Successful Demo Ride!
After action report: First flight in an RV-12.
I just wanted to thank Dave Farmer again for being so generous with his time and airplane and giving me a demo ride in his RV-12. The second one he has built.
I would also like to add my two cents on some topics that arose in this thread, since I now have slipped the surly bonds of earth in both the C-172 and RV-12.
Bottom line, RV-12 wins.
Letís start at the beginning of the flight experience. After opening the hanger door, I watched Dave attach the tow bar the nose wheel and I offered to help pull the airplane out of the hanger. He kind of chuckled and said, ďI got thisĒ. I know from experience that pulling a 172 out of the hanger is always easier with two people. However, he pulled the RV-12 out of the hanger like he was pulling a Red Racer Wagon, maybe ladened with a case of beer. There was no strenuous body-leaning-at-45 degrees required for a Cessna, to pull this RV. This thing rolled out like a toy.
He showed me how to get in, a skill I had already learned by hopping into every static display RV-12 I saw at Sun-n-Fun and AOPA open housesí, but itís nice to go over the basics every time.
Engine start, taxi and take off checks seemed to happen quickly and before I knew it we were lining up on the runway and going full power. Cockpit noise was definite at or below C-172 levels. Takeoff run was well below C-172 levels. We were off the runway just past the numbers and climb out was smooth. It was excellent flying weather. The smoke plume from the power plant on the way to breakfast plumed vertically into the sky. Dave engaged the autopilot for our climb to 4500 and we seemed to get there pretty darn quick.
On the way back, Dave let me fly for a while and I got my first real taste of what itís like to fly an RV. The airplane seemed to respond with very light stick forces. To the point where I felt like I could rest my hand on my knee and fly by moving just my fingers, almost like a joystick. The controls also felt tight, in a good way. There was absolutely no slop, like I have felt in the C-172. I guess that is the difference between push rods and linkages, and cables and pulleys.
It was a real joy to fly.
Although, I can also see where there is a real need for transition training. My sight picture was off. What looked right seemed to have me climbing or descending. Also, I had no clue on what RPM I needed to be in different phases of flight. Dave handled all my transgressions of flight like a pro.
I am no builder, but the fit and finish of Daveís RV-12 seemed professional grade, like that of a new automobile. If he told me that it was a factory build SLSA, I would have no reason to doubt it. Additionally, if there were any blemishes that all builders seem to only see when they look at aircraft they built, there were none that were obvious to me. Even the tablet device Dave installed under the Dynon, although it was clearly after market, seemed like it was meant to be there. The wiring was tucked away and out of sight.
I know Dave is going to sell this airplane soon. Someone is going to get a real nice ride. I just hope when I get all my ducks in a row, itís still available.
Thanks again, Dave!