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A challenge to you all

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BJC

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11,583
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97FL, Florida, USA
A lot of people would lunge at a cheap ultralight that arrived on your doorstep from Amazon and you could put together like IKEA furniture by following a pictorial diagram. But most of them, I dare say, would not be milenials, but actually, a wide assortment of different people for different reasons. ... It has to be a real box of parts. Not raw tubes, that you have to cut and drill and measure. Finished parts. That you bolt together with an included wrench. Like a pressboard bookshelf.
That was the Pterodactyl Ascender ultralight, minus the wrench, 35+ years ago. Assembly time: one day. Probably many others, too, but I watched, and helped a bit, as a Pterodactyl was being assembled.

I found: .. 1. There were as many women as men that wanted the plane (to fly).
About 20% to 25% of my neighbors are female pilots, including current or former airline pilots, airshow pilots, and competition aerobatics pilots. A few men seem to believe that women should be excluded from aviation - I declined an invitation to join the QBs because of that attitude was prevalent within the local hangar - but that is a minority point of view that rapidly is disappearing.

7. Some scrappers, that had no idea or respect for anything historical and wanted throw the airplane in the dumpster and sell the engines and few aluminum tubes. They went straight to my trash box.
Yup, just like some of the young posters here who summarily dismiss the value of “the old farts at the EAA meeting.”

... 4. It's sad this forum only represents or serves 10% hardest core of the people who actually want to fly (those hell bent on doing whatever it takes no matter how labor intensive, expensive, or insane... building a plane from scratch).
Any objective reading of just a few HBA posts would convince the reader that the spectrum of HBAers spans from hang glider and ultralight enthusiasts to jet powered enthusiasts and everything between. Having met quite a few of them, I am certain that there are many talented and interesting people here who are more than willing to share their knowledge with fellow enthusiasts. The time that some devote to educating others is amazing.

Hey rich GA pilot. If you want a $100 hamburger, go to Burger King, and order a Double Whopper for $3.21 using the mobile app. Then give the person building a burger a $96.79 tip. You'll make their day.
It’s not necessary to be rich to be a GA pilot. But those who do go for the “$100 hamburger” are helping to support people who are working to support themselves: cooks, waiters, restaurant owners, airport gasoline pumpers, the person who drives the 100LL delivery truck, etc. That is how a free economy works to reward those who take control of their own lives. Society, and individuals, are better served by the hamburger builder being “given” a job than by being given unearned money.


BJC
 

robertl

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May 5, 2017
Messages
195
Location
Heath Springs, S.C. USA
In regard to the $100 hamburger, I always tip more than the usual 15%, even though I never got a tip for doing my job. I did get a small bonus one time because we finished a job, (I was in construction) 10 months ahead of schedule and made the company owners an ass load more profit! A lot of guy complained that it was such a small bonus that it wasn't worth it. As for my way of thinking, it's more than I agreed to in the first place, so it was welcome. No company benefits, no paid vacation, no 401 K, we got a days pay for a days work and I knew that going in. I did manage to elevate my status as I got older, because I realized that I could not keep it up physically, if something didn't change, so I made it change. If I didn't go as far as I could have, I can look in the mirror and talk to that person. Just my 2 cents.
Bob
 

David Lewis

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Oct 4, 2018
Messages
25
Location
Longwood FL
Regarding 5) I read somewhere that the reason Cessna went to yokes over sticks is that it made it easier to get in the cockpit wearing a skirt. So there have been some attempts in that direction.
Certainly more success in this area could double the market.
It's possible. Although the lady pilots I saw (of that era) wore pants. My opinion is it was to appeal to automobile owners.
 

BJC

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Oct 7, 2013
Messages
11,583
Location
97FL, Florida, USA
It's possible. Although the lady pilots I saw (of that era) wore pants. My opinion is it was to appeal to automobile owners.
At his request, I took a friend’s wife (I was 20 or 21, they were in their late 20’s) for her first aerobatic ride in a Citabria. Even though I recommended that she wear pants, she showed up in a mini skirt. Getting her strapped in, wearing a parachute, was ...... interesting.


BJC
 

Speedboat100

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Nov 8, 2018
Messages
1,264
Location
Europe
there look to be some good minds on this site.from what i read here alot of you are very knowledgeable. so i got to thinking, the purpose of a site such as this is to bring people with the same interest together and help the members of this site.so i have a challenge to put toward each and everyone of you.the cheapest way to fly is by far with ultralights.there are lots of kits out there that cost many 1000.00s of dollars.and the name of this site is homebuilt airplanes.so why not put the minds of the people here to come up with a truly unique design of an ultralight. a new aircraft that anyone can build and be much much cheaper than the kits you can buy.make it affordable to the average American worker, lets face it, not all of us have great paying jobs, and some are single parents such as myself. money is tight.but we have a passion as well to fly. i think it can be done way cheaper than the kits,and be a safe aircraft. so work on it and tell me what you come up with.remember,least amount of cost as possible.something some one could build without a big financial burden over the winter. if i get enough ideas i will build it myself.if fly safe we can share the plans with the world for free! any concept or configuration. lets do this people!!! you do not have to have a complete set of plans, just a part,like for the wings and main body, whatever it is, post it here, lets build something together!!! and KEEP COST DOWN!!! lets make this for everyone.! happy thinking!

Lets go back to subject here.

I remember 30-40 years ago they talked about 2 - 4000 USD for the stuff to make it..how much is the "lumber" today gonna cost for a minimum aeroplane ?

Staibs AIRY PLANE and CRI CRI are/were twins...does it have to be a twin to be small and inexpensive ?
 

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robertl

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May 5, 2017
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195
Location
Heath Springs, S.C. USA
Lets go back to subject here.

I remember 30-40 years ago they talked about 2 - 4000 USD for the stuff to make it..how much is the "lumber" today gonna cost for a minimum aeroplane ?

Staibs AIRY PLANE and CRI CRI are/were twins...does it have to be a twin to be small and inexpensive ?
That looks simple enough !
 

plncraze

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May 11, 2006
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1,872
The tail for the original Cri Cri was built by an 8 year old with foam, aluminum and glue. It was Colomban's daughter.
 

jedi

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Aug 8, 2009
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2,156
Location
Sahuarita Arizona, Renton Washington, USA
Aluminum tubes can compete with wood on cost and is more durable and predictable quality.

I am impressed that Boeing was in the timber industry but was among the first to ditch the wood and build aluminum airplanes.

In the 70's I could build an aluminum hang glider for $75 while CGS was building them from bamboo for $25 or less. That was material costs. Labor was additional.
 

Speedboat100

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Europe
Aluminum tubes can compete with wood on cost and is more durable and predictable quality.

I am impressed that Boeing was in the timber industry but was among the first to ditch the wood and build aluminum airplanes.

In the 70's I could build an aluminum hang glider for $75 while CGS was building them from bamboo for $25 or less. That was material costs. Labor was additional.
Wood was rediscovered in the "Spruce Goose" which was made outa birch wood composite. Even first Hughes missiles were still wood composite.

Certainly the automated production does require aluminium..as it is homegenous material...and indeed predictable. OTOH...wood compositte may be labour costly...but might actually beat the aluminium in quality hands down.
 

Doran Jaffas

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Jun 25, 2019
Messages
224
Wood is heavier and must be graded carefully however as far as durability goes that would be in question. There are many airplanes made from wood that
years older than some aluminum airplanes and the wood is still in excellent shape structurally.. Also let's not forget that aluminum in any metal has cycles that warrant it on-air worthy after a. Of time.
 

pwood66889

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Feb 10, 2007
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1,674
Location
Sopchoppy, Florida, USA
Back to the IKEA point. With today' high avail-now, one just has to work on build time. I note that GE (worked with their motors) is into 3-D print of engines. Many parts as one cuts assembly labor all thunder, and appeals to those who wanted it yesterday!
 

Speedboat100

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Nov 8, 2018
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Location
Europe
Wood is heavier and must be graded carefully however as far as durability goes that would be in question. There are many airplanes made from wood that
years older than some aluminum airplanes and the wood is still in excellent shape structurally.. Also let's not forget that aluminum in any metal has cycles that warrant it on-air worthy after a. Of time.
You cannot beat in weight for instance plywood-foam-plywood structure..it is durable and awesome...when ever it fits you design.
 

Speedboat100

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Nov 8, 2018
Messages
1,264
Location
Europe
Back to the IKEA point. With today' high avail-now, one just has to work on build time. I note that GE (worked with their motors) is into 3-D print of engines. Many parts as one cuts assembly labor all thunder, and appeals to those who wanted it yesterday!
Laser cutting is a cure for this need.
 

Speedboat100

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Nov 8, 2018
Messages
1,264
Location
Europe
I went to IKEA yesterday. I was thinking about an aeroplane that would hold one person aloft. Could it be made to 50 kg empty with an engine...and sold by the thousands ? ?
 
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