Van's Aircraft RV-12
|Role||Light-sport aircraft |
|National origin||United States|
|First flight||November 9, 2006|
|Status||Kits and complete aircraft both in production (2013)|
2012-present (complete aircraft)
|Number built||266 (Aug 2013)|
Design and development
The architect of the line of Van’s aircraft, Richard VanGrunsven, designed the RV-12 with several specific goals in mind. These include:
- Flying qualities equal to or better than the standard set by the RV-9A
- 550 lb (249 kg) payload – to carry a projected load of a 190 lb (86 kg) pilot and passenger, 120 lb (54 kg) of fuel (20 U.S. gallons (76 L; 17 imp gal)) and 50 lb (23 kg) of baggage or cargo.
- 750 lb (340 kg) aircraft empty weight
- Cabin width of 43 in (109 cm)
- A low parts count, with an aim of reducing kit cost and construction time
- Minimal use of composites and maximum use of aluminum
- Maximum use of simple hand tools only for construction
The LSA class limits aircraft to a maximum takeoff weight of 1,320 lb (599 kg), a maximum clean, stall speed with no flaps of 51 mph (45 knots) and a maximum level speed of 138 mph (120 knots) and the production RV-12 falls within those maximum limits.
The prototype incorporated several new features for an RV-series aircraft including: removable wings, full-span flaperons and an all-moving stabilator. It is intended that the RV-12 will be powered by a Rotax 912ULS engine of 100 hp and equipped with a Sensenich composite ground-adjustable propeller, although as a kit aircraft the builder can complete it as they choose.
Originally, the RV-12 was equipped with the Dynon FlightDEK-D180, the Garmin GPS 496, Garmin SL-40, Garmin GTX-327 Transponder, and the Flightcom 403 intercom. The RV-12 avionics kit now comes with the 10" Dynon SkyView D-1000 that includes synthetic vision, Mode-S transponder, and mapping to replace the Garmin GPS Map 496, and a Garmin GTR 200 to replace the SL-40 transceiver and FliteCom intercom.
Vans aircraft has many optional packages for the RV-12. These options do not change the E-LSA licencing. A lighting package is available, two-axis autopilot, interior package (sidewall covers, carpet, different colors), and wheel fairings to protect the wheels and increase the speed a few knots.
The aircraft received S-LSA approval in July, 2009 making it possible for home builders to license it in either the E-LSA category, simplifying certification requirements, or the experimental, amateur-built category.
The RV-12 is the first production kit from Vans that is predominantly constructed using blind rivets, which allows the majority of the construction to be done without an assistant. The use of computerized punch machines to punch out most of the rivet holes to final size simplifies construction by minimizing the need to debur or final size most of the rivet holes. Since the wings are designed to be detached, the majority of the airplane can be constructed in most standard residential garages.
The RV-12 is sold as six sub-kits: wings, fuselage, empennage & tailcone, finishing (cowling, wiring, canopy, etc.), powerplant, and avionics. Van's indicates that they cannot "provide assistance or advice on any deviations from the supplied parts and assembly instructions".
In October 2012 Van's announced that the company would produce a limited run of twelve fully assembled RV-12s, sold as Special Light-sport Aircraft (SLSAs). The aircraft were assembled from production kits by Synergy Air, with the "Signature Edition" RV-12s costing US$115,000. The run of 12 aircraft was sold out within hours of the announcement and the first one was delivered on 31 May 2013.
In November 2013 the company announced that a follow-up batch of twelve RV-12s, again to be assembled by Synergy Air, would be sold fully equipped for US$123,000 or US$115,00 for the base model. Synergy Air indicated that they expect to produce about 50 aircraft per year on an on-going basis.
An RV-12 was built by students of Emirates airline to enhance their knowledge and hands on technical experience, and is used to promote the airline training programmes. The airplane, painted in Emirates airline livery, is exhibited in the Emirates Engineering Centre at the Dubai International Airport and was displayed at the 2013 Dubai Airshow.
Data from: Vans Aircraft website
- Crew: one pilot
- Capacity: one passenger
- Length: 19 ft 11 in (6.12 m)
- Wingspan: 26 ft 8 in (8.21 m)
- Height: 8 ft 4 in (2.53 m)
- Wing area: 127 ft² (11.8 m²)
- Empty weight: 750 lb (340 kg)
- Loaded weight: 1,320 lb (600 kg)
- Max. takeoff weight: 1,320 lb (600 kg)
- Powerplant: 1 × Rotax 912S with a Sensenich composite ground-adjustable propeller, 100 hp (74 kW)
- Never exceed speed: 156 mph (251 km/h)
- Maximum speed: 138 mph at sea level (223 km/h, 120 kt)
- Range: 520 statute miles at cruise 75% power at 8,000 ft (842 km at cruise 75% power at 2,500 m)
- Service ceiling: est 12,000 ft (3657 m)
- Wing loading: 11.0 lb/ft² (55 kg/m²)
- Related development
- Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
- Vans Aircraft (4 May 2012). "How can an RV-12 be licensed?". Retrieved 4 May 2012.
- Vans Aircraft (23 August 2013). "First Flights". Retrieved 23 August 2013.
- Vans Aircraft (23 August 2013). "Kit Prices". Retrieved 23 August 2013.
- Vandermeullen, Richard: 2011 Kit Aircraft Buyer's Guide, Kitplanes, Volume 28, Number 12, December 2011, page 75. Belvoir Publications. ISSN 0891-1851
- AvWeb Staff (April 2000). "Vans RV-12 Light Sport Aircraft". Retrieved 2008-04-11.
- Bayerl, Robby; Martin Berkemeier; et al: World Directory of Leisure Aviation 2011-12, page 83. WDLA UK, Lancaster UK, 2011. ISSN 1368-485X
- Vans Aircraft (27 Jan 2014). "Avionics Order Form". Retrieved 27 Jan 2014.
- Vans Aircraft (4 May 2012). "Can Accessories like lights, or Wheel Fairing be installed?". Retrieved 4 May 2012.
- Van's Aircraft (2009). "RV-12". Retrieved 1 March 2012.
- Kolano, Ed, Van's RV-12, KitPlanes magazine, Oct. 2008, p. 100
- Van's Aircraft (2008). "RV-12 Specifications". Retrieved 2009-04-26.
- Van's Aircraft (2008). "RV-12". Retrieved 2008-12-23.
- Niles, Russ (12 October 2012). "Van's To Build 'Fly-Away' RV-12s". AVweb. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
- Niles, Russ (4 June 2013). "Van's Delivers First Factory-Built RV-12". AVweb. Retrieved 6 June 2013.
- Grady, Mary (13 November 2013). "More Ready-To-Fly RV-12s From Van's". AVweb. Retrieved 14 November 2013.
- AG Reporter (9 November 2013). "Emirates Airline builds its own aircraft". Arabian Gazette. Retrieved 13 November 2013.
- Av Web Article about the RV-12
- Van's Aircraft RV-12 spec sheet and photo
- RV-12 First Flight announcement
- RV-12 aircraft information page accessed 11 January 2007
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