RV-12 Prototype Flies

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Van's Aircraft's entry in the LSA category had its first flight last Thursday. The mini-RV, which sports many of the characteristics of its larger stablemates (bubble canopy and a big, fat wing), was flown by company founder Dick VanGrunsven, who put it through a variety of speed profiles and basic handling tests. "Itís far too early to make any statements about what the airplane is like or what it will do, or what the performance numbers may eventually be," said Van's Web site. "We can report that when Van taxied in and opened the swing-up canopy, he was grinning." The Web site also says the plane shares some flying qualities with other aircraft in the Van's family. "Even from the ground we could tell the roll rate was pretty snappy," the site says. The aircraft is powered by a 100-hp Rotax and the payload goal is 550 pounds.