Monday morning October 25 was a monumental occasion at DOG Aviation. A little over four years after beginning assembly of RV-12 serial #120644 the time had finally come for the Eagle to leave the nest and take me along for the ride. After receiving the airworthiness certificate months ago, there has been many delays … some self-imposed, some not. Finally the time had come … N644JG was rolled out of the hangar into the brisk 48 degree morning air where it was started and taxied to the far side of the airport to get to the active runway.
After lining up with the center-line and applying full power, the commitment was made. Admittedly, I was taken a little by surprise by how fast the RV-12 seemingly leaped off the runway and began quickly climbing towards the broken clouds high above. (Not talking being close to a stall, just good solo performance). I was expecting the RV-12 to hug the ground a little longer than it did based on the RV-12 transition training taken in California. But then it occurred to me … that was with an instructor in the aircraft more than doubling my own weight and also in much hotter 95 degree air compared to the much denser 48 degree air currently at the airport. The takeaway for fellow RV-12 builders about to fly the RV-12 for the first time …. everything will happen quicker than when you were in the RV-12 with an instructor receiving transition training. Solo, the RV-12 accelerates quicker, gets off the ground quicker and climbs quicker … it is impressive.
The first test flight was not that long by design … just wanted to get the bird in the air, fly it for a few minutes, land, and taxi back for the hangar to inspect for leaks. The return to terra firma was smooth and fortunately, uneventful. Although the time in the air was relatively short, I didn’t notice any control issues with the RV-12, but then again, I did not get it up to cruising speed either. Did notice right rudder was needed to prevent yaw, but knew that would be the case since the rudder has no trim tab yet (plan on installing a trim tab soon). It was a good first test flight for the RV-12 and thus far, revealed no bad flying characteristics.
The long awaited for “RV Grin” after completion of the first test flight … oh, another VAF hat sighting too.
Found something interesting during the inspection which can be read about near the end of the post the link below points towards … wondering if other RV-12 builders have noticed the same dark oily residue?