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Thread: Intro / kit plane question

  1. #1

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    Intro / kit plane question

    Hi I'm a Philadelphia based PP and a new EAA member (long time AOPA member). I've been away from GA for a few years and now that my kids are older I'm finally getting back in the air. I'm totally up to date on all the changes that were made during my downtime and I'm about to block out so time with a CFI to dust off the rust and get current.

    My main reason for joining the EAA is because it has been a lifelong goal of mine to build my own aircraft. Looking into the future I'm planing to build a LSA because someday I might let the medical expire and fly as a sport pilot. The kits I'm researching are the RV-12, CH 650 and STOL CH 750. I'm very comfortable with my skills to complete any of these aircraft but I'm having a tough time making a decision on a finial choice.

    I'm looking for a two place VFR aircraft to use for short XC trips with my wife and some fun flying with my kids. I would like a something with a generous useful load and good fuel consumption. If anyone would like to give an option on my choices please reply. Also if anyone has any of these aircraft please let me know what your real world empty weight numbers are. I'm curious how they compare to the number on the Vans and Zenith web sites

    Thanks for your time,

    rob
    Last edited by rlonghitano; 04-23-2012 at 04:27 PM. Reason: Spaces

  2. #2
    Anymouse's Avatar
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    Not sure how it compares to the ones you mentioned, but you might want to check out the Sonex offerings as well. I personally like the Xenos. Even if your medical is denied, you can still fly a glider. Of course, you gotta get your glider ticket (a lot of fun) and a self-launch endorsement (should be a no brainer for a power pilot).

    http://www.sonexaircraft.com/
    I'll come up with something profound

  3. #3

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    Thanks! I have looked at the Sonex web site in my research. Never looked at the self launched glider. It does look like fun

  4. #4
    Auburntsts's Avatar
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    Rob,
    I can't answer any of your questions, but invite you to check out Van's Air Force: http://www.vansairforce.com/community/index.php There's an RV-12 sub-forum where you can get answers to any questions on the RV-12 specifically and all RV's in general.
    Todd Stovall
    Aka tsts4 on POA & Matronics, and Auburntsts on VAF, RV Airspace, AOPA, & Purple Pilots
    PP ASEL
    Building an RV-10 N728TT
    My builder's log (which is woefully out of date): www.mykitlog.com/auburntsts
    WAR DAMN EAGLE!

  5. #5

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    Thanks Todd! I have seen that site, I'll register to their forum section. While I have you here, I noticed the RV 12 has the fuel tank in the fuselage. Should I have any worries about that? Every plane I've flown had the fuel in the wings so it seems a little weird to me to sit in the same area as the fuel.

  6. #6
    Auburntsts's Avatar
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    I'd say no, of course I'm not an RV-12 builder so take my advice with a grain of salt. It has been discussed to death over at VAF and I think it's a non-issue, although some are apparantly going the E-AB route vs. E-LSA in order to build wing tanks. If I ever go LSA, it will be in a RV-12 and I'll build it per the plans. To the best of my knowledge most, if not all, 150+ flying RV-12s were built with the fuse tank per the plans.
    Last edited by Auburntsts; 04-23-2012 at 08:53 PM.
    Todd Stovall
    Aka tsts4 on POA & Matronics, and Auburntsts on VAF, RV Airspace, AOPA, & Purple Pilots
    PP ASEL
    Building an RV-10 N728TT
    My builder's log (which is woefully out of date): www.mykitlog.com/auburntsts
    WAR DAMN EAGLE!

  7. #7

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    Yea that's pretty much what I read. The RV12 is still very high on my list due to their longevity and the reputation of their designs. Thanks for your input.

  8. #8

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    Find an example of all of the aircraft you're interested in and go sit in them. You may find huge differences in how they fit you, how the visibility works for you, etc. Oshkosh is a great place for that.

    One of the things to consider is the builder support network. Being able to visit another project to see what they did is infinitely valuable. On-line forums have a lot of value too. The sheer weight of numbers means there is a bigger builder community for the RV's, which is a selling point if you're a new builder.

  9. #9

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    Thanks Kyle.

    Point well taken, I did notice the large presences of RV builders on the net and it will weigh in big with my decision. Cruse speed and endurance are under useful loads on my priority list so when I compare the RV-12 and Zodiac 650 the numbers on the manufactures web page the 650 has a better useful load number. BUT I know in the "real world" it might not be the case. I'll keep digging around and invest some time looking for completed kits by both company's and crunch their numbers.

    Thanks!

  10. #10
    CarlOrton's Avatar
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    I was going to reply yesterday and refer rob to some of the earlier, similar discussions on this topic. Unfortunately, I got sidetracked and well, you know.... There *are* similar discussions for which you can search.

    I figured you had already checked out the Sonex website, so I'm not going to go there, even though it's high on my list (grin).

    I helped a bit building my neighbor's RV12, and have several hours of flight in it. Great airplane, but a bit expensive, although completely in line with other RV versions. Very easy to build; very very very little raw fabrication needed. Take parts out of the box, cleco together, and rivet. With all the Van's options (2nd Dynon, autopilot, etc.) it was about $67K not counting paint.

    All the wiring harnesses are pre-cut and pre-terminated. Only issue with the fuel tank is that it takes up room. The -12 we built was a relatively early serial number, so a lot of the "build" time was waiting for the next kit portion to be released. It took the neighbor about 14 months to build, and that was with two-three guys building it (I played a very minor role since I was building my Sonex).

    Very nice airplane. Nice little touches. Wings really do come off in about 30 seconds/wing. Jacks provided to connect the audio to your video camera. Nice finishing options. Decent cabin width.

    Like other small aircraft, this one gets noisier the faster you go. Quite a large increase between 112-120 MPH. Burns high-octane auto fuel, even with ethanol. Handles it better than 100LL according to the owner. The increased RPM of the Rotax really isn't that distracting. I was originally against it, but after the first flight it was not a factor.

    Carl Orton
    Sonex #1170
    http://mykitlog.com/corton

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