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Old 08-21-2019, 11:40 AM
aviti aviti is offline
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Ballwin, MO
Posts: 16
Default Autopilot

So Iím at the stage of the fuselage build where you install a doubler on the seat rib for the autopilot option. If you donít plan to ever install the autopilot system can you skip the mounting doubler and other brackets? Iíd rather not add extra parts that I know I will not need. Do these provide any function other than mounting autopilot components? In other words, are they required for structural support of no autopilot system is installed?
Tony Vitiello
Ballwin, MO
Tail kit complete
ULS Fuse kit in progress
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Old 08-21-2019, 12:47 PM
DHeal DHeal is offline
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Windsor, California
Posts: 880

If you ever sell your plane your future purchaser will greatly appreciate your installing these simple AP brackets now.
David Heal - Windsor, CA (near Santa Rosa)
EAA #23982 (circa 1965) - EAA Technical Counselor and Flight Advisor; CFI - A&I
RV-12 E-LSA #120496 (SV w/ AP and ADS-B 2020) - N124DH flying since March 2014 - 910+ hours (as of May 2020)!
VAF donation through June 2020.
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Old 08-21-2019, 01:54 PM
agrimm01 agrimm01 is offline
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Fleming Island, Fl
Posts: 7

Why don't you want autopilot?
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Old 08-21-2019, 02:27 PM
NinerBikes NinerBikes is online now
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Granada Hills
Posts: 517

Originally Posted by agrimm01 View Post
Why don't you want autopilot?
I'd hazard a guess at additional cost?
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Old 08-21-2019, 02:32 PM
Desert Rat Desert Rat is offline
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: 50-50 Wichita KS & Scottsdale AZ
Posts: 222

when you sell it, the phrase "autopilot provisions" sounds a lot better than "no autopilot"
Terry Shortt
AGI, CFI, CFII, MEI, A&P, Janitor
RV7 Empennage & Wing #72651
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Old 08-21-2019, 03:10 PM
aviti aviti is offline
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Ballwin, MO
Posts: 16

I have zero interest in autopilot for various reasons. Cost, weight, time to install, inspect, troubleshoot are all considerations. I donít fly to go places but rather for pure recreation.

The only valid reason to install the brackets would be for the next owner. I donít anticipate selling this plane after all the years and money it will take to complete.

One other consideration is that it appears I went a step past the doubler install on the seat rib so it will take drilling out a few rivets to install it now. I wasnít thinking in terms of future difficulty when I went past that step, only that I donít want autopilot.

Iíll take a look at drilling out the few rivets and if it looks like no chance for damage Iíll put it in.
Tony Vitiello
Ballwin, MO
Tail kit complete
ULS Fuse kit in progress
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Old 08-21-2019, 05:20 PM
Terrybrd Terrybrd is offline
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: New Smyrna Beach, FL
Posts: 41
Default Autopilot

For safety I would install the autopilot even if I didn't think I would need it.
If you ever get into the clouds by mistake it can save you buy doing the 180 button and it will turn you around at your altitude and get you into clear skies or you can push the level button and it will take over if you get mixed up.
When Kirk gave the class on auto pilot he advised to always fly with it turn on so if you got into trouble all you have to do is push the button.
It can take some of the tension away if needed.
In smooth air it is great when doing a cross country flight.

I have never regretted installing mine.
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Old 08-21-2019, 05:21 PM
joe gremlin's Avatar
joe gremlin joe gremlin is offline
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Southwest Michigan
Posts: 173

Well technically speaking, to certify as ELSA the plane is supposed to be built strictly to the plans. Unless the plans say installation of the bracket is optional, then it should probably be installed.
RV-12 Empennage
Fuse kit in box
Need a wing kit

Last edited by joe gremlin : 08-21-2019 at 09:07 PM.
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Old 08-21-2019, 07:07 PM
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rolick22 rolick22 is offline
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Powell, OH
Posts: 227

Don't know if you're building the classic version or the iS version, but if building the iS version then the harness are prewired with the Sub D connectors installed in the wiring harness. It would be advised to follow the plans unless you're building EAB.
David Rohrlick
RV-12iS Completed
Airworthiness signed off by the FAA 1/23/2020
First Flight on 3/14/2020
Phase I Finished on 5/7/2020

VAF donation made for 2020
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Old 08-21-2019, 09:18 PM
RFSchaller RFSchaller is offline
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 2,698

I had 6 airplanes before finishing my RV-12, and none had an autopilot. For 27 years I hand flew trips that frequently were over 1000 NM. I elected to put in the autopilot in my RV-12, and I got so spoiled that I put an AP in my Cherokee too. If you do a lot of cross country flying you will be glad you put in the AP.
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