One Week Wonder – Day 6 – Engine Start!

There were more Van’s employees (dark shirts) working on the project today than true volunteers. Dick Syracuse (left in back ground), Van’s East Coast representative, Van (right in the back ground) himself, and Van VP for Engineering Rian Johnson helped out throughout the day.

When I walked in Saturday morning, it was clear that the Van’s crew had reached a point that gave them confidence that the One Week Wonder project would achieve its goal of getting an RV-12iS built and ready to taxi in 6.5 days. Their core group of employees had worked into the wee hours of the morning to do the things they felt necessary to ensure success.

Over the last two days, work has evolved from using five Van’s employees and about 15-20 volunteers each four hour shift (not including the folks who come by to pull a rivet or two) to only about a half-dozen light-blue-shirted volunteers and more Van’s employees. The work is now physically limited to only a couple of concentrated places and mostly involved detailed work not conducive to supervising several other people.

Lots of time was spent on getting all the electronics set up.

After the afternoon session finished and the crew had broken for dinner, they pulled the plane outside the tent, put the wings on, and fired the engine up. Success!

Most work today focussed on the cockpit and firewall forward and was done by Van’s employees.

The biggest item that needs attention appears to be fiberglassing the canopy and the Van’s evening elves will be working on that project as well as other nits that still need attention. But, a successful taxi Sunday afternoon is pretty much ensured. First flight by Vic Syracuse is planned for Tuesday.

Preparing the prop
Want to own an RV-12 but don’t have hundreds of volunteer builders to help you complete it in a week? There many teen-builder programs across the U.S. that occasionally need to sell their completed project to finance the next one.
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Louise Hose
Louise Hose is an instrument-rated, commercial pilot who regularly flies her RV-6, her husband’s RV-8, and an RV-3B and a Dream Tundra, which they built together. They live in Dayton Valley Airpark in Nevada. She also edits the monthly, free digital newsletter, The Homebuilder’s Portal by KITPLANES®.


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