[UPDATE: The Krucker Cygnet won approval on July 3rd, making that weight-shift LSA #99… so Van’s RV-12 is technically the #100 LSA model to win an airworthiness certificate. It was previously reported as #99.] The top-selling kit airplane producer, Van’s Aircraft of RV-xx fame, secured an airworthiness certificate for their fully-built RV-12 Special Light-Sport Aircraft on July 21, 2009. And the next day, the company’s East Coast representative, Mitchell Lock, got an ELSA certificate for his RV-12. EAA reported that 250 RV-12s are under construction around the world. *** So, quickly, Van’s looks ready to dominate the ELSA community that has been waiting to take off. True, thousand of ELSA are flying today — many more than SLSA at present — but that’s because so many “fat ultralights” were converted to ELSA status under FAA’s now-expired grandfather period. *** Van’s reports that it will take 600-900 hours to complete an RV-12 to unpainted stage, so the rush of RVs into the LSA fleet may not be swift, but they’ll just keep coming. The company’s website keeps a constantly updated “Hobbs meter” of completions. As of this post that figure was 6,293. *** Van’s website stated, “In the E-LSA category, there is no ‘51%’ rule, and no restriction on who may assist in building the airplane. This allows any amount of help, professional assistance or even a fully professional-built airplane.” It will be interesting to see how this unfolds, but meanwhile, the LSA community welcomes SLSA #99 and manufacturer #71.
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