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  #1  
Old 09-24-2022, 07:34 AM
Blw2 Blw2 is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2022
Location: Saint Johns, FL
Posts: 68
Default RV-12 stability compared?

How stable is an RV-12 in the bumps and wind?

I'm becoming more and more curious about the little RV-12, as I daydream about a retirement project. I guess my question applies to any similar LSA capable aircraft...... but since I've been looking at the RV-14 for a while, van's has my eye....

I'm wondering though....how rough is the ride?
How well does it do in the bumps, crosswind landing, etc...? What kind of IFR platform does it make?

I know it's not all that fast, but trying to wrap my head around the question...is it a calm evening local flyer, or would it be an ok cross country traveler?

I'm curious in a comparison of something I might know....such as a fly-off comparison between an RV-12 and say a Cessna 152 and Cessna 172.
It has an almost identical wing loading as a 152, so that would tell me that it's about the same....but I think there's probably a little more to it than just wing loading...speed, stability, etc...

I'm a rusty pilot and it's been a pretty long time since I've flown a 152, but I still remember the last time I did. I trained initially in 152's and 150's...but hadn't flown any in quite a while. I had been flying 172's mostly, and quite a bit in 172RG's around that time...working on instrument re-currency and just starting work towards a commercial rating. Took the school's 152 up for a joy ride on a windy day...and by comparison to the only slightly larger planes, I really felt like I took a beating. Was taken by surprise a bit in the bumps and crosswind on landing.
So that's my measuring scale.....
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  #2  
Old 09-24-2022, 09:38 AM
Piper J3's Avatar
Piper J3 Piper J3 is offline
 
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Location: Hinckley, Ohio
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Here’s my take at 800TTAF and some 2000 hours PIC…. The RV-12 is a very light SLA which allows a good useful load. The 12 is an absolute delight to fly with beautiful control harmony and excellent power-to-weight. That being said, I have struck my head on the canopy a few times in convection. The ride cannot be called smooth. A 5-point harness is included and shoulder restraints should be cinched tight.

The one quirk that the RV-12 has is a very pronounced yaw oscillation in turbulence. You can see the nose swing L-R maybe 10 degrees. Locking the rudder straight with your feet does not influence this behavior – you just have to accept and overlook it…
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  #3  
Old 09-24-2022, 01:34 PM
seagull seagull is online now
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: Highland, CA
Posts: 537
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Piper J3 View Post
The one quirk that the RV-12 has is a very pronounced yaw oscillation in turbulence. You can see the nose swing L-R maybe 10 degrees. Locking the rudder straight with your feet does not influence this behavior – you just have to accept and overlook it…
I do not experience this in my -12.
I have flown north and south along the east side of the sierras with west winds at 10,000 – 11,500, Mead Valley to Reno, it is turbulent and with feet on the floor the tail will wag a bit but once I put my feet on the pedals it stops. Last month flying from Redlands, CA to Flat Head Lake, Montana, I hit turbulence while avoiding the fire TFR’s I rerouted and flew over the Bitterroot range at 11,500. It was 1 ½ hours of very rough air flying at 85 kts. The plane was getting moved around a lot but the tail was not wagging.
You must understand without feet on the pedals the cables are slack, the rudder will weather vane, If you hold the rudder still the plane does not yaw any more than any other plane in this class.
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  #4  
Old 09-24-2022, 02:43 PM
mturnerb mturnerb is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Jacksonville, FL
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I owned and flew an RV-12 here in NE FL. Once landed at KCRG when the wind was gusting 12-18 or so and split the runways. It handled the crosswind and the gusts just fine: I just had to fly it all the way to the runway.

Like any very light airplane, it's a leaf in the wind compared to heavier birds, but completely controllable. Has to be actively flown in the bumps and controls handled properly on the ground. But not dangerous or unpredictable in any way. Comparing it to a 152 is like comparing a Miata to an old beat up Ford Ranger: they both handle fine but one is a lot more fun.

I didn't find it to have any negative handling characteristics at all. Visibility is best in class also.
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Last edited by mturnerb : 09-24-2022 at 02:47 PM.
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  #5  
Old 09-24-2022, 10:06 PM
RFSchaller RFSchaller is offline
 
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Location: Phoenix, AZ
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Jim,

If you rest your feet on the rudder pedals the yaw thing disappears.

Rich
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  #6  
Old 09-26-2022, 03:49 PM
Blw2 Blw2 is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2022
Location: Saint Johns, FL
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Thanks all.

I'm still left kind of wondering though..... I guess the short of it is the RV-12 is a light aircraft and that probably sums it up.

Wish I could find one of those fly-off videos where someone compares and contrasts two different aircraft, flying both on the same or similar days and discussing their observations.

I remember a few years ago Flightchops did a really nice one of all the Van's current models but as I recall the 12 didn't seem to be a focus for his interest and left some things unanswered about it...
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  #7  
Old 09-26-2022, 04:21 PM
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greghughespdx greghughespdx is offline
 
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Location: Aurora, OR
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Your wing loading thought is relevant. I have hundreds of hours in RV-12s and have no hesitation about flying it cross-country or local. I have flown considerably more than 4000 RV-12 miles in a single XC trip, and several trips more than half way across the country and back. When it gets bumpy you do feel it more than a heavier-loading aircraft. But - just as with other airplanes - if you slow down a bit, the impact of the bumps drops significantly. So, when it gets bumpy I slow down. And on those uncommon hot summer afternoons in eastern Washinton state when it just gets too windy bumpy (not unique to the RV-12), I just land and take a break.

And, nothing beats a flight in the airplane model you're thinking about to learn for yourself how it feels.
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  #8  
Old 09-29-2022, 02:25 PM
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hamblin10 hamblin10 is offline
 
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Best part of an RV-12 for us older rusty pilots is it only requires a drivers license as our flight medical.
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  #9  
Old 09-30-2022, 07:07 AM
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RV8iator RV8iator is offline
 
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Location: Saint Simons Island , GA
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Default Feet on the floor.???

The good lord gave us feet and we invented rudder pedals. Use them. I fly with a lot of young (new) pilots and it amazes me how many will churn along in light bumps with their feet on the floor while the nose wiggles around.
Remember, if you don’t have a 3 axis autopilot, YOUR FEET are the yaw dampers!
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  #10  
Old 09-30-2022, 02:03 PM
Blw2 Blw2 is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2022
Location: Saint Johns, FL
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thanks everyone.
The more I think about it the more I realize that unless a person has jumped straight from a flight in aircraft x into a different aircraft Y and repeated the same flight in the same conditions then it would be a pretty hard question to answer... and even then it's so subjective that's it's probably near impossible to put into words.

Relative cruise speed, wingspan, drag coefficient, actual weight and probably other things combine along with the wing loading make one ride more harsh than another....or more stable in one axis than another.
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