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Old 10-01-2018, 09:30 PM
Tacco Tacco is offline
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: White Salmon, WA
Posts: 144
Default RV-12 Builders Conducting Own First Flight...

How many have done it?
Did you have transition training?
How'd it go?
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Old 10-01-2018, 10:02 PM
ArlingtonRV ArlingtonRV is offline
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Marysville, WA
Posts: 509

I did mine. I had kit number 18. At the time I was ready, there was no RV-12 transition training available.

My previous 400+ hours had been in a C-150. I spent a few hours in an Evektor Sportstar and a few in a Tecnam Sierra to at least have some LSA time. I also spent some extra dual time going over emergency procedures and locating local places suitable for emergency landings. The first flight went very well and all was great.

That said, if I had the opportunity I would have loved to get a few hours with Mike Seager, or at least in an actual RV-12.
Steve Rush
Arlington, WA
ArlingtonRV on YouTube
RV-8 (Bought Flying)
Glasair Sportsman (Sold)
RV-8 Tail, QB Fuselage (Sold)
RV-4 (Bought Flying) (Sold)
RV-9 Tail
RV-12 120018 Flying (Sold)
RV-7 Tail, Wings, Started Fuse (Sold)
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Old 10-01-2018, 11:27 PM
pstraub's Avatar
pstraub pstraub is offline
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Hensley Airpark, TN
Posts: 142

I did mine too. I describe exactly how it went in a YouTube video. Not trying to promote the video, just want to give you the info, so go to the 57:13 mark in the video, which is where I cover the first flight. The link is below, best of luck!!
Paul Straub, First Flight May 5, 2017
N917PB, SN 120971
175 hours and counting.....
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Old 10-01-2018, 11:57 PM
rongawer rongawer is offline
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Brentwood, CA
Posts: 650

I did mine with no issue. I had been flying ~250 hours a year in a twin engine airplane and made a couple attempts to get time in an RV12 first for familiarization, but it just didn’t work out.

I won’t downplay the importance of transition training, however, with 30+ years of flying in so many different airplanes, I think the RV12 is the simplest powered airplane to fly I’ve ever flown.

I do recommend heeding Van’s advice and not attempt “high speed taxiing”. Certainly go taxi around and do all of the ground testing and become familiar with the braking and steering, but when you decide to go fly, use the longest runway you have on a calm day and just go. A critical phase is at first lift off: stay in ground effect and manipulate the controls to ensure positive operation (better to find a problem near the ground), and then just climb out and follow the PAP. Easy peasy. If you think anything is abnormal on takeoff, just pull the power back and stop, go check it out and start over. If you feel pressured to go, then just don’t; phone a friend.

Here’s my first flight for some inspiration. Fast forward to ~8 min for the take off.

Note the ground effect control check. I didn’t go do the whole first flight as my wife wanted to be there, (which I don’t recommend), so I just did a quick trip around the patch to call it good and come back in to check out the airplane. And then did all of my flight testing after that.

I want to add that the hardest part for me so far has been getting slowed down for final. I am so used to coming in at 120KT and touching down at 95, so slowing to 65 and touching down at ~55 is so weird, but I’m getting there... the -12 will make you look like a rock star on landing squeaking the mains on and then you can old the nose off for a very long time (until ~41KT for me).
Ron Gawer

- RV10, Build in progress.
- RV12, N975G, "The Commuter"...many great hours and happy landings so far.
- Several others that are now just great memories for me.

Last edited by rongawer : 10-02-2018 at 12:08 AM.
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Old 10-02-2018, 03:12 AM
mike newall's Avatar
mike newall mike newall is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Yorkshire, England
Posts: 1,924

Did first flight for a 12 built by another. New owner bought it completed but unflown and I did the test flight and subsequent fly off period.

The early turn is because it is a shared airfield - ultralights and gliders.

Our first 12 is now completed and I was doing taxi runs yesterday - now waiting for the paperwork so test flight imminent !

Second is having its avionics fitted, then it will be test 2 time !
"I add a little excitement, a little spice to your lives, and all you do is complain!" - Q

Donated in 2019
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Old 10-02-2018, 05:53 AM
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Jesup, Iowa
Posts: 1,646
Default I did mine - -

Since you don't know where the trim should be set for sure, be very sure it is working properly before actual first flight. You will need to adjust it once the wheels come off the runway. First time I flew, it went very well, but wanted to climb too much, so a quick trim down corrected it in 2 seconds. All went very well. Don't try in serious winds. I did it very late afternoon with friends standing close by.
John Bender
Flying RV-12 - Serial #120036
Paid in May ( 5-2020 )
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Old 10-02-2018, 06:40 AM
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tomkk tomkk is offline
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Port Orange, Fl
Posts: 915

I did mine as well. I had a friend who let me fly his -12 for a couple of hours before I flew mine. Not real transition training but was really useful and let me get used to a lower approach and landing speed than I was used to.

re. T.O. trim position, saw something that advised setting the T.O. trim so the trailing edge of the AST was 2" above the trailing edge of the stabilator when the stab was in the full up position. Worked perfectly.
Port Orange, Fl
EAA #51411
RV-12 N121TK ELSA #120845; first flight 06/10/2015; 700 hrs as of 02/2020
RV-12 N918EN ELSA #120995 Eagles Nest Project; first flight 05/18/2019
SPA Panther N26TK; First Flight 03/13/2020
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Old 10-02-2018, 07:03 AM
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Jeff Vaughan Jeff Vaughan is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: West Chester, Pa
Posts: 583

I did mine also. I had 400 hrs in my RV7A. Insurance wanted a sign off from an instructor. Did my BFR with him in his RV12. Felt very comfortable with the first flight.

TO trim is very important on this plane. Make sure to follow Vans instructions
Jeff Vaughan
RV 7A N561EV Sold
West Chester Pa

2020 donation current
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Old 10-02-2018, 07:43 AM
DBRuth DBRuth is offline
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Cumming,GA
Posts: 91
Default First flight

I got transition training with Jetguy in the Dallas area a couple of weeks before my first flight. Ended up with about 9 hours with John. We did things in his -12 that had only been talked about during PPL training. I had about 130 hours total at the time. When I left Dallas I knew exactly what the -12, AND I could do. First flight, with my wife watching was a enjoyable and rewarding experience. I also had found the take off trim setting suggestion, probably from TomKK, and it was about perfect for my plane. With just 11 gallons of fuel and me solo, the prop set up for climb, the deck angle at best rate was awesome! Climb rate was 1200-1300 fpm. You can do it, get some transition training. If you have the training and the confidence, go for it.
Kit 120797
First flight 8/21/15 what an awesome aircraft!
HOBBS @207
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Old 10-02-2018, 08:29 AM
John-G John-G is offline
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Northeast Ohio
Posts: 634

Tacco -

I flew the bird for the first flight and it was quite a rewarding experience. However, I did spend quite a bit of time receiving transition training at Scanlon Aviation in Novato California to REALLY get to know the RV-12 in preparation for the first flight.

Since you are close to Van's, would suggest you ask them about receiving some transition training.

The only thing that took me by surprise during my first flight was how fast the RV-12 got off the ground. All my transition training had been performed during hot California sun baked days and at near gross weight. So when I took my first flight on a crisp 48 degree day with a gentle breeze down the runway the RV-12 got off the ground surprisingly quick.

Also, as others have mentioned, make sure you verify that the take off trim position is set during the Dynon (or Garmin) trim motor calibration process. You don't want any surprises. Based on a tip here in the forums, my anti-servo tab was adjusted so the takeoff AST trim position was 1 7/8" measured as Tom stated above ... that seemed to work out OK for me (may have to try 2" out of curiosity). Prior to the first flight, I made sure the measurement was set correctly and did not touch the trim switch until the bird was in the air. (Interestingly, for landing with full flaps you will likely find yourself adjusting the trim to about the same position used for takeoff).

Enjoy your new bird,
RV-12 Wings, Empennage, Fuselage, Finishing, Avionics and Powerplant kits all completed
Now Flying!!

Dues paid until September 2020

Last edited by John-G : 10-02-2018 at 08:40 AM.
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