Current Progress of Building a Vans RV-12
The Aviator Built program was developed to assist other like-minded groups in forming a education program to bring all aspects of aviation utilizing the STEM Process and the actual hands on construction of a Vans RV-12 aircraft, and when completed, allow all students to be able to obtain a flying certificate.
It is a life impacting experience for a teenager to have the opportunity to participate in a program like Aviator Built. Their involvement will develop leadership and communication skills, mechanical aptitude, knowledge in math and science, and social and team building skills working with adults and other teens. As well as a general knowledge of aircraft construction and maintenance practices. It has the potential to refocus the life direction of a young person that has begun to make poor life impacting choices.
Flying! A goal of the project is to provide an opportunity for teenagers to work together building an actual airplane, with them doing all the work. Then be able to learn to fly in their aircraft.
Aviator Built is a program conceived by a group of people who all have an interest in introducing young people to the activity they love and are so passionate about. Flying! A goal of the program is to provide an opportunity for 10-12 teenagers to work together building an airplane, with them doing all of the work. It is intended with the hope that the program would develop/grow an interest in aviation in young people (boys and girls), and possibly adults. Also that it might develop an interest in pursuing a Sport Pilot or Private Pilot license, and possibly encourage them to choose being a pilot, aviation mechanic, or aerospace engineer, etc. as a career.
The means for accomplishing this is to mentor them through the construction of a real airplane and provide them with an opportunity to experience a flight in it after it is completed. Mentor Volunteers would teach, guide, and correct as necessary, but participate with hands in pockets as much as possible.
An RV-12 Light Sport class Aircraft (LSA) will be chosen as the airplane kit for this program for three reasons.
1. It is an E-LSA kit aircraft based on a certificated S-LSA RV-12, so it in itself has a level of certification that other kit airplanes do not have.
2. The kit has an extensive level of development with a very detailed and easy to follow construction manual. These two things allow the teens to build the airplane by just following the construction manual, and the airplane builds quickly so they see visible progress at the end of every work session (important for keeping them motivated)
3. It is an easy to fly airplane that is ideally suited for training beginner pilots.
This does not mean that other airplane models could not be used for an Aviator Built type project, but because of the reasons listed above (particularly # 2) we think it is currently the best choice.
The ultimate goal is to continue this project until there are two airplanes built. By then selling the first build, those funds can be used to fund the third and so on. This allows the program to continue. Once success is obtained, this program will hopefully be continued throughout the country