Thursday 2 February 2012

Vans RV 12 ZK-YRV at SAANZ Flyin Whitianga

With no criticism of Mike Condon's earlier post on ZK-YRV, I thought this aircraft needed a bit more detail as it is potentially an important new type of sport aircraft in our skies, and it is likely to be the first of many. (Another has already been registered: ZK-RVS in Hawkes Bay).

The RV 12 was developed by Van's as a Light Sport Aircraft in 2006, and it can be built as such in New Zealand, or it can be built as a microlight Class 2. ZK-YRV is registered as an Amateur Built Aircraft (whereas ZK-RVS is registered as a Microlight Class 2). The wingspan is 26 feet 8 inches (8.21 m), the length is 19 feet 11 inches (6.12 m), the wing area is 127 square feet (11.8 square metres) and with a Rotax 912S motor of 100 HP, its maximum speed is 138 MPH. Empty weight is 750 pounds (340 Kg) and MAUW is 1320 pounds (600 Kg). Interestingly these are almost identical statistics to the Jodel D 11 with a 100 HP Continental 0-200 motor.

The RV 12 can only be built from kits, and the kit is the most comprehensive ever I think. The kit comes with the wing spar solid rivetted and everything else ready to pop rivet, so it can be assembled by one person. The panels are punched out by computerised machines and are extremely exact, with even the rivet holes being to exact size so they only need to be smoothed before rivetting. The kit also includes all control runs, hoses etc, cowlings and the canopy, and even the complete instrument panel and instruments that the builder has ordered, with everything pre-assembled. The kit includes the motor which is standard. Even the stickers are included with dimension as to where to put them!

In a first for Van's the wings are removeable.

Alan Coubray has made a very nice job of ZK-YRV. He spent a lot of time explaining details of the aircraft in his hangar at Whitianga, and he graciously pulled the aircraft out for my photos. Alan took less than a year to build ZK-YRV and has previously built Safari helicopter ZK-IQP and Sonex ZK-JQP. Alan said that YRV stands for Yellow RV.

This photo shows the cabin and instrument panel, with Alan in the background continuing his explanations to interested homebuilders.

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