Spoiler Alert! If you are at OSH and anxiously awaiting the arrival of Van's new iS airplane and want to discover all the little details up close and personal, then stop reading now. She is on the way today (Saturday) so should be there on display by Monday. Otherwise, I'll share some of the details I learned yesterday at Van's headquarters with you here.
Of course the fuel injected engine is the main attraction and that will no doubt be
the major source of discussions at OSH.
This is the airframe systems VR (marked B) and it is cooled by one of the ducts on top of the cowl:
The cowl VR cooling duct:
There is another VR for engine systems. Neither are Ducati.
Some of the bigger details include the center console with the new throttle. The detent is a stop at what is the best economy cruise, as I understood it:
Van's is experiencing significant fuel use improvement and a bit more power. Ask them about it.
The electric flaps are fast but not as fast as the johnson bar. There will now be a flap position indicator on the display. When toggling a Go-Around on the flap switch they will retract in about 3 to 4 seconds.
I also noticed that the ammeter on the display is "Generator" amps and not "Battery" amps as before. This in my opinion is more useful information if it shows the actual generator output.
And, there are a lot small details that may not be noticed in all the ballyhoo. Nice little details.
Like they added a holder for the oil cap on the oil door:
Those louvers in the top cowl are to cool the ignition modules, one of the many changes needed to adapt the iS engine to the 12.
More nice details:
The MLG entry points into the fuselage now have removable covers with rubber seals:
These I think will be retrofittable.
They have added strengthening gussets to the cockpit rails:
The gascolator is now behind the rear baggage bulkhead as is the ADSB-in black box. The ADSB antenna is now a small post type like the transponder antenna:
RV-12iS Details #2
The ADSB antenna now only needs a short coax. No wires or Coax have to be routed through snap bushings in the new fuselage.
The ELT is now located under the baggage floor with an access cover:
More little details -- headset hangars:
The upgraded steps come with plugs for the tubing:
An improved canopy hold open catch and canopy latch:
The hold-open catch is easier to engage, and the handle rests on plastic instead of the metal roll over bar.
The translucent filler neck so you can see the fuel when the tank is full:
Some new nomenclature will have to be learned:
There is a new muffler based heating system with heater doors for both pilot and copilot sides; an attempt to improve cockpit heat. The old water radiator heating is least effective when the wx is cold.
I did not see a rocker switch for the autopilot. Assume (not always a good idea) that you would need to pull the AP fuse if the AP servos would not let go of the aircraft for some reason.
The optional stab fairings are a good looking fit; lots of rivets are used:
The lower cowl inlets look a lot different from what we're used to! The coolant radiator and oil cooler are up front. The duct on the lower left side of the cowl is the heater air intake.
There is more to come as development continues, including the panel with an IFR navigator...
I wonder if filler neck could remain in current position behind the rear window and extend with a longer transparent flex hose to the tank?
Maybe Van's could give builders an option for the tank filler location, new or original.
That might be the only thing needed to clinch a deal for me...
Tony is the cowl made of aluminum rather than fiberglass? From the look of the vents on the top it appears to be.
The cowl is fiberglass.
I wonder where all the water goes when you fly in heavy rain. Top louvers duct air/water to the ignition modules and the NACA inlet ducts air/water onto the voltage regulator and what looks like the FADEC engine control.
The hose used (and shown in the photo) is resistant to effects of fuel exposure but it is not a flex(able) hose.
It can be bent slightly but only enough to allow getting it aligned as installed. It would be impossible to bend it aft to a different filler location.
The FADEC ECU is in the instrument bay. A lot of Rotax engines are open-air installations. They are probably pretty water proof.
The general consensus was "how hard could it be" (I find it hard to not start laughing while I'm writing this.....).
Anyone not involved in the process has absolutely no idea, but it was certainly worth it.
Probably the biggest challenge was meeting all of Rotax's component temp. limit requirements.
There was extensive testing done and this airplane as presented meets them all (I am not sure all manufacturers can honestly say that). The numerous openings in the cowl are for very specific purposes to meet all of these requirements. The most challenging task was not meeting the temp. requirements in flight, but after shutting down in hot OAT conditions.
Everything related to wiring/electrical (including the fuse box with the voltage regulators) is seal at all connections, so any amount of rain that does happen to make its way inside should not be a problem.
Representatives of Kodiak (Rotax North America distributor) traveled to Van's a couple of times during the design process and consulted on design decisions as well as auditing the the final design, and they have been very complimentary.
We think we have a first class installation that cools well on the ground and in the air, and provides great cabin heat performance.
If you are at OSH, stop by and take a look. We plan to have the cowl off occasionally to show off our efforts.
In the Van's RV-12is advertising, it says the new engine cowl is easier to remove and install. How so?
It appears the piano hinge is still used, so how is removal and install any different than the old cowling?
Also, was there any redesign of the lower cowl?
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