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  #1  
Old 05-11-2020, 11:44 AM
JFCRV12 JFCRV12 is offline
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Liberty Township OH
Posts: 224
Default PA-28-180 to RV12 - Am I crazy?

Hello all,

A while back, I posted I was considering building an RV. While that's still the plan, it isn't happening anytime soon. I simply do not have the time. But I do have time to fly. As such, I bought a Piper Cherokee 180 in Oct. While I love the plane and it's very nice, I'm seriously considering a 'side grade?' to an RV-12.

Here's my thinking: My long x-country is from KHAO to KUOX (Ole Miss). That's 442 SM and likely would make 3 times per year during school year to visit daughter. I've done in my Cherokee and it's simple trip and very comfortable. I've yet to have someone sit in my backseat..net, I guess I don't need it. As I still plan to eventually build, I thought an E-LSA would be a good way to learn into the experimental world. Here are some brief pros/cons. Am I thinking about this right? Understanding the forum I'm on, I expect bias in the answers

Vans RV-12 - Pre-owned, it's a wash in terms of acquisition cost vs my PA28.

Pros:
  • Much lower operating costs (mogas, fuel efficiency, own CIs after 2 day course)
  • Incredible visibility in RV-12 vs. PA28
  • Essentially a brand new engine vs. 15 year old overhaul
  • modern avionics and autopilot
  • Strong community and documentation (vs. other experimentals)

Cons
  • Touch slower than PA28
  • 2 seats vs. 4 and significantly less useful load (PA28 is like an SUV)
  • Light weight means much more bouncing in turblence
  • TIGHT nonstop range to KUOX (est. about 17gallons assuming no wind)
  • Higer insurance cost vs. PA28-180?

Probably my biggest concern is the tight range vs. the PA28 and maybe the extra bouncy ride vs. the Cherokee. Any thoughts from the group? Anyone made the move from a Cherokee 180 to an RV-12 for non-LSA related reasons? How'd it go?

Thanks!
John
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  #2  
Old 05-11-2020, 11:48 AM
David Paule David Paule is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 5,081
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If you can afford the extra cost, consider an RV-9a. It's considerably faster, longer range, and probably about as efficient as a -12.

Dave
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  #3  
Old 05-11-2020, 11:52 AM
JFCRV12 JFCRV12 is offline
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Liberty Township OH
Posts: 224
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Paule View Post
If you can afford the extra cost, consider an RV-9a. It's considerably faster, longer range, and probably about as efficient as a -12.

Dave
Certainly crossed my mind. One piece appealing to me on the RV-12 is ability to do my own CI/Annual after taking the 2 day course. Not an option on a 2nd owner EAB. But I haven't dismissed the idea by a long shot yet.
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  #4  
Old 05-11-2020, 11:55 AM
Mel's Avatar
Mel Mel is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Dallas area
Posts: 11,231
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I agree with Dave. The RV-9A would suit you needs better than the RV-12.

Biggest negative would be the Condition Inspection cost, but it still should be considerably less than your PA-28. Of course you might be able to negotiate that with the original builder/repairman.
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EAA Flight Advisor/Tech Counselor, Friend of the RV-1
Recipient of Tony Bingelis Award and Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award
USAF Vet, High School E-LSA Project Mentor.
RV-6 Flying since 1993 (sold)
<rvmel(at)icloud.com>
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  #5  
Old 05-11-2020, 11:57 AM
JFCRV12 JFCRV12 is offline
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Liberty Township OH
Posts: 224
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mel View Post
I agree with Dave. The RV-9A would suit you needs better than the RV-12.

Biggest negative would be the Condition Inspection cost, but it still should be considerably less than your PA-28. Of course you might be able to negotiate that with the original builder/repairman.
Hmm.. Now the research cycle continues!
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  #6  
Old 05-11-2020, 12:30 PM
ryankhallcpa@yahoo.com ryankhallcpa@yahoo.com is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Taylor, AZ
Posts: 80
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I currently own a 1967 Cherokee 180C and have owned it for 8 years now. It's the first airplane I've owned since getting my license back in 2011. My mission has changed since then and is now very similar to yours. I have a kid in college and more soon to enter. I need power, performance, and speed, since I fly out of 5,700 feet elevation and need to fly the front range of the Colorado Rockies. I decided to build (standard build) and July will be three years since starting the build on my RV-7. My finishing kit will crate sometime this month. I've enjoyed every step of the build. No regrets on my choice, either, at least through the build process...haha!

I didn't feel that an RV-12 would really fit my needs.

Hope this helps in some small way!

Ryan
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  #7  
Old 05-11-2020, 12:40 PM
JFCRV12 JFCRV12 is offline
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Liberty Township OH
Posts: 224
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Thanks Ryan! It does help. I'm a flat lander so at least I don't have that concern/issue. ...more thinking... There's something tugging me related to the newness of engine, airframe, avionics vs. my Cherokee. But I do have some performance concerns. But again, that's a 3x per year trip vs. 99% of local flying by myself.. BUT, after this Fall, we'll be empty nesters opening up the possibility of more x-countries. so, who knows

Quote:
Originally Posted by ryankhallcpa@yahoo.com View Post
I currently own a 1967 Cherokee 180C and have owned it for 8 years now. It's the first airplane I've owned since getting my license back in 2011. My mission has changed since then and is now very similar to yours. I have a kid in college and more soon to enter. I need power, performance, and speed, since I fly out of 5,700 feet elevation and need to fly the front range of the Colorado Rockies. I decided to build (standard build) and July will be three years since starting the build on my RV-7. My finishing kit will crate sometime this month. I've enjoyed every step of the build. No regrets on my choice, either, at least through the build process...haha!

I didn't feel that an RV-12 would really fit my needs.

Hope this helps in some small way!

Ryan
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  #8  
Old 05-11-2020, 01:05 PM
gasman gasman is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Sonoma County
Posts: 4,144
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JFCRV12 View Post
Thanks Ryan! It does help. I'm a flat lander so at least I don't have that concern/issue. ...more thinking... There's something tugging me related to the newness of engine, airframe, avionics vs. my Cherokee. But I do have some performance concerns. But again, that's a 3x per year trip vs. 99% of local flying by myself.. BUT, after this Fall, we'll be empty nesters opening up the possibility of more x-countries. so, who knows
Consider the FUN FACTOR ..... I have over 1000 hours in a PA28. They are comfortable, but after about 15 minutes they are boring.

Any 2 seat RV is a thrill to fly every time you fly them. You will drive home from the airport with a smile on your face every time. So that covers 99% of your flying.

If you think you are an airline pilot and fly the panel, then the Piper is for you. If you fly for the the fun of it, then you don't know what fun is, yet..........
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  #9  
Old 05-11-2020, 01:11 PM
mturnerb mturnerb is online now
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Ponte Vedra, FL
Posts: 1,608
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If your PA-28 180 is faster than an RV-12, it can't be by much. The -12 cruises easily 115-120Kts. Fastest 180/Archer I've flown is just about the same.

I do agree with others that the 9/9A is a more appealing cross country machine for the reasons mentioned. The -12 does have two distinct advantages though: It's very roomy, and downward/forward visibility is the best of any low wing I've flown. (leading edge of wing is set back farther). Also insanely easy to board because the step is in front of the wing, and you can step right onto the floor without stepping on seats.

BTW - Dave Gamble in Ohio has a great YouTube channel, RV-12 pilot. You should look him up and maybe get a flight with him. He did a fun video on his RV-12 build also: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v57K_JZQy-c
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Last edited by mturnerb : 05-11-2020 at 01:15 PM.
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  #10  
Old 05-11-2020, 01:12 PM
NinerBikes NinerBikes is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Granada Hills
Posts: 1,194
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I've been bounced around, a lot in a RV-12 in less than moderate turbulence. a 10 # per square foot loaded wing at full gross that stalls at 45 kt's clean, to make LSA classifications, can be a very bumpy ride.

It's fine if you're retired and can pick the days you want to fly, but it's not fine if you've got getthereitis, IMHO.
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