Thursday, February 3, 2011

Light Sport Aircraft & the RV-12

I have been given the opportunity to investigate and fly LSA. So N44QT headed out to it's new owner and I started researching various airplanes that would fit my mission - our new mission statement is posted in the column to the right.

Joe Blank at Van's Aircraft offer to take me for a flight, so as soon as our schedules meshed with the weather I found myself standing on the tarmac at Van's hanger.

What's it like to fly? Fun! It's not an RV-10 but it is definitely not a Cessna 152 either. We climbed out at 900 feet per minute. After leveling off, cruise was 120 knot indicated, which is not bad for a fuel flow of 5.5 gallons per hour.

Next we did some aileron only turns. Thats right no back pressure on the stick, surprisingly there was no loss of altitude in the turns. Next was slow flight no surprises here. In case your wondering it is flown with three fingers (after all it is an RV.) Just a well mannered fun airplane to fly.

Couple of unique items are there is no mixture control. Also, Joe mentioned the need to ensure the throttle frication lock is set properly, because unlike Continentals and Lycomings the throttle is spring loaded to go to full throttle. This can happen if the friction lock is set too loss. Also in the "different" category is the sound of the Rotax as it runs happily at 5,500 rpm. Well, it sound a lot like my Toyota Prius when it accelerates so I felt right at home.