Flying the Van’s RV-12

November 18, 2009 by Jill W. Tallman

Did you know Van’s Aircraft sells an RV LSA kit? Neither did I, until very recently.

Mitch Lock, the East Coast demo pilot for Van’s, brought an RV-12 to KFDK today. “It flies like an RV!” their Web site exclaims. Well, never having flown an RV (I know, what have I been missing?), I can’t speak to that.

It sure looks like an RV–that is to say, sleek and trim. This one’s a tricycle-gear configuration, but it has the canopy and “fighter-like sportiness” of its more powerful brothers and sisters in the Van’s family. The wings can be removed so that it can be stored easily in a hangar.

During my all-too-brief flight (Mitch was giving demos to a slew of people), I enjoyed the view out of the canopy. And while I’m probably never going to build my own airplane (purely for safety reasons; I like to say I’ll never fly anything I built myself), sporty little designs like these–Van’s says it takes about 800 to 900 hours of building time, and the kit comes with everything but “fluids and paint”–make me daydream about the possibilities.

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