Living Vicariously: Vans RV-12 SLSA

Vans Aircraft RV-12 SLSA

First introduced in October 2012, the RV-12 Special Light Sport Aircraft (S-LSA) is the first “ready to fly” product offered by Vans Aircraft. Known for its kit-built experimental aircraft, Vans first offered the the airplane in 2008 as an E-LSA kit to meet market demand for a product that would conform to the Light Sport certification category. The current factory built S-LSA is constructed by Synergy Air, who recently embarked on a west coast tour with a demonstration plane. This demo aircraft was scheduled to be at Riverside Municipal Airport this past Thursday, so of course I had to swing by to take a peek.

Sadly for me, I won’t be buying one anytime soon but it truly is a nice little airplane and would be perfect for a “first-timer” entering the ownership club. It’s a quality built product with good performance for the category and is fairly inexpensive at $123,000 fully equipped (relatively speaking, of course). I’m somewhat surprised that I haven’t seen more of them pop up at flight schools but given that most flight schools tend to be in perpetual struggle to stay afloat I suppose I should manage my expectations on that particular front.

Below are some photos I took for your enjoyment. If you’re interested, you can get more information and see detailed specifications on the RV-12 website. Wikipedia has a decent bit of background information as well.

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