SPLOG By DAN JOHNSON
Cessna‘s LSA entry helps to validate the concept of industry consensus standards in lieu of government certification. SkyCatchers will populate airports as shipments ramp up in 2010. Other big companies also are looking at LSA — as most LSA enthusiasts know, Cirrus offered an entry, though work has stalled, and late 2009 rumors hint at entry by another legacy brand. While it’s good to see big boys coming into the game, the biggest-of-all kit builders is also playing. And, in its characteristic way, Van’s Aircraft is quietly racking up sales. Already 15 RV-12s are flying, according to Ken Scott, who notes, “We’ve sold 315 (starter kits) and, judging from the number of powerplant kits we’ve shipped, they should start sprouting like mushrooms pretty quick.”
The company founder likes the RV-12, too. Scott added, “Dick VanGrunsven and his brother Jerry recently completed and flew their personal RV-12 and Van often uses it to commute from his home to (the factory in) Aurora, (Ore.).”
Scott also reported that the first Australian RV-12 has flown and that several more are under construction in countries from Brazil to South Africa.
Van’s recently released an interior package for the airplane, as well as a 2-axis autopilot option. Additional options — including dual EFIS, lighting, and wheel fairing packages — are under development. Wiring and switching for these has been provided in all kits, so they should install easily, even into finished airplanes.
For more information: VansAircraft.com.