Cessna shows an LSA. Van’s Aircraft shows an LSA. Cessna flies their LSA. Van’s flies their LSA. Is it a race? Company founder and designer Dick VanGrunsven first flew his RV-12 on November 9th. The largest airplane builder (Cessna) and the largest kit company (Van’s) have now flown their LSA entries, each a product of ambitiously rapid development periods. *** The prototype RV-12 came in at a respectable 714 pounds empty, less than what many insiders thought yet within one pound of VanGrunsven’s prediction. “[Van and RV-12] certainly got off the ground easily and climbed well, passing almost inaudibly over our engineering and tech support staff,” Ken Scott wrote. Roll rate was described as “pretty snappy.” VanGrunsven said it felt at least as quick as the RV-9. Stalls were reported as gentle and conventional. Scott concluded: “We can report that when Van taxied in and opened the swing-up canopy, he was grinning.”
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