First Factory-Built Van’s RV-12 Delivered

** George Longino**

George Longino is probably not your classic “early adopter” type. But a collection of circumstances make him the first owner of a fly-away, factory-built Van's RV-12 — and just maybe, a historic figure.

Van's Aircraft decided to enter the production aircraft market after decades of building kits. Founder Richard Van Grunsven has established the most successful kit aircraft factory ever, and the move to factory production of fly-away S-LSAs (Special-Light Sport Aircraft) represents a leap of faith for the Aurora, Oregon, company.

Longino took delivery of his airplane over the Memorial Day weekend and flew home with two hours of transition training in his logbook. That training was included in the price. Longino had already accumulated more than 20 hours flying kit-built RV-12s.

His flying history dates back to the 1950s when he got his private license in a J-3 Cub. Then “women and boats” interrupted his flying until 2010, when he flew with a friend to EAA AirVenture Oshkosh in a Van's RV-7. Reinvigorated with the flying bug, he explored the offerings at Oshkosh, though he was not keen to build his own. When he learned that Van's had decided to build fly-away versions of the RV-12, he signed on the dotted line — the first to do so.

Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Get the latest FLYING stories delivered directly to your inbox

Subscribe to our newsletter