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  #11  
Old 07-16-2017, 08:41 PM
ArlingtonRV ArlingtonRV is offline
 
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Location: Marysville, WA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Driftdown View Post
Steve,

What is your take on the Ran's S-21 with the Titan engine?
I don't know any more than what I have seen in YouTube videos, but it looks like a really impressive set up. It seems to have very similar specs to a Glastar. Were I in the market for an airplane like that I would give it a close look, specially since the Glastar is no longer available (though I have a project airplane I could be talked into selling).
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  #12  
Old 07-16-2017, 09:34 PM
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DonFromTX DonFromTX is offline
 
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Location: La Feria Texas
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Since you listen to retired CWOs, I am one and will turn 80 in a matter of days. I have TWO of them, I may ONLY fly an LSA. I built one, but to get qualified to fly off my 40 hour phase 1 in it, I bought another to take lessons in, I don't feel you can have too many RV12s.
The recent spike in sales is not because pilots don't like them, but based a lot on the new medical rules, my purchase was from a builder that can now build and fly an RV14.
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  #13  
Old 07-16-2017, 09:37 PM
David Paule David Paule is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Boulder, CO
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I'm building a single-seat RV-3B and own a good four-seat airplane. I've flown an RV-12 and I think that it's handling is superb and it's visibility in wonderful. It's a fast airplane to build and you can fly it with a driver's license instead of a medical. Those are its major advantages, unless you like the relatively easy wing removal, which can be handy.

As far as I see it, there are a few points at which other airplanes are superior: the RV-12 is relatively slow by RV standards and it has low wing loading, so it'll be more susceptible to turbulence. The power is relatively lower than the other RVs, and you'll definitely see that on high density altitude days.

As for the speed, I flew a slower airplane, slower than an RV-12, from here in Colorado to both coasts. It went well and I had a lot of fun. Got to learn how to fly around weather, as that gets harder with a slower airplane.

Dave
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  #14  
Old 07-17-2017, 06:00 AM
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mike newall mike newall is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Yorkshire, England
Posts: 1,427
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Joe,

I have restored and built light aeroplanes for 20 years now, my RV involvement has been 1 RV7, 80% of an RV8, now 60% through 2 RV12's and waiting to receive the fuselage from my build partner of our RV14 that will replace the 7.

Kinda like building !

Day job is front and left of an A330 going longhaul everywhere and there is still time for lots of RV flying as I am part time.

So......

Firstly, do you want to build an aeroplane ? I get asked about certain types a lot and the first question from me is why do you want to build an aeroplane ? If it is to have a certain type, then I suggest they go purchase as they are after that aeroplane sooner rather than later.

If the answer is because they want to build an aeroplane, then we talk a lot more. Of all the volume kits on the market, Vans have by far and away the best design, build quality and support. There may be other kits with more hands on niche involvement, but as a shake it out and build it, Vans are way ahead.

So we then talk about how much practical experience have you, how much do you want to learn, to be challenged, how patient are you and ultimately what do you want the aeroplane to do when you have finished it ?

Vans have a very wide range, from the 12 through to the 10 with all sorts in between, some aerobatic, some not, some snug, some roomy, some very economical and others very capable cruisers with family room. The build involvement varies a lot between them.

Back to the 12 then.

My buddy and I are building 2 12's as a learning programme for him, a continued therapy programme for me , a workshop encroachment programme to stop my wifelet filling my shop up and ultimately to turn a little coin when they are finished. Compared to the 7 and 8, the construction has been astonishingly quick and straightforward. We started the projects last July, we now have 2 complete sets of empennages, wings, tailcones, the forward fuselages are on their wheels about to have wiring pre installed. That is in a year of 2 full days a week, several evenings and odd vacation time. If we were doing a 7 or 9, we would be half way to where we are by now.

What about when it is finished ?

I did the initial fly off of an RV12 some years ago, see here.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYb5D8AfDyw

Yes, that was it's first flight, the early turn is because it is a shared use site with sailplanes.

I did the full flight test schedule and was mightily impressed indeed. Great handling, great visibility, superb fuel economy and ease of use, good equipment and dual axis autopilot which makes cross country a breeze when you need to fold a map or just enjoy the view.

No, it isn't aerobatic - does it matter ? Yes, it is quick enough - 115kts, yes it has easy access, has de mountable wings and can be handled easily by 1 person.

I would suggest you find your local EAA Chapter, go along, ask, chat, go see projects and please, keep asking the questions on this forum and as soon as you get involved and committed, don't forget why and how we have this amazing forum resource and visit the top left corner of this page
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  #15  
Old 07-17-2017, 07:12 AM
vic syracuse vic syracuse is offline
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Join Date: May 2005
Location: Locust Grove, GA
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Lots of great input here and I hope it is helping you get some answers to your initial questions.

I have another thought I want to mention, though. When new builders are trying to decide which airplane to build, the counseling is always given about deciding on your "mission." Personally, I think it is a bigger wrapper than that, and I have learned it myself over the years.

See, our initial vision was to have an airplane which was capable of family trips back to Ohio from Atlanta. So, you end up building airplanes with extended range tanks, lots of IFR capability, and sometimes big, thirsty engines. We had a C-182 and a Bonanza to fulfill those requirements until Van's produced the RV-10 (lots of cajoling between he and I during those years, too). After a while I realized we actually only flew that mission a couple of times a year, and it wasn't even always fun, due to weather mostly.

So as time goes by I realized that I like flying for FUN, as probably do most of us here. The Saturday flying, the formation flying (with trained and qualified participants), the weekend jaunts for lunch, etc. were happening a whole lot more than the intitial "mission" requirements. So, I ended up bulding some airplanes just for fun, like Kitfoxes (pre-RV-12 era). We had an amazing amount of fun with them, including soloing my youngest son.

We used to joke that we flew the Kitfox on "lunch" money, as the fuel burn was so small. Then I started noticing other things---insurance was cheaper, I flew more just for Fun, and since they were trailerable, they got a whole lot more attention during the week. And they turned out to be very capable when needed, with trips to OSH and SNF, even IFR sometimes.

Sure it took longer, but one of the things I always noticed was that when we were fledgling pilots we were all trying to build time. Now we are trying to go as fast as we can. Perhaps we should slow down sometimes and enjoy the beauty of flying.

That being said, take the time to understand what kind of FUN flying you plan to do. After all, no one here is flying these airplanes commercially (except for the few giving transition training). I think you will be very happy in the long run with your choice.

All of the Van's aricraft are really great choices, and I've said that LONG before I started officially wearing a Van's hat. Even, my wife, who is not a pilot, likes all of them as a passenger. In fact, she was wowed by the visibilty and roominess in the 12.

So, do what's good for you.

Vic
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  #16  
Old 07-17-2017, 07:54 AM
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Piper J3 Piper J3 is offline
 
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Location: Hinckley, Ohio
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I forgot to mention in my previous post that a huge benefit with the RV-12 is the ability to obtain a Repairman Certificate (Light-Sport Aircraft) by attending a 16 hour LSA Repairman Inspection Course. This certificate allows you to do your own annual condition inspections. Each FAA Repairman Certificate is registered to the owner’s specific ELSA aircraft and this is the only aircraft you are permitted to do the condition inspection. The certificate is good for life and can be transferred to other ELSA that you purchase.

The aircraft can be built by you or purchased but must be licensed as Experimental Light Sport. This is unlike EAB (Experimental Amateur Built) where the repairman certificate is issued to the builder, or his designee, and the certificate expires when the airplane changes ownership thus requiring AP/IA for condition inspection from that point onward.
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  #17  
Old 07-17-2017, 08:14 AM
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Auburntsts Auburntsts is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piper J3 View Post
I forgot to mention in my previous post that a huge benefit with the RV-12 is the ability to obtain a Repairman Certificate (Light-Sport Aircraft) by attending a 16 hour LSA Repairman Inspection Course. This certificate allows you to do your own annual condition inspections. Each FAA Repairman Certificate is registered to the owner’s specific ELSA aircraft and this is the only aircraft you are permitted to do the condition inspection. The certificate is good for life and can be transferred to other ELSA that you purchase.

The aircraft can be built by you or purchased but must be licensed as Experimental Light Sport. This is unlike EAB (Experimental Amateur Built) where the repairman certificate is issued to the builder, or his designee, and the certificate expires when the airplane changes ownership thus requiring AP/IA for condition inspection from that point onward.
Just a few clarifications. The repairman's certificate for E-AB doesn't expire but is tied to a specific airframe and for owners without the certificate the condition inspection on an E-AB aircraft doesn't require an A&P with IA (like it does for a standard certificated annual), just a regular A&P can sign off.
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  #18  
Old 07-17-2017, 09:01 AM
mcems mcems is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Salem SD
Posts: 145
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I built and fly the first Customer Built RV 12 to receive an Airworthiness Certificate and do its maiden flight. (September 2009) .

I have operated off the 1400 ft grass strip here at the farm since then . 850 hours no with NO REGRETS.



Brad Stiefvater
Salem SD
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  #19  
Old 07-17-2017, 09:10 AM
mwardle7 mwardle7 is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Utah
Posts: 38
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I've been flying my RV-12 for about six months and have 60 hrs on the airframe. I've been happy with it. It was a compromise. I would have preferred to build a Carbon Cub, but I felt that the RV-12 would be an easier build and more economical to operate. I could not afford to build and maintain a Carbon Cub.

I was apprehensive about building. I flew model airplanes for years and hated building but loved flying. I found the RV-12 build to be enjoyable and a better use of my time than watching TV. I never thought I would say this, but I miss building.

My mission is to fly locally in the mountains near Salt Lake City. The RV-12 has exceeded my performance expectations. That said, it is still "slow." It performs like a 172, which is good enough for me. I have been particularly impressed with the the RV-12's capability to fly at gross weight at high altitude (11,500).

Flying on auto-gas has been a big plus for me. Flying is relatively cheap. I was concerned about the non-conventional nature of the Rotax. It has been wonderful to operate.

If you want to land on gravel bars, fly at 170 kts, do loops, or you and your passenger weigh over ~220 lbs, the RV-12 is not for you. If fun, simple, and economical fits your mission, I can't think of a better airplane to build and fly. It's not nirvana, but it is pretty darn good.

I suspect that one of the reasons that there are more RV-12's for sale is that there are more of them. When you look at the number of completed airplanes over the time period that the kits have been available, it is a remarkably high number. More airplanes = more for sale.

Some day I will probably move on to a faster and bigger airplane. But for now, it fits the bill. I look forward to many more hours of low and slow flying for cheap. And the RV-12 is going to be a great platform for my young kids to learn how to fly some day when they are older.
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  #20  
Old 07-17-2017, 10:40 AM
patmiller patmiller is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 71
Default It's loads of fun and cheap to fly

I bought an ELSA -12 to fly while I'm finishing up my RV-14 build.

It's really a blast to fly -- It's quick and responsive and a joy to take up.

I'm running premium unleaded in it for less than $2.50/gallon, so my consumables cost for punching holes in the sky is about $12!

I took the ELSA repairman's course, so I can do my own condition inspections and it's giving me a great leg up on learning to maintain a plane.

I'll eventually part with it (might have to sell it to pay for the engine and avionics for the -14), but it will be a sad day.
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