Van’s Aircraft is set to begin manufacturing RV–12s in 2018 at its headquarters in Aurora, Oregon, the company announced.
The factory-built special light sport aircraft (SLSA) will use fuel-injected Rotax 912 iS and iST engines instead of earlier carbureted models. Van’s employees will build the new airplanes—not Synergy Air of Eugene, Oregon, a separate company that previously assembled SLSA RV–12s from kits that Van’s supplied.
Synergy Air has built 75 SLSA RV–12s to date, and the seventy-sixth is under construction. Synergy Air is expanding its builder-assistance program and adding a new facility in Newnan, Georgia.
“This is a natural move for both businesses,” Hughes said.
Retail prices for SLSA RV–12s are unchanged at $135,000 for base models and $145,000 for premium versions with two-screen glass panels, autopilots, and deluxe interiors.
Van’s also sells RV-12s as kits to individual builders; these aircraft are governed by Experimental/Amateur-Built rules. Multiple RV–12s have been built and flown by high school students participating in the Eagle’s Nest education program, and the Experimental Aircraft Association’s “One Week Wonder” for 2018 was an RV–12 assembled during the AirVenture fly-in at Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
Hughes said Van’s employees already have the knowledge and experience required to deliver new, ready-to-fly RV–12s.
“The assembly of the airplane is an area of expertise we already have here,” he said. “We’ll have dedicated staff members for aircraft assembly, so we’re not taking anything away from other parts of our company.”