Aero Friedrichshafen really is the opening event of the flying year in Europe. All though it is principally a static event, and lacks the pizazz of an airshow per se, it really is the focal point for all thing Aero to kick off another year.
Van’s Aircraft has shipped the 1,000th RV-12 kit, making it one of the most successful light sport aircraft to hit the market since its introduction in 2008.
Van’s said it has shipped 937 RV-12 kit empennage packages, plus a number of fly-away S-LSA RV-12s built at the company factory in Oregon.
More than 400 RV-12s are flying, representing a completion rate of 40 percent, considered excellent by home-building standards.
It takes around 700-900 man-hours to complete an RV-12 kit. Kit price is $67,070 including the 100hp Rotax 912ULS engine. The factory-built S-LSA RV-12 sells for around $120,000.
|Wing Area||127 sq. ft.|
|Empty Weight||740 lbs|
|Gross Weight||1320 lbs|
|10.4 lbs/sq. ft.|
|Propeller||Sensenich Composite ground adjustable|
|Fuel Capacity||20 US gallons|
It was good to get a chance to sit down and talk to Luis Gallo, the owner of LAG Ultralight. LAG Ultralight is located in Medellin, Colombia. They the approved Rotax independent Service Centre for Latin America and are authorized to provide RFSC iRMT training programs.
Q: How long has your company been invited involved with Rotax Aircraft engines?
A: Since October 1991.
Q: What made you want to get involved with aircraft and aircraft engines?
A: “For me, it started as a passion for flying. After 5 years of pursuing flying as a hobby, I noticed that there was a large lack of support for the flying community in our region. In 1991 I came to Sun-n-Fun for the first time. I met Mr. Eric Tucker and started asking some technical questions. One thing led to another and I set up the first Rotax training class in October 1991. This led to us becoming a repair centre at first and then later the Service Centre for Colombia. In 1998, our region was expanded to include all of Latin America.”
Q: What are some of the major changes you have seen in this region over all these years?
A: In the middle of the 90’s there was a shift away from the 2 stroke ultralights like Quicksilver, Flightstar, Max air Drifter and Condor, to 4 stroke powered aircraft like the Kit for, Searay, Flight Design and Zenair. The longer TBO and greater fuel efficiency of the four stroke, meant less parts sales but a lot of happy customers. This changed paved the way for new 2 seated aircraft and in turn that made it a little more family friendly sport.
Q: How has servicing an aircraft changed in this time frame?
A: The change from 2 stroke to Four stroke meant servicing became a little more technical as the engines became more sophisticated.
Q: How have you handled the change?
A: We have to expand in service, inventory, and enlarged our facility. We also increased the amount of courses we were offering in a year. We also started expanding our repair centre network to other countries and offered the new independent Rotax Maintenance Technician training.
Q: What are some of the adversities you face operating a business in Latin America?
A: Rules between countries regarding general aviation and light sport are not similar – there is not one set standard. So what is allowed in one country may not be allowed in another. Thanks so confusion leads to a lack of growth in our light sport segment.
Q: How are you helping with this?
A: We are spending time training independent technicians from Mexico all the way to Peru. Sharing knowledge with the authorities of the different countries to make the flying of LSA activity more safety an under same rules in the near future.
This year the guys and girls at the Rotax iSC/iTC booth are doing things a little differently. Besides the bigger tent and slight booth change of location. They are now one space over from last year, in SE 15. (Turn right as you come in the main gate). They will be offering a daily Rotax 912iS installation information session.
The information session will start at 1pm daily and run for about an hour. RFSC Instructor Jorge Tavio will give a brief overview of the iS engine and then go into some key installation details. After that he will answer any questions you might have. Come by the booth and book early as seating is limited to 10 people.
Another not so new but still sexy bit of news, is that there will be an example of the new Rotax 915iS (a fuel injected turbo engine). So come on down and have a look.
On March 12, 2016 the maiden flight of the Rotax 915 iS aircraft engine was performed at the airfield in Wels, Austria.
A category 1 test pilot (highest level of education a test pilot can achieve) is testing the engine in real flight mode for the company.
The Pilots Guide to Rotax Aircraft Engine Maintenance – The two strokes.
Wednesday April 6th at 10:30 AM in the Paradise city (LSA area) forum /briefing tent.
If you fly an aircraft powered by a Rotax Aircraft Engine, or plan to on the future, you don’t want to miss this informative presentation. Phil Lockwood, president of Lockwood Aviation Supply, the number one Authorized Rotax Service Center in North America, will offer his insight into the best ways to maintain and operate your Rotax Aircraft engine. Phil will demystify the latest service information on the most popular 2 stroke Light Sport Aircraft Engines in the world. Phil will also discuss the latest information on 2 stroke oil for the Rotax.
Rotax 912 Introduction to Service and Operation
Thursday April 7th at 10:30 AM in the Paradise city (LSA area) forum /briefing tent.
A perfect introduction to operating and maintaining the Rotax 912 series engines for pilots and mechanics. This free seminar presented by Phillip Lockwood, President of the number one Rotax service center in North America, Lockwood Aviation Supply, will offer his insight into the best ways to Maintain and operate The Rotax 9 series engines.
Phil will also bring you up to date on the latest innovations that are keeping the 912 on the leading edge of aircraft engine technology and explain why this engine has become so popular. He’ll also offer answers to today’s most commonly asked questions such as:
How will the use of auto fuel containing alcohol affect the 912?
What are the advantages and disadvantages of 100LL avgas?
What kind of Rotax technical training is available and how do I get it?
What is the best oil to use in the Rotax 912?
For all the 80hp/115hp engine owners out there that have been asking for a soft start option, your requests have been answered.
Depending on the type of module you have, you might be able to replace your old module with a new soft start one. You can purchase this module from your independent Service Centre (iSC). The part number is 965444.
If you own a:
912UL starting with engine serial number 4410999 or higher,
912A (certified) starting with engine serial number 4413022 or higher,
912F (certified) starting with engine serial number 6771109 pr higher,
You can use the module with part number 965444 whether you want the soft start feature or not. Engines with older serial number must use 965446.
Under Rotax guidelines this module should only be replaced by a iRMT with a Maintenance rating or higher.
Please contact your local iRMT or your iSC for more information and pricing.
For more technical details and some Q&A – please click below.