TYPE: Side-by-side ultralight kitbuilt.

PROGRAMME: First flown March 1990. Improved, production versions of S-12 Airaile kitbuilt. R&D prototype of S-12XL (N8045X) made its debut at Sun 'n' Fun in Lakeland, Florida, April 1995.

CURRENT VERSIONS: S-12XL Airaile: Standard version.
Description applies to S-12XL, except where indicated.
S-12S Super Airaile: Improved version, first flown (N80887; modification of an earlier S-12XL) early 1999. 59.6 kW (79.9 hp) Rotax 912 or 73.5 kW (98.6 hp) Rotax 912 ULS engines, with thrust line lowered 25 mm (1 in) and driving ground-adjustable, composites Warp Drive propeller; new wing with improved aerofoil section, identical in rib construction to that of S-7C Courier; stamped aluminium ribs in tail surfaces; reduced tailplane incidence; cabin height raised 50 mm (2 in), with more sharply raked windscreen incorporating a new flow fence; increased range of seat tilt to improve headroom and comfort; hydraulic brakes standard; pre-sewn Dacron skins replaced by traditional doped fabric secured by pop rivets.
Performance improvements include 9 kt (16 km/h; 10 mph) increase in cruising speed. Marketed in parallel with S-12XL.

CUSTOMERS: Over 1,000 S-12s (all models) ordered by October 2003, of which 850 S-12XLs and 20 S-12Ss flying.

COSTS: S-12XL kits, with engine: Rotax 503DC, US$15,703; Rotax 582, US$17,614; Rotax 912, US$26,043; Rotax 912S, US$27,230 (2003).
S-12S kits, with engine: Rotax 912, US$30,343; Rotax 912S, US$31,330 (2003).

DESIGN FEATURES: Pod and boom fuselage; V-strut-braced wings; wire-braced tail surfaces; wings fold rearwards and tailplanes upwards for storage. Quoted build time 175 to 225 hours; or 325 to 500 hours with full enclosure cockpit.(Extra 200 hours for S-12S)

FLYING CONTROLS: Conventional and manual. Cable-operated; ground-adjustable flaps primarily used for setting best trim, but can also be lowered for landing; tailplane incidence is ground-adjustable. Dual controls standard.

STRUCTURE: Welded steel tube cockpit cage; aluminium alloy tubular tailboom; wings have two tubular alloy spars and preformed ribs; ailerons, flaps and tail surfaces of alloy tube with stamped alloy or moulded ABS ribs; fabric covering.

LANDING GEAR: Fixed tricycle type with small tailwheel/bumper; tubular spring steel main legs, spring-loaded telescoping nose leg; pedal-operated hydraulic brakes on mainwheels; steerable nosewheel. All wheels 15 cm (6 in) aluminium on S-12XL and 13 cm (5 in) on S-12S. Optional spats, tundra tyres and Puddle Jumper floats.

POWER PLANT: One air-cooled 34.0 kW (45.6 hp) Rotax 503 or liquid-cooled 47.8 kW (64.1 hp) Rotax 582 two-cylinder engine with 2.58:1 reduction gear, or 59.6 kW (79.9 hp) Rotax 912 or 73.5 kW (98.6 hp) Rotax 912 ULS flat-fours with 2.27:1 reduction gear, driving a two-blade Tennessee wooden propeller; three-blade Warp Drive propeller optional; electric start optional on 503 and 582, standard on 912. Version with 48.5 kW (65 hp) Hirth 2706 two-cylinder two-stroke is available in Germany. Fuel in single wing tank, maximum capacity 34 litres (9.0 US gallons; 7.5 Imp gallons); dual tanks optional, (standard in S-12S) combined capacity 68 litres (18.0 US gallons; 15.0 Imp gallons).

ACCOMMODATION: Pilot and passenger side by side in open cockpit; transparent mini pod fairing standard; optional partial- and full-enclosure cockpits provide indicated leg, shoulder and head room and lower noise levels and, combined with flow fences attached to fuselage pod and boom, raise cruising speed.