot that is contemplating moving to a slower airplane and the other one that has already done so. The second one keeps his RV6 because he loves it and can afford to keep it so why not. He get’s both worlds, the go fast and the go fun.

Those two pilots I listed do not have a need for RW and yet if they were to go with the RV12 they would end up accepting the design compromises that were brought in by the choice. The RW choice IS making a difference in the cots of construction, complexity of construction, and features like track width, aileron/flap, fuel placement, etc.

We are creatures of comfort. We fly because it is convenient and if we make it harder to fly then less folks will do it. One way to make it harder to fly is to have to trailer an airplane to and from an airport. If that’s the case, why compromise a design and cater to those folks in the first place and design an airplane with the RW feature? If the RW was that great of an idea with a market screaming for it, how come none of the Euro models, other than the Europa, offers that feature? They ought to know since their socialist countries make it a privilege of the few to join the ranks of the flying folk.

And finally, the Rotax 912S is not a weed-whacker nor is it a two cycle engine. Whoever wrote that better visit some websites and learn about the engine before making invective comments. I know many people that fly behind 2 cycle engines and they are fine folks and friends willing to lend a helping hand to a fellow pilot regardless of their airplane or engine choice. I have over 400 Hours flying behind 2 strokes and pound for pound you can’t beat them for performance and when cared for, reliability. More pilots die behind Lycs failures than 2 stroke failures.

As of yesterday, I have 508.6 hours TT in my Rotax 912S with nothing but $20 for 8 plug changes and $20 for filter/oil changes using premium auto gas and 100LL at 5GPH. Before dissing the Rotax 912S I want someone to show me a Lycoming logbook with the same track record (ZERO repairs, routine maintenance only). I like the Lyc engines but let’s not go overboard and make disparaging remarks on powerplants we know little or nothing about, shall we?

I find it amazing how little consideration Van’s followers have for pilots that do not tow the Van’s line. I went through the same thing when I was building my RV7 and justified my choice for a tail dragger when I wrote the nose gear design for the RV7 was not a good one with a track record littered with the wreckage of airplanes with bent nose gears and caught **** for writing that.

To offer an opinion that disagrees with Vans in the eyes of his followers is tantamount to heresy. I am happy to know that I am very neutral and have no sworn loyalty to any brand or designer. I will buy the airplane that makes the most sense and offers the best features and designs for my missions.

I like Vans and I am a member of the MN wing. I will wait until his design is finished and flying but I am not holding my breath that the RV12 will do for me in the "looks and handling department" what the RV7 I was building did.


I really think Vans overestimates the market for the new design and that is OK too as no one is infallible. A friend of mine has an RV-4 look alike built with tube/fabric. I even sold him the tail feathers of an RV6 I started to build back in 98 and he stuck them in the airplane. His plane is sharp looking and does the standard mild aerobatics. What can I say it looks like an RV4 and cruises at 135MPH on the Rotax 912S. What’s to hate there? Sometimes the answers are staring you in the face. All you have to do is stop looking for them and they will hit you.

Jose Borja
Elk Mound, WI

jrsites
08-28-2006, 09:56 AM
Yes, one could leave the wings mounted permanently and pretend they are there forever, but that does not remove all of the compromises inherited by the choice in the first place, does it? The RW design, by Vans own admission, brought a series of design choices that they would not normally make. That’s the point I am trying to convey!

Ahh! Well that makes perfect sense. Yes, if the removable wings end up necessitating design features that cause the RV-12 to not fly like an RV (Van's have stated they want it to have characteristics equal to or better than the RV-9), then I will agree with you that it was a poorly thought out design. My guess, though, is that Van would redesign the airplane if that were to be the case. I just can't see Van introducing a design that waters down the Van's brand essence just for the sake of removable wings. We'll have to wait and see how the POC flies before that judgement is made, though.

The first one flew a Mooney and then gave it up for an ultralight. Talk about change. He later found a used RV6 in 2000 for $45K and bought that and sold the UL. Today, he flies mostly by himself because the rest of the pilots he knows fly slower airplanes. He is looking into LSAs to try and rejoin the group and stop paying over $4 per gallon of gas (he is wealthy but hates paying for avgas, go figure).

Again, with all due respect, why doesn't your friend just throttle back? That's the beauty of of Vans' "Total Peformance" designs. You can comfortably fly around all day at 120 knots of you want to. Just because the -6 can do 160 knots doesn't mean it has to. And that would help ease your friend's fuel bill, too. Reminds me of when I was thinking about building a -9, and trying to decide between putting an 0-200 or 0-320 on it. I was leaning towards the 0-200 because to me the lower fuel burn was worth going a little slower. But then it dawned on me: why not put the 0-320 in it and just throttle back? Set the two engines at equivalent fuel burns, and you're going to be producing the same power and going the same speed. The difference is that with the 0-320 you've got power to spare if you ever need it (like hot/high situations). Doesn't really matter now, 'cause I've pretty much settled on a -7. :D

PepeBorja
08-28-2006, 11:46 AM
Doesn't really matter now, 'cause I've pretty much settled on a -7. :D

Excellent choice! I still have the drawing of the RV7 on the wall in my shop, the shapes of the tail feathers forever etched by the afternoon sun where they hung on the bare drywall.

One thing to remember is that 5 years ago there were few choices to go at 100 Knots. The Sonex, Rans S7, the Jabiru, and the Titan Tornado are the only ones that could do the job and you had to spend a couple of years in a shop building one! I am not sure if the Pulsar is still made but getting into one is tough if you have the average girth of the successful American Male. I am sure I left out a few models but I am going by brand and reputation.

These new LSAs are something else. I saw two brand new CT Sports Sunday and it is hard to believe they can do better than 100 Knots with interiors that look automotive in finish and have not a single steam gauge in sight! Just have the checkbook ready and fly one home loaded with goodies and a BRS for $90Ks. I think you are right in that the real deal will be with Ready To Fly (RTF) airplanes and not with kits that take 1000+ hours to complete.

One of the CTs on the field was a dealer one and he told me they are selling well. Price has not been a huge objection because the ownership costs are very low compared to an older GA airplane riddled with ADs, annuals, and the usual ailments that go with older planes. These new aircraft have zero baggage in terms of ADs and the engine/prop combos are well proven with boring logbooks. Must be a selling point because I heard him say that several times. I guess everyone is very familiar with the “annual” inspection and the bills accompanying that. If you want to see a grown man cry wait until they get their bill for an annual inspection.

In my case I like to build so no RTF plane for me. Good luck with the RV7. Lots of rivets but the product is worth the effort. I got as far as completing the fuselage and wings before I sold it and it was a treat to work with the pre-punched kits. The only bummer is finding bucking partners.

Jose.

Deuskid
08-28-2006, 12:40 PM
Since the -12 isn't being built in a vacuum and alternatives have been cited and discussed in this thread I thought I'd throw another into the ring:

Lightning a kit build which comes in a PPL and LSC versions and addresses some of the wiggle room issues discussed above:

Their website:

http://www.arionaircraft.com/Sport%20Lightning.html

There are a couple of threads where pilots have flown the regular version and some form of RV [or RVs] and given feedback on the Lightning and comparisons between RVs and it. All speak highly of both the RVs and the lightnings. Here is where those discussions can be read:

http://forums.matronics.com/viewforum.php?f=64&sid=85e0bbadd61bac747484874577bd7834


Per their website, cost [pre paint and instruments but including everything else including a 2200 Jabu and a week of quick build at their shop for $3,200] about $65k.

Can be built in months not years. Total price far south of 100k. The regular version similar to a 9A in performance [with a Jabu 3300] [trade offs is some speed for some fuel economy in gph and less expensive auto fuel]].

I’m wondering about this as a viable option, not promoting it but it is flying and will be in direct competition to both the –12 as well as other LSAs. It does seem like it blends the best combination of time/build, cost, performance and allows for self maintenance. Seems to address many of the ‘problems’ cited with LSAs in this thread. Less $$ than a Cessna, quicker build than a –12.

Trade-offs/trade-offs

:confused:

John

the_other_dougreeves
08-28-2006, 12:56 PM
One of the CTs on the field was a dealer one and he told me they are selling well. Price has not been a huge objection because the ownership costs are very low compared to an older GA airplane riddled with ADs, annuals, and the usual ailments that go with older planes. These new aircraft have zero baggage in terms of ADs and the engine/prop combos are well proven with boring logbooks. Must be a selling point because I heard him say that several times. I guess everyone is very familiar with the “annual” inspection and the bills accompanying that. If you want to see a grown man cry wait until they get their bill for an annual inspection.
CTs are selling well - there are now over 70 registered in the US and supposedly all of 2006's production is sold out.

There are some teething problems with these aircraft. For example, the CT had a landing gear redesign for 2006 after a couple of complete fractures of the aluminum gear tube. Folks with the old gear are subject to an inspection requirement - not a "AD", but if you want to maintain your airworthiness certificate, you need to comply with the safety bulletins. Rotax still puts out the occasional safety bulletin for the 912 series.

RV6junkie
08-28-2006, 01:10 PM
As I've said in another post on this subject, I just don't see how a -12 kit can be significantly less expensive than a -7 or -9 kit. It's roughly the same amount of metal.

I somewhat agree. I estimate that the -12 will cost somewhere around $50K finished. The 7 and 9 run a little higher, due to the equipment that is typically installed. Since the 7/8/9 don't require the extra equipment, those aircraft can be built for less money.

So, back to your point. If a person who qualifies for a Private Pilot License is going to buy a kit, and a kit for an RV-12 costs nearly as much as a kit for an RV-7, why in the world would they EVER buy the kit that produces an airplane that is limited to 120 knots?

The point you are missing is that the owner of a -12 doesn't need a PPL, they need a SPL.

Absolutely, completely, 100% agree. But ask yourself, HOW is it that LSA was designed to attract new people into aviation? By making it less expensive! Only one problem in the case of a -12, though. It's not (again, in my opinion) going to be considerably less expensive than one of Van's non-LSA kits.

One of the major barriers to aviation is not money, but time. The time commitment to obtain a PPL is enormous, especially when compared to the effort it takes for other big-ticket toys. By matching the training to the performance of the aircraft and the 80th percentile mission, the SP license makes a lot of sense for someone that has an interest in aviation, but doesn’t have a year to get it done. Statistics show that many that start training for a PPL stop training – due to the time – not the money.

The Sport Pilot category will be considered a success if it brings in new pilots. If we merely recycle old pilots, it wont be long before recreational aviation disappears.


To me, it all comes down to economics and tradeoffs. In my opinion there just aren't enough economic benefits and positive tradeoffs to an LSA kit to justify buying and building one instead of a "standard" kit.

You need to stop thinking like someone that has a PPL. When you look “in” as an outsider - looking to get “in” - SP makes a lot of sense. Moreover, factory-made SP (fixed wing) aircraft will cost somewhere between $75,000 to $125,000 equipped for real world flying. Suddenly a $50,000 kit begins to make sense; especially if that person is one who is inclined to do things themselves anyway.

Most private pilots (or greater) have a very elitist view of SP. They can’t believe that a SP wouldn’t aspire to obtain a higher license. I’m sure a percentage of those pilots will use SP as a stepping stone, but the vast majority will remain weekend flyers for the same reason they choose SP over a PPL – time.

RVbySDI
08-28-2006, 03:24 PM
One of the major barriers to aviation is not money, but time. The time commitment to obtain a PPL is enormous, especially when compared to the effort it takes for other big-ticket toys. By matching the training to the performance of the aircraft and the 80th percentile mission, the SP license makes a lot of sense for someone that has an interest in aviation, but doesn’t have a year to get it done. Statistics show that many that start training for a PPL stop training – due to the time – not the money.

The Sport Pilot category will be considered a success if it brings in new pilots. If we merely recycle old pilots, it wont be long before recreational aviation disappears.I would have to disagree with you on this point. I think the NUMBER 1 barrier to flying for anyone, whether it is a "wannabe" pilot or an existing high timer with thousands of hours, is the money. If time were the major contributing factor to restricting all of us from flying we would not be seeing decreasing numbers of pilots or decreasing time in the air. Retired people will always tell you they have more time than money. It is the money that is causing such a drastic decrease in the number of pilots and the number of hours those pilots fly!

The costs to obtain an aircraft; obtain the appropriate licenses; obtain storage space; maintain the aircraft through annuals, oil changes, fuel costs; FAA compliances with AD's; compliance with currency; costs of medicals; costs of insurance are all forcing more and more people to leave aviation. If it doesn't force us out it does force us to build our own aircraft in attempts to avoid some or all of these costs. Although many of us on hear are building simply for the sheer joy that building brings, I am sure there are many others who are building because they see it as the only way they can afford to fly. I know that is my motivation. Even though I am learning a great deal and I do find I enjoy the building process, I would most definetly buy a finished product rather than going through this process of building if I could afford to do so.

These costs are also slamming the door shut on a great number of people who would dearly love to be able to enjoy flying. I have yet to talk with a long time flying friend or an acquaintance that wishes to learn to fly that has ever mentioned to me that the reason they aren't flying is due to a restriction of time. However, if a conversation does come around to why they do not fly more, or, in the case of a new "wannabe", why they don't take lessons, every one of them will say they can't afford it.

FAA regulations, artificially inflated manufacturing and material costs, and plain 'ol greed is keeping costs so high that the general population can not fathom being able to afford to fly. Lest we start down the argument that it has "always" been expensive to fly, I don't think inflation can really explain away the fact that a Cessna 172 that once cost approximately one year's salary now costs 7 year's salary to purchase. An annual that used to cost about 10 or 15% of an annual workers salary can now run up to 25 to 50% of their yearly income. When you examine costs in percentages of income it becomes clear that every aspect of flying has gone up in price to the point where it truely is an elitist's recreation.
You need to stop thinking like someone that has a PPL. When you look “in” as an outsider - looking to get “in” - SP makes a lot of sense. Moreover, factory-made SP (fixed wing) aircraft will cost somewhere between $75,000 to $125,000 equipped for real world flying. Suddenly a $50,000 kit begins to make sense; especially if that person is one who is inclined to do things themselves anyway.

Most private pilots (or greater) have a very elitist view of SP. They can’t believe that a SP wouldn’t aspire to obtain a higher license. I’m sure a percentage of those pilots will use SP as a stepping stone, but the vast majority will remain weekend flyers for the same reason they choose SP over a PPL – time.I do agree with you on this point. The majority of existing PP see little benefit to the SP rule. I think that view is looking at this with the wrong perspective. Your point is well made and I agree with it except for the fact that I don't think there will be much of a dent put in the numbers of new people wanting to get in that will be able to do so if the price of entry continues to remain so inflated.

As far as those looking to get "in", getting involved with building their own airplane is not a realistic way for most to approach the concept of flying. There are much too many people who haven't the means, skills, capacity or, most importantly, the desire to spend their time building an airplane.

For those of us on this forum that is a foreign concept as most all of us look at the building process as very beneficial to our personal lives. However, for every 1 of us there are 1,000 who would see "having" to build their own airplane as a deal breaker, right up their with the similar deal breaker of an airplane costing $100,000 to buy.

Those of us who have the means and the capacity to build our own airplane are an extremely small minority in this world. Even when compared to the total number of pilots we are still a very small minority. The rest of the world simply is not in the position to build their own airplane. They most certainly do not have the financial resources to spend 5,6 or 7 times their annual income on acquiring, maintaining and learning to fly an airplane regardless of what type it is.

If the SP rule was indeed designed to get more pilots in the cockpit, without question, the most critical aspect of this rule will be controlling the costs of flying under the SP rule.

Deuskid
08-28-2006, 06:35 PM
Interesting....

you guys are so busy discussing... you ignored my post...

a post by a guy who will probably develop a need to do a x-c frequent commute in about a year and is looking for the best way to do it.

Certified is not it. RV's aren't it. If I can get the same utility [both the economic defination and the common defination] from an airplane costing less than 1/2 of a cessna and takes 1/8 the time to build of an RV....

I'm going to take it.

I'm the very 'border line' candidate you are discussing.

When al. and rivets were first introduced I'm sure the spruce and fabric guys thougth [you'll never get me up in a METAL plane...]...

I've always had a desire to fly but just to punch holes in the sky was not reason enough. For those guys who make holes or already have a reason to be flying [most of YOU guys]... there is no further rational needed...

the marginal propensity to consume [Gen. Av. in this particular instance] is up to folks like me... border liners....

and it is a combo of time/money/effort [usually in that order] that will determine it.

LSAs will incite more to fly. Not enough for everyone who wants to supply aircraft to do so. the -12 will compete and make its place based [or not] upon its merits vis a vis its competition. Until it flies, how well it competes is pure speculation.

For me, IF I need to x-c, I want to have the option to maintain and improve the A/C myself. I want to do so within a year of beginning of the process. I'll trade $$ for time. All things being equal I'd chose the Lightning over the RV-9 [the closest RV to my mission]. The RV would have to be SUBSTANTIALLY less [like < 1/2 the cost] and stil have superior performance to entice me.

I'd wager that the majority of those on the border line are more like me than they are like YOU who are already flying. I don't think detachable wings are a big positive or a big negative. Other factors will be more significant....

just my opinion

John

PepeBorja
08-28-2006, 09:15 PM
Interesting.... you guys are so busy discussing... you ignored my post... Certified is not it. RV's aren't it. If I can get the same utility [both the economic defination and the common defination] from an airplane costing less than 1/2 of a cessna and takes 1/8 the time to build of an RV.... it is a combo of time/money/effort [usually in that order] that will determine it.
John

Hi John,

I will give the best advice I have learnt in the 15 years of being in the EXP hobby.

Based on your needs and the order of your resouces (time, money, effort) your best choice is to get your money together and buy yourself a used RV plane. That's the best kit you will ever own. There are a lot of great used RVs for sale at a price that is near the cost of building one sans the time and effort needed to put one together.

The answer I give everyone that asks is always the same. Build one because you like to build it not because you'd like to own one. The two RV drivers I know bought their RVs used and they love them. They enjoy the airplane and never had to buck a single rivet together and they paid less than $50 Gs for their 6's!

The "I built it so I get to maintain it" just does not wash as a reson for investing 2000 hours of your life on an airplane that without a doubt you will spend more hours building than flying. You can do most of the preventive maintenance and the annuals on an RV with an A&P that is familar with the airplane is not very high.

Trust me on this one. If you have $75 Gs in your pocket you can get yourself one heck of an RV without ever bucking a rivet together. It may sound silly but the EXP certificate reasoning of building for educational purposes is so very true, specially with a Vans kit.

I always say the best kit is the one somoene else put together, especially if that builder is a repeat offender that does nice work.

Jose Borja

jrsites
08-28-2006, 09:16 PM
The point you are missing is that the owner of a -12 doesn't need a PPL, they need a SPL.

I do understand that, yes. But keep in mind that a person with a PPL can fly an LSA. However, a person with a SPL cannot fly a "traditional" kit plane. I guess the point I was making was that if a -12 doesn't cost any less than a -7/-9, then in my estimation there is almost NO chance of Vans capturing any of the PPL aspirants/holders in the -12 market. The minimal difference in cost as opposed to the big difference in performance will drive anyone who has, can have or wants to have a PPL toward the -7/-9. Smaller potential market = harder to justify producing the airplane. I was just trying to demonstrate one of the chunks of the pilot demographic that WON'T be part of the potential -12 market.

One of the major barriers to aviation is not money, but time. The time commitment to obtain a PPL is enormous, especially when compared to the effort it takes for other big-ticket toys. By matching the training to the performance of the aircraft and the 80th percentile mission, the SP license makes a lot of sense for someone that has an interest in aviation, but doesn’t have a year to get it done. Statistics show that many that start training for a PPL stop training – due to the time – not the money.

Again, I agree. But that leaves me wondering how someone who doesn't have 5 to 10 total hours a week to invest in PPL training will ever find the time to make themselves an LSA.

Moreover, factory-made SP (fixed wing) aircraft will cost somewhere between $75,000 to $125,000 equipped for real world flying.

I didn't think that most LSAs had a lot of "options" for adding equipment. I thought that the LSA category pretty much is what it is, and that there won't be much else to add to them (especially considering how important weight is going to be to them). I'm not quite sure what the "base" models are currently coming without that most people are going to add.

Most private pilots (or greater) have a very elitist view of SP. They can’t believe that a SP wouldn’t aspire to obtain a higher license. I’m sure a percentage of those pilots will use SP as a stepping stone, but the vast majority will remain weekend flyers for the same reason they choose SP over a PPL – time.

No elitism here. I work for a major manufacturer. For employment security reasons, I'm all for anything that gets more people into aviation. I hope that Sport Pilot takes off in a way that Recreational Pilot never did.

My point is simply this: I'm just not so sure that the way the LSA category was set up (which was intended to reduce primarily the cost, not the time investment, of getting into Aviation), I just don't see how it affords kit manufacturers any reason to produce an LSA kit. I see all kinds of advantages for Part 23 manufacturers, mainly owing to the reduction in manufacturing and certification costs it allows.

A Part 23 manufacturer can produce an LSA for MUCH less than they could ever produce a two seat, recreational, 120 knot Part 23 airplane. There is a significantly larger number of people who can afford and are willing to pay for a $100,000 production airplane, than there are who can afford and are willing to pay for a $250,000 airplane. And remember that that production LSA will be just like the one they got their SPL in, and they can go pick it up at the dealer and fly right away in it.

Since the LSA rules mean all aircraft will perform the same, why would anyone who can afford a $100,000 have any incentive to buy a $50,000 they have to build themselves? Especially since the airplane they end up with won't perform any better?

So that leaves those who CAN afford a $50,000 plane, but CAN'T afford a $100,000 plane as the potential market for an LSA kit.

Now, of those people, how many are pursuing SPL because they lost their medical? How many people who have lost their medical are going to be in a position to spend a couple of years building an airplane?

And of those who are pursuing SPL because they don't have the time to get a PPL, how many are going to have the time to spend a couple of years building an airplane?

And of those who have the time and wherewithall to get a PPL, but are only pursuing SPL because they've got limited funds for an airplane and can't afford more than $50,000, how many are going to wish they'd gone ahead and invested the extra time to get their PPL when they find out that they could've had a 160 kt airplane for essentially the same money that they paid for their 120 kt airplane?

Again, I WANT LSA to succeed. And I think it very well might for manufacturers like Cessna. But in my mind it's just not adding up for kit manufacturers.

jrsites
08-28-2006, 09:32 PM
I'll trade $$ for time.

In my opinion, this basic economic concept is the one that will govern who succeeds and who fails at LSA. And it's why I just don't see a big market for LSA kits.

In order for someone to give up their time to get an airplane, they have to get some substantial benefit - one they consider worth the value of that time - in return. With traditional RVs, the considerable reduction in acquisition cost, coupled with significant performance increases over, say a 172, was often times considered by a purchaser worth their build time.

With an LSA kit, the differences in performance are all but wiped out. The only thing left to entice a purchaser to invest time in building a kit airplane is the reduction in acquisition cost. The only problem is that in the LSA category, that differential is going to be greatly reduced. Whereas building an RV-9 can save someone $200,000 versus the cost of a new 172, building an RV-12 will save them about $50,000 versus a production LSA. The group of people who will consider their two or three years build time worth $50,000 in savings and an airplane that does what all other LSAs do is considerably smaller than those who will say that time is worth $200,000 in savings and an airplane that has nearly 50% better performance than the new production alternative.

I just think that the number of people who are willing to trade an extra $50,000 (for a $100,000 production LSA instead of a $50,000 kit) for their two years of build time is quite a bit bigger than the number of people who are willing to trade two years of build time to save that extra $50,000. Especially since the plane that the builder will labor over for two years isn't going to go any faster or higher than the one that the customer flew away in the very same day he signed the papers on it.

RatMan
08-29-2006, 12:25 AM
With traditional RVs, the considerable reduction in acquisition cost, coupled with significant performance increases over, say a 172, was often times considered by a purchaser worth their build time.

Some people (perhaps most people) that build airplanes do it because they enjoy building airplanes. Those that don't understand will run out of determination long before running out of money.

With an LSA kit, the differences in performance are all but wiped out.

NOT if the new Cessna LSA flies like a Cessna and the -12 flies like an RV. The two can't be compared. You can buy a Cessna that flies as fast as an RV, you can buy a Cessna that's a taildragger, you can buy a Cessna that's aerobatic, but none of these traits are in the same Cessna. If the -12 flies like the -9 and the Cessna LSA flies like a -150, it's a no brainer.

I just think that the number of people who are willing to trade an extra $50,000 (for a $100,000 production LSA instead of a $50,000 kit) for their two years of build time is quite a bit bigger than the number of people who are willing to trade two years of build time to save that extra $50,000. Especially since the plane that the builder will labor over for two years isn't going to go any faster or higher than the one that the customer flew away in the very same day he signed the papers on it.

It has come up a few times in the last few post about time to build being a couple of years, I think some will be surprised when Vans ships the first dozen or so kits and their first flights are only about three months later. I'm saying months, not years. Simple design, simple construction, fast build time. Once Vans gets to the point of a quick build -12, it will be a matter of weeks to get into the air! Then the time to fly turns into a paperchase rather than a build issue.

RV6junkie
08-29-2006, 06:40 AM
NOT if the new Cessna LSA flies like a Cessna and the -12 flies like an RV. The two can't be compared. You can buy a Cessna that flies as fast as an RV, you can buy a Cessna that's a taildragger, you can buy a Cessna that's aerobatic, but none of these traits are in the same Cessna. If the -12 flies like the -9 and the Cessna LSA flies like a -150, it's a no brainer.


Bingo! Finally someone that understands that "performance" isn't all about numbers.

Once Vans gets to the point of a quick build -12, it will be a matter of weeks to get into the air!
When the RV's were first introduced, it took a first-time builder about 2,000 hours to complete an aircraft. I was one of those builders, and I’m glad to have had that type of experience.

Pre-punching, and other kit improvements, reduced that number to about 1,500 hours. An additional 100 hours could be saved by purchasing a pre-built main spar. Looking at the new kits, and all that is done for the builder, I’m quite sure that I could build a new RV-7 in 1,000 hours – from a standard kit. I’m also sure that I could build a quick-build kit in 500 hours.

My point is this – The process of building an aircraft has gone from “building” to assembling. And that’s a good thing. For those that want to “build”, scratch building is still an option. The builder also has the added benefit of purchasing those items that they don’t want to fabricate.

However, for those that want to fly, and for those who fear the risk of not finishing the aircraft, Van’s kits represent some of the best thought-out kits in the market.

When I look back at the RV3 “kit”, which was mostly a scratch-built endeavor, and look at the progression of the kits through the years, I have no doubt that Van’s will release a product that will take 300 to 500 hours to build – in a standard kit.

Deuskid
08-29-2006, 07:01 AM
Hi John,

I will give the best advice I have learnt in the 15 years of being in the EXP hobby.

Based on your needs and the order of your resouces (time, money, effort) your best choice is to get your money together and buy yourself a used RV plane. That's the best kit you will ever own. <snip>

The "I built it so I get to maintain it" just does not wash as a reson for investing 2000 hours of your life on an airplane that without a doubt you will spend more hours building than flying. You can do most of the preventive maintenance and the annuals on an RV with an A&P that is familar with the airplane is not very high.

Jose Borja

Thx Jose – I had concluded buying a flying a/c was the right way to go and that is why I read this forum daily even tho I won’t know if I’m going to need to get my PPL [then go for IFR] until 9-12 months from now. A -9 [slider, t/d, [dreaming here: diesel]] was the ‘ideal’ candidate for my mission. It’ll probably be a while before –9s become plentiful enough to be on the market so I was including –6s and –7s as candidates as well.

The lightning might change that only because with their 2, 1 week shop visits I don’t have to do 2k hours and can be up in the air in several months [not years] for just slightly more $$$. I’d probably opt to do the first week at their shop then trailer it home for paint and fwf work.

The Lightning [can be exp or LSA depending on configuration] is a derivative of the esqual, manufactured in the Midwest, a few are flying and more in production and a composite design.

Just as wood/fabric gave way to aluminum I am wondering if aluminum will now give way to composites because of the build process. Using an air cooled engine that burns auto gas is another benefit.

I posted here because I believe many LSA guys are going to be like me. Almost ‘there’ but the barriers of entry are too great in totality [time & effort to get PPL, effort and time to build, $$ cost to buy something worth flying] to get a PPL just to punch holes [not for your guys, you already DO! :D [kudos]].. if my situation changes then my need for commute will be greater and the cost/benefit [the economic term for this is ‘utility’] scale will tip towards …get the PPL For others ‘close’ then the totality of barriers of entry need to be reduced sufficiently to incite them.

Keeping my options open considering them all…

I do understand that, yes. But keep in mind that a person with a PPL can fly an LSA. However, a person with a SPL cannot fly a "traditional" kit plane. I guess the point I was making was that if a -12 doesn't cost any less than a -7/-9, then in my estimation there is almost NO chance of Vans capturing any of the PPL aspirants/holders in the -12 market. The minimal difference in cost as opposed to the big difference in performance will drive anyone who has, can have or wants to have a PPL toward the -7/-9. Smaller potential market = harder to justify producing the airplane. I was just trying to demonstrate one of the chunks of the pilot demographic that WON'T be part of the potential -12 market.

I agree, why fly a –12 when you have a better option for relatively the same cost. I wouldn’t.


Since the LSA rules mean all aircraft will perform the same, why would anyone who can afford a $100,000 have any incentive to buy a $50,000 they have to build themselves? Especially since the airplane they end up with won't perform any better?

So that leaves those who CAN afford a $50,000 plane, but CAN'T afford a $100,000 plane as the potential market for an LSA kit.

My point exactly ! But, if you can build and have a nicer a/c for something for between $50-100 AND have a repairman’s certificate and not have to invest a loooonngng period of time and great effort doing so then that, to me at least, seems optimal. It makes MORE sense for an exp a/c but makes sense for an LSA as well.


Now, of those people, how many are pursuing SPL because they lost their medical? How many people who have lost their medical are going to be in a position to spend a couple of years building an airplane?

Would they sell their flying a/c and then build a replacement a/c if it could be build in a few months?

Also, I thought that if you lost your medical you couldn’t qualify for a SPL? I thought the idea was, if you expect you can’t pass your medical then you shouldn’t get it so you can still qualify for SPL?


With an LSA kit, the differences in performance are all but wiped out. The only thing left to entice a purchaser to invest time in building a kit airplane is the reduction in acquisition cost. <snip>
I just think that the number of people who are willing to trade an extra $50,000 (for a $100,000 production LSA instead of a $50,000 kit) for their two years of build time is quite a bit bigger than the number of people who are willing to trade two years of build time to save that extra $50,000. Especially since the plane that the builder will labor over for two years isn't going to go any faster or higher than the one that the customer flew away in the very same day he signed the papers on it.

Same as above. If you could get something build in a few months for $15-20k less than certified and then save on maintenance… it’d be worth it in my world

<snip>. If the -12 flies like the -9 and the Cessna LSA flies like a -150, it's a no brainer.

It has come up a few times in the last few post about time to build being a couple of years, I think some will be surprised when Vans ships the first dozen or so kits and their first flights are only about three months later. I'm saying months, not years. Simple design, simple construction, fast build time. Once Vans gets to the point of a quick build -12, it will be a matter of weeks to get into the air! Then the time to fly turns into a paperchase rather than a build issue.

The matronics list I cited above provides comparisons between RVs and Lightnings but from their perspective. If a substitute to the –12 [or a substitute for a –9] could be build in months, mirror a –12 [–9], use a Jabu 2200 [3300] engine, and non-LSA issues are already flying… should it be considered competition for the –12 [-9]?

I know most of you guys bleed Vans and should. Vans a/c are amazing. Always will be. Ask yourself this: If you had the option to build a –9 in 2 years or in 4 months and there was insignificant differences in the end product which would you choose?

My question is selfish. I want you guys to explain to me why the lightning isn’t a good alternative to the –12/-9: why? You are the collective knowledge base to give a skeptical but fair assessment.

All the best

John

PepeBorja
08-29-2006, 11:36 AM
With traditional RVs, the considerable reduction in acquisition cost, coupled with significant performance increases over, say a 172, was often times considered by a purchaser worth their build time.

To make fair comparisons, the RV planes have to be compared with 2 seat airplanes!

None of the RV airplanes (except the 10), have the capacity to carry four people or haul 500 pounds of supplies into a dirt gravel strip like a Cessna 172 is capable of doing. The cabin size does not compare well either. The C172 has room to wiggle whereas The RV7 has only enough space to carry two people and limited baggage. To be fair, the 2 place RVs should be compared with 2 place airplanes not 4.

Everyone in the RV world gets lost in performance as though speed to travel is the main or only reason to own an airplane. If that’s the only reason yes I concur and declare the RV12 and other LSAs have little chance to succeed against the 7, 8, and 9s.

As a former RV7 Kit builder, I truly believe that the nice thing about an RV is that it can take you and 1 passenger to remote places reasonably fast. I also happen to believe the bad thing about it is that it can take you and 1 passenger to a remote place!!! Hu? Well, what you do when you get to wherever it is you traveled? Spend MONEY on hotel, cars, accommodations, fuel, etc. and if you want to do that sort of thing you need three basic things:

1. Be single or married with no children. Both have to be of average girth too!
2. Have plenty of disposable time to travel freely.
3. Have plenty of disposable income to buy fuel, hotels, food, accommodations, etc at the destination points.

I suspect many RV owners discover at one time they lack on one of those 3 conditions and eventually put their planes up for sale. That’s why I sold my RV7 kit. I have 2 weeks of vacation, 3 kids, and not a lot of disposable money to spend every other weekend visiting a remote place. My last x-country trip was 1300 miles and took me to Cleveland OH. I spent almost $280 (after tax dollars) on fuel and hotels. Yikes! I can’t afford to do that all the time and if I do the wife would not be thrilled to see all of that income going on fun!

People complain about hanger costs of $150 a month. What about the money spent on that weekend trip? People figure out the fixed costs of ownership in hanger/insurance. How about the cost of doing whatever you set up to do when one goes traveling fast to a destination?

I described earlier the type of mission that a whole bunch of us pilots looking into the LSA type of airplane like to do:

1. Rack up flight time. You do that by flying slower to point B not faster!
2. Stay local – save money on overnite stays
3. Do it cheaply - Low GPH fuel consumption and simple maintenance requirements
4. Bring along a friend or family member for the day
5. Do a couple of long x-country trips a year (Sun&Fun, owners fly-in, etc)

The RV12 and all other LSAs will be great platforms from at doing those 5 things I listed.

Speed is only one thing on the overall flight experience and I can understand perfectly why folks new to this hobby think that way. They have a PPL and figure best use of it is to go places fast. That’s OK. But our busy life styles and family/work obligations quickly reveal that is not always the case. The plane full of gadgets and 180 fre breathing HP sits quietly in the hanger waiting for its owner to get a break from work and go somewhere.

There are many other pilots like me that find other reasons for flight to be very enjoyable, like looking out the window, visiting short airstrips strips, landing on frozen lakes, taking the plane to go golfing to a course 50 miles away, cruising at 100MPH and 1000 AGL looking at towns, farms, and fall colors. We LSA types also like to rack up flight time by flying slow and fly with friends that have airplanes with similar speeds to a restaurant 100 miles away for a burger on $20 worth of gas, etc. None of those things require speed and that’s where the LSA airplanes find their niche.

Believe me you. When you own an airplane that can do 100 Knts drinking 5GPH that has no need or use for expensive cockpit gadgets you will get hooked. How many pilots would not want to go fly 1 hour in the evening right after work and just look out the window, doing the basic IFR (I follow the Roads) and scoping the area for $15 worth of gas?

If all that matters is speed, yes the LSAs are a bad idea when compared to their big brother kits. But for many of us speed is useful once or twice a year when we go on a cross country trip. The rest of the time all we care about is the other type of performance not found in the “Total Performance” definition: STOL, handling unimproved strips, low fuel consumption, decent airspeed, low stall speed, easy maintenance, simple systems, and superb visibility to enjoy the scenery.

That’s why many of the LSAs are high wing birds. There’s no better platform than a high wing for flying low and slow while admiring the scenery and landing on farm strips. I flew in a Rans S-7 once and was taken by its ability to leap of the ground in 200 feet, cruise at 100MPH and have a wonderful view of the ground below at 1000 AGL en route to a Sunday burger.

Give LSA airplanes a chance. You will see hundreds of them sold in the next few years to those of us that do not have the time (and perhaps the money) to spend traveling to far away destinations in our fast private airplanes.

This has been an interseting discussion on the LSA type of airplane and I enjoyed very much sharing with you what I know about this hobby and sport.

Please vist the http://www.rotax-owner.com/ website for more information on the Rotax 912S powerplant chosen by Vans, Cessna and just about every LSA manufacturer to power their LSA planes. My 912S engine is a 2000 vintage and has only 1 AD: The valve spring retainers and they were done by the dealer prior to the engine being shipped to me. The rest of them are maintenance SBs of things to look for. Before listening to the Rotax 912 boo-birds I encourage you to spend some time with folks that own one like me and get real answers and not stories.

Good luck in your choice of LSA and I wish Vans well on his endeavor to bring one to the market. The RV7 kit was a delight to work with although I hated to make parts from angles, etc. I am sure the RV12 will be just as good and no proseal!

Jose Borja

Mike Armstrong
08-29-2006, 12:23 PM
I started this thread just to point out that there was some new info available on the Vans website to those of us unfortunate enough not to be able to go to AirVenture this year, but this discussion has really evolved into something more important than the origonal point.

When I previously mentioned the 'average joe' I really meant 'the average American blue collar worker that loves aviation, feels fortunate to have enough income to pay his mortgage and car off and still have a couple of bucks left over, always wanted to be a pilot and fly an airplane not 'just' an Ultralight (sorry ultralighters) and see's Sport Pilot/LSA as their wish come true', that average joe. I'm talking about the vast majority of the masses out there that make up any given crowd of the 500,000 that attend AirVenture every year or any of the many airshows across the country. I'm talking about the guy who loves to tinker, that dreams of maybe some day seeing the likeness of a real airplane taking shape in his own garage, the guy that walks slowly by an airplane and takes in every single angle and thinks, I bet I could fly that one day, if only....

Thats the average joe, the vast majority, the masses that I believe Sport Pilot was created for. When I read stuff like, an extra $50,000 here or a $100,000 there, I think, are you friggen kidding me! Your definitely not talking about the folks that Sport Pilot is trying to attract. Money like that is way the **** over what this crowd will ever be able to casually throw to the wind.

There have been two avenues to follow if you wanted to be a pilot, own your aircraft and go flying. The less than $25,000 sticks and wires Ultralight crowd or the over $100,000 PP GA crowd. If you took a poll, the average joe majority would most likely find the latter absolutely unaffordable and neither one the kind of 'around the patch' airplane flying they have always envisioned. The hopes for Sport Pilot are that it will give a 'middle ground' for the majority to enter aviation. If your throwing around figures like $50,000 or $100,000 you've already lost them, they cannot afford that kind of money. If the average joe could, then Sport Pilot would be intended only as a way for PP's to fly if they think they will fail their medical.

Time taken to build a kit, less hours to get certified, being able to trailor it home, doing your own maintainance, ect, ect, for the chance to fly around the patch in their own airplane, the average joe Sport Pilot will be more than willing to put up with these 'hassles' to fullfill a dream come true. If your fortunate enough to already be a PP flying your $75,000 or more aircraft and parking it in your own hanger (nevermind next to your own runway, geez!) you cant possibly see what the intention of Sport Pilot/LSA's are about. Maybe it's been too long since your own 'impossible dream of flying' had been fullfilled or maybe financially it's been a long time since you've had to worry about being able to scrounge up enough money to fullfill your deam of flying. Your there now, you've been fortunate enough to be. The prospective Sport Pilot crowd is looking at it as their chance now to fullfill their own previously impossible dream.

That target mass of folks will never be able to enter aviation through Sport Pilot if it is not AFFORDABLE. Time, most of these folks have spent years dreaming of flying, if it means a dream finally coming true they will be happy, no, ecstatic to make the time to do so. So far, I think the ready to fly LSA prices are absolutely unaffordable to these folks. That leaves building their own. As far as a Vans kit goes, if I recall correctly, there is already a thread under General Discussion about the cost of building an RV where guys are saying they have built a -6 for less than $35,000. Thats a flying GA aircraft including the engine and instruments needed to do so. I would think an LSA, with it's 'basic' needs in terms of engine (especially if it includes an option other than the expensive Rotax 912) and panel could be built for as much or less. It may be the only way these folks are currently going to be able to afford their dream. Build it, fly it around the patch, trailer it home and be more than happy to do so. Nothing more, nothing less, just a dream come true.

Believe me, I know, I'm one of them.


Mike Armstrong
San Diego, CA
Long time aviation dreamer
Simple, fly around the patch, trailer it home Sport Pilot wanna-be
Future LSA builder (RV-12 or not)

Phyrcooler
08-29-2006, 12:54 PM
Wow... these have been getting long... so, I'll try to keep it short.

First off - the last two posts by Jose and Mike were very well articulated confirmations of my own thoughts. AMEN!!!

I am just finishing up my PPL - but as a blue collar man - see the LSA as a way for me to finally be able to afford to live my dream. Cost is a factor... and yes... I will build it for a multitude of reasons - the first of which is savings. And while I love the RV series... I don't have the 4 to 5 years it would take me to construct an RV 7/8/9.

In regard to the LSA... what - OMG - it only flys as fast as a 172?!! :eek: How will we survive?

I am watching the development of several aircraft closely. I still haven't ruled out a high wing... but the options are limited. While for now I will have my PPL - I am looking at the LSA world for the following reasons:


Cost of admission (Hopefully $40 - 45K tops to get a QB flying)
BUILD TIME (hopefully less than 12 months for me)
Cost of LIVING the dream (as previously written by Jose)
CONSIDERING the value of removeable wings/home storage
dj

jrsites
08-29-2006, 01:10 PM
The hopes for Sport Pilot are that it will give a 'middle ground' for the majority to enter aviation. If your throwing around figures like $50,000 or $100,000 you've already lost them, they cannot afford that kind of money.

Mike, if you're looking for something in the $25,000 to $50,000 range to satisfy the group of people you're talking about, then the good news is that you don't have to wait for the RV-12! You alluded to it later in your post, but an RV-7 or -9, if kept simple, can be in the air for something South of $50,000. The only disadvantage is that the builder would need to invest the extra time to get a PPL instead of a SPL.

This is one of the points I've been trying to make. I think a lot of people have gotten seduced into thinking that an LSA kit plane is going to be orders of magnitude less expensive than an Experimental kit plane. This is simply not the case, and Vans has said so in their -12 information. The price of an airplane kit is determined by the material content in that kit and the manufacturer's overhead costs. The material content in a kit is largely determined by the size and construction method of the design. An RV-12 is not considerably smaller than a -7. It's built in the same way. A new Rotax is roughly the same cost as a used Lycoming. Add it all up, and there simply isn't much opportunity to drive cost out of a -12 kit as compared to a -7 or -9 kit.

If there's a large group of people waiting around for the -12, thinking that it will be half as expensive to make as a -7 or -9, I'm afraid they're going to be disappointed when (if) Vans decides to manufacture the -12 kit.

...if I recall correctly, there is already a thread under General Discussion about the cost of building an RV where guys are saying they have built a -6 for less than $35,000. Thats a flying GA aircraft including the engine and instruments needed to do so. I would think an LSA, with it's 'basic' needs in terms of engine and panel could be built for as much or less.

I'm pretty sure the only way to get a current RV in the air for $35,000 is to make it as "basic" an airplane as you possibly can. Minimum VFR instruments. Least expensive engine instrumentation possible. No fancy nav/comm stacks. Just an airplane that you can take up in VFR conditions and sight see around the local area in. Sound familiar? Isn't that exactly what the LSA category is supposed to be for?

I'm having a hard time figuring out what else you could leave out of an LSA to make it even less expensive.

I'm afraid that at the end of the day, an RV-12 is going to be nearly as exensive as a -7 or -9. So the decision comes down to whether or not the prospective builder/pilot wants to take the extra time/money to get a PPL, or whether they just want to get their SPL and get in the air.

If a person such as you're talking about, for whom cost is so vitally important, is willing to build a kit, there is some savings to be had in getting the SPL instead of the PPL. But there will be little to no savings from building an RV-12 instead of an RV-7/9

Phyrcooler
08-29-2006, 01:25 PM
I'm afraid that at the end of the day, an RV-12 is going to be nearly as exensive as a -7 or -9. So the decision comes down to whether or not the prospective builder/pilot wants to take the extra time/money to get a PPL, or whether they just want to get their SPL and get in the air.

If a person such as you're talking about, for whom cost is so vitally important, is willing to build a kit, there is some savings to be had in getting the SPL instead of the PPL. But there will be little to no savings from building an RV-12 instead of an RV-7/9Agreed...

But for me, I am willing to trade the speed of the 7/9 for getting into a RV-12/601XL/?? several years (build time) sooner. Ultimately it will fulfill the type of flying I intend to do. I don't think that during that time, I will be flying around saying "I wish I was still pounding rivets".

Mike Armstrong
08-29-2006, 03:33 PM
Thanks jrsites,


Originally Posted by jrsites
...["The only disadvantage is that the builder would need to invest the extra time to get a PPL instead of a SPL..."]

Actually, 15yrs ago I went through ground school and through PP training. I was happy to be pursuing my dream of flying but, incredibly perhaps, I hated the type of flying I was doing. Maybe it was just the So. Cal. busy sky or constantly having to look over your shoulder for traffic kind of flying I was training in but it was not at all what I had in mind.

In between receiving instruction I liked to go to the local Ultralight Park and hang out in the casual ‘non-regulated’ type of aviation that existed there. I really enjoyed watching the guys trailer their flying machines into the airpark, which existed out in the sticks, tinker around with them and go for a casual flight. The clubhouse reminded me of something back in the early years of aviation. Older guys (mostly retired) among the younger guys exchanging ideas, eating cheap pizza and talking about what new homemade gadget worked and what didn’t. I felt quite at home.

When I returned to the environment of the busy airport I was taking lessons at I felt something was wrong. I wasn’t at all enjoying it as much as I thought I would or should have. For me, there were too many rules, too much air traffic to deal with and I already knew I would never be able to afford to own and hanger my own GA aircraft. I went past soloing, hood time and nighttime flight training but by the time (almost a year had gone by) that the XC solo came around I was disenchanted. My flight instructor was a fellow Firefighter/Paramedic so we had a lot in common and got along well. He always rated my flying skills above average and I never felt uneasy flying but I knew this type of flying wasn’t for me. So, like a dummy, I quit short of getting certified (in retrospect I should have just continued on and got my ticket then since it will probably cost more to get an SP license now, aaarhg!) but it’s been so long that I will have to start over anyways.

I spent years trying to find a Part 103 legal Ultralight (though many at the airpark were illegal ‘fat’ Ultralights) that was more like a ‘real’ airplane than an actual Ultralight but in the end could not. So when Sport Pilot and LSA’s appeared it really sparked my interest in flying (and building) again.


["This is one of the points I've been trying to make. I think a lot of people have gotten seduced into thinking that an LSA kit plane is going to be orders of magnitude less expensive than an Experimental kit plane. This is simply not the case...

...If there's a large group of people waiting around for the -12, thinking that it will be half as expensive to make as a -7 or -9, I'm afraid they're going to be disappointed when (if) Vans decides to manufacture the -12 kit."]

Then yes, your absolutely right, the –12 will NOT be an option for these folks. It will simply be too expensive, period.


["I'm pretty sure the only way to get a current RV in the air for $35,000 is to make it as "basic" an airplane as you possibly can. Minimum VFR instruments. Least expensive engine instrumentation possible. No fancy nav/comm stacks. Just an airplane that you can take up in VFR conditions and sight see around the local area in. Sound familiar? Isn't that exactly what the LSA category is supposed to be for?"]

Yes! Absolutely. $35,000 for a completed LSA would be great, $50,000 is a no go for the average person, even if it's 'only' $20,000 more it's ALOT of money when your trying to make ends meet.


[..."So the decision comes down to whether or not the prospective builder/pilot wants to take the extra time/money to get a PPL, or whether they just want to get their SPL and get in the air."]

I’m afraid at least in my case getting a full PP license would be a tremendous waste of time and money. Perhaps the additional skills you might receive in PP training will benefit your flying but PP is way more than I want or need for the type of casual, weekend, day time VFR flying I'm only interested in. Sport Pilot/LSA is perfect for me and I suspect, many others. It gives me more aviation than Ultralights can offer but not any more than I'll need to get around the patch in a real airplane.



["If a person such as you're talking about, for whom cost is so vitally important, is willing to build a kit, there is some savings to be had in getting the SPL instead of the PPL."]

Agreed.

rv9aviator
08-29-2006, 05:17 PM
I have been giving some thought on what the next several years might bring and being 55 years old I can see a sport plane in my future. I know some people think the removable wings are not worth the effort but it is a big selling point for me. The average pilot only flies maybe 50-75 hours a year and the plane sets the rest of the time. I would really like to bring the plane home during the bad weather months to do maintenance and possible upgrades. It sure is easier to work in your own shop than at the airport. I wish my RV-9A had this feature as well.
One more opinion and we all know what that's worth. :)

freegespeed
08-30-2006, 01:02 AM
I have read all the entries in this spirited discussion and I have nothing profound to add except for anecdotal evidence.I would catagorize myself as a "blue coller" guy. I bought a beautiful RV6A which I love, but it is expensive to fly. I heard about the whole LSA thing and thought that there may be something in it for me. But now I find these planes are being sold at more the double what I paid for my 150 knot sleek, fun, yank and bank, grin machine, and I'm laughing at my own naivete. To think I might actually get up in the air for under $30,000 if I built a kit myself, but no, apparently it's a $50,000 entry ticket into the "kit built" Light Sport market. As Armstrong said and I concur, the spirit of the LSA is to make flying affordable to more people. Lets get these kit and engine prices down. Can someone explain why these Rotax engines are so expensive? Well I'd really like to know. Also,the RV12 kit has to be at least 15% less then the RV9 or its just not close to being justifiable for this pilot. I see building a cast off RV 4 project with a rebuilt lycoming and basic panel as being half as cheap as the new RV12. I realize that build time is part of allot of peoples decision, but not mine. Cost is number one for me.

I have seen the 80 hp Rotax 912 for as cheap as $8000. Thats a number I can live with for this type of project.

RV6junkie
08-30-2006, 06:15 AM
I think we all have gotten ourselves worked-up in to a frenzy. I have a suggestion:

Lets stop guessing at what an RV-12 is, and wait until Van's tells us what an RV-12 is.

After that we can all have a real discussion about performance and price.

Deal?

InsideOut
08-30-2006, 06:30 AM
Anyone interested in posting a status report on the RV-12 from Van's Homecoming this weekend?

PepeBorja
08-30-2006, 09:50 AM
I would catagorize myself as a "blue coller" guy. I bought a beautiful RV6A which I love, but it is expensive to fly. I heard about the whole LSA thing and thought that there may be something in it for me.

Clark,

Was I right when I wrote that the best kit you will ever own is the one someone else built? Congratulations on the 6.

There are plenty of LSA type of airplanes out there in the used market. A quick check on Barnstormers will show you a whole bunch of them from $18K to $35K. Some with more gadgets than others. Check for Titan Tornado, Rans S-7, Sonex (Argh!) and others out there that come equipped with the venerable Rotax 912S.

A fellow pilot from Sleepy Eye, MN Larry Lund is selling his 2000 OSH Grand Champ Titan Tornado for $28000 with a new 912S engine. His plane is a craftsmanship example and is beautiful. With avgas at $4.25 the difference between 5 GPH and 9 GPH adds up quickly. 100 Hours of flight time could mean about $1800 extra after tax dollars saved. Do that over 10 years and you are looking at almost $20 Grand saved for adding up cockpit fun time.

Add the cost of earning that dough and it could be as high as $37,000 dollars saved over 10 years of ownership. Never mind the maintenance costs and insurance are cheaper on these “smaller”, less loaded, airplanes. An oil/filter change on the 912S sets you back $20. What does it cost in a Lyc?

Sure the RV12 kit may cost almost as much as say an RV7, but the finished plane will not because the gadgets and interior will not be the same. The panel in an amateur built LSA plane should be a fraction of what you’d normally find in a hogged-out, x-country, RV7. My Tornado has an ASI, EIS, ALT, handheld radio and an Ebay $350 Xpndr. I use my PDA with a GPS for navigation and I have flown as much as 1000 miles in a day. My panel is less than $2Gs. What is the average expense of a panel in the big RV planes?

Believe me you when I say that the operational costs is where we get the return in our LSA investment. I get even more in savings because I self-insure my hull, which after 6 years it means $8000 after tax dollars saved! I figure most of my money is in the engine prop, and panel. The hull I can alwys rebuild for a couple of G's.

I am not sure where the figure of $30K for an LSA came from. I think it is unreal to equate dollars spent to how much airplane you can get because the variables are too many. A paint job alone can add several thousand dollars to the cost of building an airplane. I took a peek inside the CT Sport and the interior finish was automotive like and did not look homemade. That costs money! The panel was cool looking and all electronic. Again more dough! I do agree the 912S engine is expensive, thanks in part to the $1.29 Euro and our lawyer friends.

I was dreaming of building the RV7 for under $35K. I had $11K invested and 1000 hours when I sold the unfinished kit. I quickly realized that was a dream that would have consisted of a tired O320, wood prop, spartan instrumentation and a bad homemade interior I was concoting. Worst yet it could not be operated from my 1100 runway. So I sold it and continue to fly my Tornado until I pick my next plane.

The average blue collar Joe needs to think about how much it will cost to own and operate the airplane, not just buy the kit and build it. Even if a 12 and 7 were similarly equipped, the 12 (as I illustrated above) will still cost a heck of a lot less to own and operate than the 7. When the much rumored fuel injected Rotax 912S appears it will burn even less gas!

It should be no different than buying a car or an SUV. What are you going to do with it after you get it? That’s where the LSA will fit. Is what we do with it and what it costs to do it, not what we pay for it.

I see a bright future in the LSA venture. As the word spreads out I see a lot of downsizing happening from the bigger engines to the smaller ones. Best part is all of us PPLs can go down to the SPL and continue flying w/o a medical. What's to hate? More cockpit time for a lot less money and no need to have a medical?

Jose Borja

otterhunter2
08-30-2006, 02:42 PM
Pepe,

Like your logic and agree with you 100%. However, I have gotten the Glass Cockpit disease and I don't know how to cure it!!

Can't wait until SNF 2007 when we should have a flying prototypes (POCs) of the RV12 and S-19.

LOL

:D

PepeBorja
08-30-2006, 03:13 PM
Pepe,

Like your logic and agree with you 100%. However, I have gotten the Glass Cockpit disease and I don't know how to cure it!!

Can't wait until SNF 2007 when we should have a flying prototypes (POCs) of the RV12 and S-19.

LOL

:D

I get my glass panel kicks with the PC Flight Simulators.

Flying a B-747 in zero-zero conditions with a 20Kt crosswind and blowing snow to a perfect touchdown at O’hare International while delicately balancing an Old Milwaukee is hard to beat and is dirt cheap!

That’s something no RV driver will ever do no matter how many gadgets they cram in to the pit! That may be your cure!

Happy flying or should I say Happy Flight Simulator flying?

Jose.

freegespeed
08-31-2006, 01:08 AM
Clark,



There are plenty of LSA type of airplanes out there in the used market. A quick check on Barnstormers will show you a whole bunch of them from $18K to $35K. Some with more gadgets than others. Check for Titan Tornado, Rans S-7, Sonex (Argh!) and others out there that come equipped with the venerable Rotax 912S.

Jose Borja

I think this is a good suggestion but a Titan Tornado is too close to ultralight status for me. I have a friend who has one of these he fly's out of Nichols field down here San Diego and can fly 90 mph so thats too slow for me. Its looks like fun, but I would only give up the RV6A for top flight LSA like a Pulsar or something similar.

I remember before the Euro went up I visted the TL Sting and Star websight and they a fully built, turn key TL Star for $40,000! This wasn't that long ago.

Unfortunately the high end, LSA "used" market is probably pretty slim pickings right now since they are just coming out. A used Sonnex can be a pretty good deal if you can find one. A used Zenith 601 is probably one of your best shots at getting under the $30,000 ownership target.

By the way I flew my 6A up to French Valley today and pulled the power back to 2400 rpm at 125 knots just to see if it was more miserly on the fuel. I don't have a fuel computer but it seemed to be just a bit better. I tried this based on some of the suggestions in this thread.

I'm sure there will be some interesting things to report after the Van's home comming.

Cheers

PepeBorja
09-01-2006, 02:08 PM
I think this is a good suggestion but a Titan Tornado is too close to ultralight status for me. Unfortunately the high end, LSA "used" market is probably pretty slim pickings right now since they are just coming out. A used Sonnex can be a pretty good deal if you can find one. A used Zenith 601 is probably one of your best shots at getting under the $30,000 ownership target.

It is too bad you perceive the Tornado to be that way. The Titan Tornado is one of the best sport aircraft out there and has won OSH’s Grand Champ awards in 2000 and 2005 that I am aware of.

It outdoes the RV in just about every aspect except speed, range, and baggage capacity. It will do mild aerobatics (+6/-4 G @1000 Lbs) and turn quickly which comes handy for the toilet paper toss competition. It operates safely from unimproved 1000 strips, has incredible visibility and makes a great photo platform flying straight and level. Dan Johnson wrote a great article about it many moons ago.

http://www.titanaircraft.com/other_articles.php?article=flyer

I picked up my Tornado kit on Thanksgiving and was flying by the summer after 600 hrs later. I built the entire airplane from crate to paint in about the same time it took me to build the RV7 wings. The QB option would get one in the air in about 200 hrs. From the point of view of LSAs it is perhaps the best plane for the buck out there. $35K for kit, engine and prop with basic instruments.

I have flown in the Sonex a couple of times and it has some drawbacks: Glare from the windscreen pronounced rake, small accommodations for two adults, and limited fwd and side visibility due to the low wing, side by side design. Its purpose is to go fast with the bigger Jabiru engines and not to tour the country side with a buddy and take on the scenery as it goes by. I have a friend that flies jets for a living and he owns a Sonex with the VW Great Plain engine and a Titan with the Rotax 503 engine. He will not land the Sonex in my 1000 grass strip even when solo. The pulsar I have not flown but it’s the same story from what I have been able to read. Don't know much about the Zenith but the pilot with the Sonex test flew the Zenith at the factory and came away unimpressed. The main compaint being heavy controls.

Pilots are really going to make a wish list of what they want before choosing their LSA of choice. I am afraid that subjectivity rather than objectivity will lead many to pick the wrong airplane for the type of flying they do. The good news form that is there will be more used airplanes for sale.

I was reading Dan Johnson’s web page and Randy Schlitter told him the S-20 is now in the works to accommodate those LSA pilots that prefer the high wing design over his S-19 low wing design. That’s forward thinking! One designer, two different airplane wing configurations and no removable wings? Randy has always catered to type of pilot that is not into RV type of airplanes. He knows a thing or two about what makes Sport Pilots tick.

Regardless, the great news is that choices are plenty today. Back in 2000 when I built my Tornado choices were very few. Today we have lots of choices to be made and that’s always a good thing. It will be interesting to see how the RV12 does against the huge lineup of LSAs currently on the field. If the first few planes can be built in the500-800 hour range he should see some good sales. Anything over that and the enthusiasm will diminish. That could be the problem for Schlitter too if his designs take that long to build.

Jose.

RatMan
09-01-2006, 10:37 PM
It is too bad you perceive the Tornado to be that way. The Titan Tornado is one of the best sport aircraft out there and has won OSH’s Grand Champ awards in 2000 and 2005 that I am aware of.

It outdoes the RV in just about every aspect except speed, range, and baggage capacity.

Now that's a quote. Heck, what's next? Challengers are better than Rockets?

I don't really know what you are looking for but it seems obvious that RVs aren't it. That's OK, they're not for everyone. I just hope you find what you are looking for soon and better yet, maybe that type of aircraft will have a forum as well.

freegespeed
09-01-2006, 10:54 PM
I'm always open to new ideas in recreational flying, so I'll keep on open mind about "all" the different LSA options out there. Maybe the Titan is a good choice, but my mission dictates a more conventional type of plane. I fly from a tower controlled airport where corporate jets are comming in regularly. If I lived out on a farm in Kansas with room for my own private strip, my mission would be different, and then the Titan might be a fun choice. I also prefer, to a degree, the look of low wing planes over high wing ones. Anyway, aviation is expensive any way you slice it, so I'll probably keep on pulling back the power on my RV6A during cruise for now.

PepeBorja
09-04-2006, 10:05 PM
Maybe the Titan is a good choice, but my mission dictates a more conventional type of plane. I fly from a tower controlled airport where corporate jets are comming in regularly. If I lived out on a farm in Kansas with room for my own private strip, my mission would be different, and then the Titan might be a fun choice.

Speed is not a prerequisite to fly into ATC controlled fields. I used to fly my Tornado into Rochester International Airport when I used to do contract work for the Mayo Clinic. Many times I had commercial jest wait for me to land and clear or had them taxi behind me. It meant no never mind to me. The tower thought it was a hoot to have a plane approach the field at 100 knots, land, and make the first taxiway to the GA ramp just 200 feet from the runway threshold.

You did hit the nail in the head by thinking about the missions you intend to fly. That’s key to making the best possible choice. If 150 knots and 500 nm mile legs sucking on oxygen at a billion feet is the mission then these small LSA type of airplanes won’t get the job done. Although I do admit with shame cruising at 9500 feet on my way to Ohio taking advantage of a 30 knot tail wind.

This is a pic of my RV7 just before I sold it. Granted I don’t have an RV plane tattooed on my chest but at least I spent 1000 hours pounding rivets into one. I gave it a shot but figured at this point in my life speed and distance are not priorities in my flying life but some day I look forward to buy someone's RV7 pride and joy.

http://www.hometown.aol.com/pepeborja/RV1.jpg

Here’s proof that I went to 9500 once to breathe rare air and get a tail wind; otherwise it’s a 1500 AGL and catch the views on the way to and fro.

http://www.hometown.aol.com/pepeborja/Geneva1.jpg

And here’s a shot of why high wing airplanes make great sight seeing and picture platforms. The pilot below also owns an RV7 TD (OK, I admit I was trying to emulate him).

http://www.hometown.aol.com/pepeborja/KW.jpg

Best wishes in your next choice of airplanes. I would recommend anyone to spend time flying in the airplane before buying one and getting a feel for the airplane’s subjective offerings.

Jose.

otterhunter2
09-13-2006, 04:35 PM
Looks like the RANS S-19 is progressing towards first flight. Wonder what stage the RV-12 is nearing????

http://www.rans.com/S19Const/S19ProtopanelThumbs.htm

JimmyBob
09-28-2006, 04:29 PM
This has been a great thread. Here's why I am interested in the whole LSA concept:

I've had a PPL license since I was 18. Back in the 90's I got as far as the wing kit on a RV-4 before family responsibilities ate up all my spare time. I'm 52 now and own a 1970 Mooney M-10 Cadet. This is pretty much in the same league as your average LSA airplane, only maybe a little slower. ;-)

Anyway, my 3rd class medical expired last month so I made the trip to my FAA doc and carefully filled out the form. Unfortunately, I had a kidney stone incident 18 months ago and I knew the FAA would not be pleased. So I was prepared with a letter from my urologist saying that the condition was resolved and that he saw no reason for a reoccurance.

I had also been under some stress at work and got an FAA approved blood pressure medication. I also came prepared with a letter from my doctor saying that the condition was stress-related and 'benign'. So I felt I was pretty well prepared.

Well, forget about *that*. The AMA said he would be unable to issue me a medical until I had a whole series of tests conducted, including a CAT scan to probe for kidney stones. I'm now in the process of doing a 24-hour metabolic screening to 'prove' that I will not be producing any new kidney stones. If it were not for the fact that my wife and I both have medical coverage with Kaiser Permanente, I would be paying literally thousands of dollars for these tests. And there is still no guarantee that I will get that 3rd class medical.

The way I look at it, every time a guy with a PPL goes in for a medical he is playing Russian Roulete. One of the catches in the Sport Pilot program is that you are not eligible if you have lost your medical. Well, I consider myself to be in pretty good shape for my age but I'm looking at losing mine - forever.

So it makes no sense for me to build or buy a RV 6,7,8 or 9, not when I can lose my medical at any time at the whim of Oklahoma City. But it *would* make a lot of sense to sell the Cadet and move into a slightly newer, slightly faster, glass cockpitted RV-12 that I knew I could fly for as long as I could drive a car.

That's my 2 cents, and something I think you should all consider when evaluating the LSA concept.

Jim

the_other_dougreeves
09-28-2006, 05:09 PM
The way I look at it, every time a guy with a PPL goes in for a medical he is playing Russian Roulete. One of the catches in the Sport Pilot program is that you are not eligible if you have lost your medical. Well, I consider myself to be in pretty good shape for my age but I'm looking at losing mine - forever....
That's my 2 cents, and something I think you should all consider when evaluating the LSA concept.

Jim
I'd agree - your medical is mana from heaven, so enjoy it and treat it like a gift that could disappear any day. Just remember that if you re-apply for that medical and get turned down, you can't fly LSA, but you're done flying - period. Better to just let it lapse and join us in the slow lane. ;)

Doug

JimmyBob
09-28-2006, 05:24 PM
And another thing - I think holding a FAA medical certificate actually makes you *less* healthy. I held off getting that blood pressure medication because I *knew* I would have to disclose it on my next medical and I dreaded what reaction that would generate from the Feds. Turns out I was right and they are now treating me like a stroke waiting to happen despite the fact that my (treated) BP is now below 120/80.

It's almost like they don't want Private Pilots like us flying. I remember when you basically just had to fog a mirror to get a 3rd class. Now I feel like you have to be test pilot healthy.

The LSA program is looking better and better every day.

Mike Armstrong
09-28-2006, 05:38 PM
Great points JimmyBob, that aspect of Sport Pilot is tailormade for pilots like yourself that have to face those concerns now and for all the rest of the pilots that will have to face it sooner or later.

JimmyBob
09-28-2006, 05:46 PM
And the main point here is that you may lose it sooner than you think. I really didn't think I'd have to deal with this until my 60's, if then. This experience is an unpleasant surprise.

Jim

Mike Armstrong
09-28-2006, 07:31 PM
JimmyBob, your experience should be a wake up call to every pilot out there. Age and 'current' health play no part in what you may have to face in the near future. A bump on the head from a simple fall could end your PP flying days.

the_other_dougreeves
09-28-2006, 08:44 PM
JimmyBob, your experience should be a wake up call to every pilot out there. Age and 'current' health play no part in what you may have to face in the near future. A bump on the head from a simple fall could end your PP flying days.
Agreed - this is why my father, who just got his ticket this year at the age of 62, went for his SP and ordered an LSA. He didn't want to buy or build an aircraft that he might have to give up without any real notice.

Mike Armstrong
09-28-2006, 10:28 PM
Agreed - this is why my father, who just got his ticket this year at the age of 62, went for his SP and ordered an LSA.

Now THAT is awesome!

gblwy
09-19-2007, 02:45 PM
Maybe economics are different in Europe. I am a PP with 1000 hours and own a Robin R2160. Approaching retirement, I can no longer afford around $22-24K a year to fly 100 hours in a certificated aircraft.

I am willing to trade a year to build an RV-12. I can use the capital from the Robin to basically do a straight swap. And the running costs will be halved if I can use mogas and take the plane home.

The RV will be the same size, fly just as far and just as fast, hold almost as much baggage. Only downside is it won't be aerobatic.

Horses for courses...

jonnypak5
08-14-2009, 02:01 AM
thanks so much for useful info
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