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Old 04-26-2019, 08:03 PM
N941WR's Avatar
N941WR N941WR is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: SC
Posts: 12,887
Default RV-12 Mini-Flight Review

The RV-12 has been out for some time now and I finally had a chance to fly one the other night.

I must say, I was really impressed by the -12!

What a nice flying aircraft, very light on the controls, much lighter than my RV-9. I would say it is more in line with the -4 than a -7. Kind of like a -7 at low speeds because of how quickly it responded to stick and rudder input.

Very well Balanced in its control harmony. Probably better balanced than a -7 or -8. (Sorry guys!)

Off of grass with no wind and two 200+ pound (I'm not saying how much above 200 the passengers were but it was significant.) people and half tanks we used up probably 1000 feet, maybe less. (Typical soft field technique; one notch of flaps from brake release, full aft stick, as soon as the nose wheel is off the grass release back pressure but keep the nosewheel off the turf, once we broke ground I accelerated in ground effect until speed built up and then pitched for Vy. The 1000' included the flight in ground effect.)

At Vy we were still climbing at a solid 700 FPM. Stunning!

I had heard this before but didn't believe it, the visibility out of it is so much better than in my -9 or in a -6 or -7!

Landings were very easy. With our two big 'ol butts in there I used 60 knots, which was pretty fast on final and full flaps. Touched down on the mains, holding the stick aft for a full stall landing with the rollout with the stick full aft. By mid filed 1200' we were adding power to taxi to the end to take off again.

Those of you who are building, keep pulling those rivets! It is worth the effort!

Those of you who are thinking of building a -12, write that check!

I just can't get past the fact that the -12 out performs a Skyhawk so easily!

If only there was a tailwheel version. Oh Mitch, can we talk?
Bill R.
RV-9 (Yes, it's a dragon tail)
O-360 w/ dual P-mags
Build the plane you want, not the plane others want you to build!
SC86 - Easley, SC

Last edited by N941WR : 04-26-2019 at 08:07 PM.
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Old 04-26-2019, 08:11 PM
David Paule David Paule is online now
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 5,054

I'd be real interested in a taildragger -12iS.

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Old 04-26-2019, 08:39 PM
rgmwa rgmwa is offline
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Posts: 1,675

The only other RV I've flown briefly was a 7A, but FWIW (clearly not much) my impressions were that the pitch sensitivity of the 7 and 12 is about the same, the 7 is a bit quicker in roll (shorter wings?), and the 7's rudder is heavier. Both are light and responsive but overall, the 12 feels a bit more balanced to me. Of course a lot depends on what you are used to.
RV-12LR 912ULS
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Old 04-26-2019, 10:37 PM
scsmith scsmith is offline
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Ashland, OR
Posts: 2,968

When I picked up my finishing kit for my -8 at the factory in 2009, I got to fly Van's RV-12 with him. My response was, "I think I could teach my mother to fly one of these in about three weeks."

I've flown airplanes that I consider "sweet", like the Champ and the SGS 1-26. The RV-12 is in that league, just a sweet little airplane that is a delight to fly. Relative to other RVs, its only deficiency is that it is kinda slow. But oftentimes, slow is good, slow is nice, slow is friendly.
Steve Smith
Aeronautical Engineer
RV-8 N825RV
IO-360 A1A
WW 200RV
"The Magic Carpet" Flying since Sept. 2009
Hobbs 700
1/4 share in 1959 C-182B (tow plane)
LS6-15/18W sailplane SOLD
bought my old LS6-A back!!
VAF donation Dec 2020
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Old 04-27-2019, 12:51 AM
RFSchaller RFSchaller is offline
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 3,161

After 27 years of flying my Cherokee the hardest part of flying the RV-12 for me was getting used to the fact that the RV does not slow down quickly. Having flown the 12 for 7 years now I think it might be the sweetest plane I?ve ever flown. Landings are usually bumpless squeakers, and the only thing negative I can think of is that being so light wind can push it around on approach and landing, but that?s true of any light aircraft. Vans created another winner!
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Old 04-27-2019, 09:00 AM
jcl777 jcl777 is offline
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Kingwood, TX
Posts: 42

As someone who's in the process of acquiring an RV-12, these comments are very encouraging. The only time I've been in an RV of any kind was a demo flight with Mitch Lock in an RV-12 in 2014. I was's only taken me 5 years to get around to owning one. I've taken instruction or demo rides in 9 other LSAs, but the -12 flips all my switches.

I've been flying 182s for the past three years. Will be glad to get that original RV grin back.
John Leon
Kingwood, TX
RV-12iS, N221TF, #121130
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Old 04-27-2019, 10:31 AM
Jyuma Jyuma is offline
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Dix Hills
Posts: 53

I haven't flown in 40 years, but when I was flying, it was in my Cessna 150 out of Zahn's airport on Long Island Zahn's airport and then Republic airport (just to the north) once Zahn's closed.
I loved Zahn's airport, it had everything I loved about general aviation back then.
My first encounter with Zahn's came when I was in the CAP in the 50's, we flew J3's out of Zahn's at the time. When I took flying lessons for my own license it was out of Sig Ulgritch flying school at Zahn's. When Zahn's closed, I got to buy the plane I took my flying lessons in... Cessna 150 N19406.

Now, 40 years after my last log book entry, I'm building a Vans RV-12is and I can't wait to get back in the air. Hearing how sweet the 12 is only makes me want it more, but it will be hard to top the feeling of flying old 406 out of Zahn's... hopefully it will be better.
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Old 04-27-2019, 12:42 PM
brucehatch brucehatch is offline
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: American Fork, Utah 84003
Posts: 23
Default excited to get the grin

As someone seriously considering the start of a 12iS build, I find this thread to be of great interest. Next week I travel to Oregon to visit family. I plan to take one day to visit Aurora, do the plant tour, and hopefully, experience a demo ride. Maybe then I'll understand what you folks already know.
-12iS S/N 121208
Empennage Kit 98% complete
N45LH reserved
EAA Chapter 753, Provo, Ut.
Dues paid thru 2021
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Old 04-27-2019, 11:25 PM
StrictlyEXperimental StrictlyEXperimental is offline
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Layton,Utah
Posts: 8
Default Building a -12is in UT

Bruce, I'm about 70 miles north in Layton building a -12is. Working on the wings today. Fuselage kit came in earlier this month and is now inventoried. If you pull the trigger, I'd like to hear about it. Van's sent me a list of -12s in UT. As of Feb there are 12 with 2 flying. I'm in the Ogden EAA chapter 58.
John S
Strictly Experimental
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Old 04-27-2019, 11:28 PM
StrictlyEXperimental StrictlyEXperimental is offline
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Layton,Utah
Posts: 8
Default correction: 9 RV-12s with 2 flying in UT

Past my bedtime I guess.
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