Thursday, March 29, 2012

Building an Airplane

Dr. Tom Wolfe and Bob Bogigian spoke to the Kiwanis Club about their love of flying and their current project of building an RV12 kit plane in a garage at Dr. Wolfe’s home.  Dr. Wolfe is a pediatric anesthesiologist at Riley and Mr. Bogigian is a local attorney.  Both are licensed pilots. 
Dr. Wolfe began working with large radio controlled kit airplanes in 1981.  He told of his first plane losing its wings and crashing.  He moved on to ultra-lights, aircraft that have a maximum weight of 254 pounds, a maximum of 5 gallon fuel capacity, and carry only 1 person.  Dr. Wolfe built and soloed his first ultra-light, a Pterydactyl, 1984.
Next Dr. Wolfe built a Pulsar fiberglass aircraft that carried two people and had a 2 cylinder, water cooled, snow mobile engine.  This plane came to rest in a field north of Greenfield following deployment of a ballistic parachute system.   Shortly thereafter, Dr. Wolfe moved on to another kit plane with over 8,000 parts, a tube-and-rag fabric-covered aircraft, a Kitfox V, which he has flown over much of the United States.
When Mr. Bogigian and Dr. Wolfe met, Mr. Bogigian volunteered that he would enjoy helping if Dr. Wolfe ever decided to build another plane that he would enjoy helping.  Hence the RV-12 currently is being constructed in Dr. Wolfe’s garage.  The RV-12 is an all-metal LSA (light sport aircraft) design, a 2 person plane, weighing 740 pounds empty, 19’ 11’ in length, and a span of 26’ 9”.  It has a fuel capacity of 20 gallon and a range of approximately 500 miles.  It has a cruising speed of 116 mph at 5000 rpm and can fly at an elevation of up to 12,500 feet.  Bob & Tom hope to complete assembly and the FAA inspection this spring. 

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Greenfield Kiwanians perform service projects to help people and organizations. We also perform service projects to raise funds to support Riley Children's Hospital and many local charities.