- Aircraft History, Specification and Information -
Van's Aircraft RV-12
Van's Aircraft RV-12 - N412RV - LSA (Light Sport Aircraft)
2008 Van's Aircraft RV-12
N412RV (sn 2)
Photo taken Jul. 2009
Arlington Fly-In @ Arlington Airport, WA USA (KAWO)
Photo © AirplaneMart.com
Van's Aircraft RV-12
2006 Van's Aircraft RV-12
(N912VA / serial number 1) at Van's Aircraft factory in Aurora, OR USA
Image taken July2007
Photo © Marcel Siegenthaler

The Van's RV-12 is two-seat, single-engine, low-wing homebuilt airplane eligible for the US LSA category sold in kit form by Van's Aircraft.

The RV-12 had its first flight on November 9, 2006. Deliveries of partial kits commenced in April 2008 and by February 2010, 21 aircraft had flown.


The architect of the line of Van’s aircraft, Richard VanGrunsven, designed the RV-12 with several specific goals in mind. These include:

- Flying qualities equal to or better than the standard set by the RV-9A
- 550 lb. payload – to carry a projected load of a 190 pound pilot and passenger, 120 pounds of fuel (20 US Gallons) and 50 pounds of baggage or cargo.
- 750 lb aircraft empty weight
- Cabin width of 43 inches
- A low parts count, with an aim of reducing kit cost and construction time
- Minimal use of composites and maximum use of aluminum
Maximum use of simple hand tools only for construction

The LSA class limits aircraft to a maximum takeoff weight of 1,320 lb (599 kg), a maximum clean, stall speed with no flaps of 51 mph (45 knots) and a maximum level speed of 138 mph (120 knots). The production RV-12 is projected to meet those maximum limits.

The prototype incorporates several new features for an RV-series aircraft including: removable wings, full-span flaperons and an all-moving stabilator. It is intended that the RV-12 will be powered by a Rotax 912S engine of 100 hp and equipped with a Sensenich composite ground-adjustable propeller.

Regarding LSA approval, Vans has stated:
“ Van’s Aircraft plans on submitting the RV-12 prototype for Special Light Sport Aircraft (S-LSA) approval. When this is received, RV-12 builders may build and license conforming planes in the E-LSA category... In the E-LSA category, there is no '51%' rule, and no restriction on who may assist in building the airplane.”


The RV-12 is the first production kit from Vans that is predominantly constructed using blind rivets, which allows the majority of the construction to be done without an assistant. The use of computerized punch machines to punch out most of the rivet holes to final size simplifies construction by minimizing the need to debur or final size most of the rivet holes. Since the wings are designed to be detached, the majority of the airplane can be constructed in most standard residential garages.


Partial RV-12 kits became available to customers in April 2008, with complete kits made available in the fall of 2008.

The RV-12 is sold as six sub-kits: wings, fuselage, empennage & tailcone, finishing (cowling, engine mount, canopy, etc), firewall forward, and avionics.

Aircraft Type Club

RV-12 owners are supported by a very active aircraft type club Van's Air Force.

Specifications (RV-12)

General characteristics
Crew: one pilot
Capacity: one passenger
Length: 19 ft 11 in (6.12 m)
Wingspan: 26 ft 8 in (8.21 m)
Height: 8 ft 4 in (2.53 m)
Wing area: 127 ft² (11.8 m²)
Empty weight: 750 lb (340 kg)
Loaded weight: 1,320 lb (600 kg)
Max takeoff weight: 1,320 lb (600 kg)
Powerplant: 1× Rotax 912S with a Sensenich composite ground-adjustable propeller, 100 hp (74 kW)

Never exceed speed: mph (km/h)
Maximum speed: 138 mph at sea level (223 km/h, 120 kt)
Range: 520 statute miles at cruise 75% power at 8,000 ft (842 km at cruise 75% power at 2,500 m)
Wing loading: 11.0 lb/ft² (55 kg/m²)

Last updated March 28, 2010
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Van's Aircraft RV-12".
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