Students at Emirates Airlines Complete Van's RV-12

LSA is decked out in Emirates livery.

Emirates RV-12

Emirates RV-12

A group of 40 maintenance trainees at Emirates Airlines' training academy have completed a Van's RV-12 kit plane in their after-hours time. Construction took about two years of spare-time work. The light-sport aircraft is painted in Emirates livery and is on display at the Dubai Airshow in the United Arab Emirates this week.

The RV-12 has not flown yet, but academy instructor Juan Carlos Cabanos said he expects the first flight to happen shortly after the end of the year. "We still have some engine runs to perform and the aircraft registration process," he said.

The first task the students accomplished was to inventory the 11,000-plus parts that came with the kit. Applicable skills students learned during construction included control-surface alignment, use of anti-corrosive treatments, drilling, riveting, wiring, painting, testing and documentation — the latter one of the more important skills they will need in their careers as airline maintenance technicians for Emirates.

Hussein Ahbad, one of the students who worked on the airplane, said the group enjoyed building the RV, and looks forward to seeing it fly. Plans are for the RV to serve as a promotional tool for attracting young people to Emirates' maintenance careers. It was prominently displayed on the static display line at the Dubai Airshow in the shadow of a mammoth Emirates Airbus A380. "I am surprised with the amount of interest the airplane is getting," said Cabanos. "I think it's one of the most photographed planes here at the show."

Watch Cabanos's stop action video of the students attaching the wings for the first time below.

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