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  #1  
Old 02-10-2009, 05:48 PM
OldRV8tor OldRV8tor is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: North
Posts: 1
Default Bad news for me

Hello,

I'm a long time website reader with a problem. I hope some of you have some advice. After talking with some people at Vans and a few others I have learned a few things that I thought I would share. Vans does not seem to want us to build these airplanes as anything but E-LSA. An accurate quote is "we will not do anything to help people build these as anything but E-LSA". They will not provide a CAD drawing for the panel (as they do with all other airplanes for which they have drawings available). Nor will they provide a POH or maintenance manual unless built as an E-LSA. I'm a bit surprised and saddened. I just spoke with a guy in the UK and he is selling his kit as he received an email detailing the above. He's crushed. It seems to me that many people think they will build these as AB-E, with factory support. FYI, I'm not bashing Vans. I have built three RVs and love their airplanes. The best out there. Unfortunately, I'm getting older and need to find an alternative to my RV-8. If anyone has heard differently please let me know. Thanks for reading. PS I had a friend read and edit this. He deleted all the emotional stuff and stuck to the facts. If I am wrong please let me know, it will actually be good news.

Bud
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  #2  
Old 02-10-2009, 07:43 PM
PJSeipel PJSeipel is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Albany, GA for the moment
Posts: 294
Default

With the situation on E-AB rules where they currently stand, can you blame them?

Let's say they sell a bunch to folks who assume they will be okay under E-AB, the new rule comes out, and those folks go to have it evaluated and the FAA says "Nope. Doesn't meet the rule. Nice yard ornament." Who do you think is going to get sued?

Now if Vans says "Nope, we're not supporting anything but E-LSA," and you build it as E-AB and the FAA says "Nope," then that's a lawsuit that Vans can win very easily. "Hey, we said E-LSA only and they built it some other way. Can't blame us."

Frankly I think it's a good position for them to take right now. If you choose to build it as an E-AB, you can do that, but you take all the risk. If Vans were to help you, then from a lawyer's perspective, by providing you assistance to do things that are not in the scope of E-LSA they'd be assuming some of that risk.

PJ Seipel
RV-10 #40032
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  #3  
Old 02-10-2009, 08:01 PM
David-aviator David-aviator is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Chesterfield, Missouri
Posts: 4,514
Default ???

I do not understand the issue.

What is the problem with building a E-LSA verses E-AB?
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  #4  
Old 02-10-2009, 08:11 PM
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aviationgeek84 aviationgeek84 is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Iowa
Posts: 255
Default

I'm not positive, but I think there are some pretty strict rules on E-LSA. I helped an E-LSA manufacturer for a while and it was pretty clear-cut on what the kit was built like.

Just my experience... for what it's worth. :P
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  #5  
Old 02-10-2009, 08:16 PM
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roadrunner20 roadrunner20 is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Bay Pines, FL, building in Andrews, NC (new base @ KRHP)
Posts: 1,957
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by David-aviator View Post
I do not understand the issue.

What is the problem with building a E-LSA verses E-AB?
I believe many want to build as an E-AB. This way you can clean up the airframe, add fairings, and pick up some airspeed which exceeds LSA.
The ability to remove wings and store off airport provides a big savings to many. I've considered it myself.
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  #6  
Old 02-10-2009, 08:24 PM
FrankS FrankS is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Cortland NY
Posts: 67
Default E-LSA almost as good as E-AB

From what I read in these forums E-LSA is modifiable by the builder once signed off by the FAA. So, if Van would develop a minimum VFR steam gauge panel wihout radios then once built and flying the owner could build the panel of his dreams. Someone even suggested the Rv-12 builders pass this panel around from builder to builder just to get their project signed off.

As far as engine modification the design is so tightly wrapped around the rotax I'm not sure that other engines would be worth the hassle of adapting. I know some could and even would want to do this but my research on local flyers who have Zenair 701's have nothing but praise for the Rotax so why mess with sucess.

I'm waiting until the last two kits (engine and instruments) are completed and priced out before making my final decision.

The latest report from EAA is that the FAA is making progress on the new E-AB rules and hope to have the final ruling ready by Oshkosh this summer. I've traded emails with the FAA on this issue and it appears they are genuinely interested in working with hombuilders to develop a fair rule. With Van an active and well respected member of that commitee I'm hoping for a better than even chance the 12 will eventually be an approved E-AB kit as well as E-LSA.

Keep in mind with E-LSA there is no "51% rule" so you can hire as much commercial assistance as your wallet can stand. For some people thats a plus.

I, like you and many others want the "options" that E-AB gives but mostly just want to build the panel/interior of my choice. I'm guessing the market will sort that issue out and if Van only offers the E-LSA model he is going to have to offer various panel/interior options to appeal to a wider market. Thats just good business.

I think Van fully understands the desire (i.e. market potential) of an E-AB RV-12 but he hasn't finished the E-LSA yet. The current E-LSA builders might get a little upset if Van took a detour to support E-AB builders before he finished the E-LSA.

So hang in their and lets see what the FAA And Vans bring us this summer.

Frank
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  #7  
Old 02-10-2009, 08:33 PM
Bob Axsom Bob Axsom is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 5,685
Default I would build it however I wanted

The FAA, VAN's, lawyers, insurance opinions not withstanding, if I wanted to build an E-AB with parts from an RV-12 kit that is what I would do and I would call it an AX-1 or something like that since it is not an RV-12. I would not ask for or expect any support from Van's Aircraft. I would keep extremely detailed records of the build process and present it for the AWC inspection etc. as my own creation with no reference to the RV-12. I never heard of CAD drawings for the instrument panel but if you say they have them I guess they do. I mocked up my panel with insulating foam sheet from home depot and the instruments with full size pinups cut from file folders. I cut out my panel with a hack saw, fly cutters, hole saws, drills and files. If you want to do this you can do it but if you are building it because you want a slow docile airplane for deteriorating pilot skills, then what is wrong with building it precisely as an RV-12 under E-LSA rules and playing the hand that life has dealt you. These planes are intended to fill a need for people that do not have your health, experience and skills and if you try to build it into a gray area it will cause problems for those people, Van's and the FAA.

Bob Axsom
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  #8  
Old 02-10-2009, 08:40 PM
Tom Hunter Tom Hunter is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Paso Robles, CA
Posts: 32
Default E-LSA vs EAB

What is the difference. Speed of aircraft, amount of work the builder has to do, what the "kit" qualifies as. "If" the RV-12 were initially designed as an EAB kit, then the amount of work that the builder would have to perform would be greater to qualify for the 51% rule AND the plane could then have had any engine, any instrument panel, any prop, any etc. etc. etc. that the guy who put his money down to buy the "kit" wanted. Just the way it is with an RV-3.

The -12 was designed and marketed to meet the new LSA rules for a kit plane that could be assembled in ones garage, or barn or hangar. It is only by following the specific rules that were set down for this catagory of aircraft "kit" that the airworthiness certificate is suppose to be issued. Some are gambling that they can get an air worthiness certificate in a catagory that Van's clearly did not intend this air craft to meet. And as another poster pointed out, there is no overriding reason that Van's should assist a builder in this course of action.

You can go to the EAA web site for a more lengthy comparison and description than this short review.

Tom
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  #9  
Old 02-10-2009, 08:56 PM
tacaruth tacaruth is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 121
Default

The answer I got from Vans the other day was "WHY WOULD ANYONE WANT TO BUILD IT OTHER THAN WE DESIGNED?" Have they never looked around at the RV's at any flyin they attend. Do they ever see any two alike? If a -12 is built following E-LSA, there are no options other than the ones Vans deems prudent for us. What if someone wants something different from Dynon, Garmin, etc. With the E-LSA version, you're out of luck unless you can get Vans a large discount from the alternate supplier. E-AB removes all these issues. My hope is that after the final FAA ruling, Vans will soften their position and provide the E-AB kit and support that some need. I have no problem with anyone building the E-LSA version, its just not what I want to pursue.

Tom
RV-7A N175TJ Flying
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  #10  
Old 02-10-2009, 09:14 PM
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N941WR N941WR is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: SC
Posts: 12,887
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by David-aviator View Post
I do not understand the issue.

What is the problem with building a E-LSA verses E-AB?
Take a close look at the -12. Compared to other RV's it is very lightly built.

It makes me wonder what would happen if someone added a bigger engine and/or cleaned up the airframe enough to push it up to 170 MPH? Would parts start to fail under the increased air loads?

With that in mind, Van's is smart to limit the -12 to E-LSA, IMHO.
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