Aircraft *designs* available for sale?

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Victor Bravo

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Last I heard the Taylorcraft rights had been bought by some investment firm in Mexico.

A series of corrupt and/or brain-dead morons had owned the rights in recent years, one of whom concocted a huge AD on the wing struts (similar to the Piper strut AD) as a way to sell new struts.

When I win the lottery I'm going to buy the rights from whoever owns them, and donate all of it in some sort of a permanent loan or something to the Taylorcraft Owners Club.

A lot of people sit and pontificate about how it would be so great to resurrect those good old designs and produce new airplanes, but have no idea what it takes to get an actual new aircraft production certificate. That's a separate approval than just buy ing the type certificate rights. The correct path is to make new OEM replacement parts to get the thousands of derelict existing airplanes back in the air, which will create cash flow and brand loyalty, and then maybe. the profits from the parts will pay for setting up an airplane production line.
 

BBerson

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A lot of people sit and pontificate about how it would be so great to resurrect those good old designs and produce new airplanes, but have no idea what it takes to get an actual new aircraft production certificate. That's a separate approval than just buy ing the type certificate rights.
I wouldn't bother with an old type certificate or worse a production certificate or anything FAA.
My boss, the owner of the Interstate type certificate made a four seat version and just went with experimental. Didn't bother with that type certificate and endless time wasting hoops. Sales of the old stuff is perhaps one or two a year. Essentially hand made one at a time.
 
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crusty old aviator

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I flew Bill Diehl’s 4 place Privateer, though it had only one seat in it at the time, when we worked together in Lebanon, NH, trying to get the Tern back in production after Bart Miller bought the whole shebang and trucked it east from Anchorage. Unfortunately, Bart was a narcissist and couldn’t listen to anybody else: if it wasn’t his idea, it wasn’t going to happen. We all knew his arrogance would kill him, we just didn’t know how or when...until he tipped over a top-heavy press, squashing himself like a bug. I tried to buy IAC from the estate, but some oil & gas fella from the west, who really wanted just the hangar (I had no use for the hangar) for restoring and storing his exotic car collection, offered ‘em more money, and the estate threw IAC into the deal just to be rid of it.
Last I heard, Bill was living up in Wasilla. He sold his place on the hill, near the ski hill.
Bill never did get a production certificate because it was easier to have each aircraft off the “line” individually inspected and signed off. Bart had no interest in working toward a PMA: he had no interest in supporting the existing airframes. He wanted to redesign the Tern to be a “half-ton pickup truck of the sky.” He didn’t know what he was doing, though, so fell short of his design goal by over a hundred pounds because he rejected my advice on the elevator trim (it wasn’t his idea). He probably would never have earned a production certificate because every time the FAA would stop by for an audit, he would tell them they were wrong whenever they tried to explain what his next steps needed to be.
I think the best way to revive an old design is to find one, reverse engineer it, improve it with more modern materials, engines, methods, and perhaps airfoils, but retain the original outlines, then offer plans to people like us, to be built as a homebuilt. I’d like to do that with the Mohawk Pinto, but where to find one to reverse engineer it, or locate drawings, or even the TC?
 

Deuelly

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I flew Bill Diehl’s 4 place Privateer, though it had only one seat in it at the time, when we worked together in Lebanon, NH, trying to get the Tern back in production after Bart Miller bought the whole shebang and trucked it east from Anchorage. Unfortunately, Bart was a narcissist and couldn’t listen to anybody else: if it wasn’t his idea, it wasn’t going to happen. We all knew his arrogance would kill him, we just didn’t know how or when...until he tipped over a top-heavy press, squashing himself like a bug. I tried to buy IAC from the estate, but some oil & gas fella from the west, who really wanted just the hangar (I had no use for the hangar) for restoring and storing his exotic car collection, offered ‘em more money, and the estate threw IAC into the deal just to be rid of it.
Last I heard, Bill was living up in Wasilla. He sold his place on the hill, near the ski hill.
Bill never did get a production certificate because it was easier to have each aircraft off the “line” individually inspected and signed off. Bart had no interest in working toward a PMA: he had no interest in supporting the existing airframes. He wanted to redesign the Tern to be a “half-ton pickup truck of the sky.” He didn’t know what he was doing, though, so fell short of his design goal by over a hundred pounds because he rejected my advice on the elevator trim (it wasn’t his idea). He probably would never have earned a production certificate because every time the FAA would stop by for an audit, he would tell them they were wrong whenever they tried to explain what his next steps needed to be.
I think the best way to revive an old design is to find one, reverse engineer it, improve it with more modern materials, engines, methods, and perhaps airfoils, but retain the original outlines, then offer plans to people like us, to be built as a homebuilt. I’d like to do that with the Mohawk Pinto, but where to find one to reverse engineer it, or locate drawings, or even the TC?
I know the type certificate number for the Mohawk was 95, but I can't find it in the database.

Brandon
 

Topaz

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I don’t expect to see it happen, but an updated Meyers 200 would be really nice.


BJC
I immediately thought of this airplane when the topic drifted into type-certificated designs that might be purchased and re-started.

Unfortunately, cheapracer's experience sounds about exactly right for this kind of thing. Some guy buys the design from the last person for more than the material is really worth, and then can't accept the loss he'll take in selling it to anyone else.

There's also the fact that most type-certificated designs are designed with full factory support in mind, and can't really be produced easily by a little "mom and pop shop." Recreating the production capacity to restart construction really would require a bigger capital outlay than most of us have available for such a risky enterprise.
 

pictsidhe

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Most designs from existing manufacturers were designed to make good use of already existing skills, methods and tooling. Each design may be outwardly different from the previous, but it is frequently built in much the same way. A radical change is much harder. The Dreamliner had a good few startup issues...
Somebody buying a design has to start from scratch, unless they get the factory and at least some key staff.
Cheapie is exactly right, way too many people base the value of something on its sunk cost...
 

ToddK

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I know a gentleman who at one point wanted to purchase the type certificate and Intellectual property for the Porterfields with a mind to put it into production. He found the owner and offered him $100k (which in my view is about $70k too much) The owner wanted significantly more. It’s obvious to anyone that the owner is never going to get what he wants and is eventually going to die. Time will tell if his heirs are more reasonable. My friend ended up purchasing a entire kit manufacturer with tooling and inventory at a later date for not much more, and is turning out some really great kits, with some nice upgrades. The kit business is much better then certified in my opinion.
 
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crusty old aviator

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If the Porterfield TC owner you mention was Joe Rankin, he did pass on, a few years ago. His son, Brad, holds the TC’s now but doesn’t seem to be doing much with them. He’s a CFI and is probably too busy with that and running their wee airport south of Maryville, MO to devote much time to sorting out the PF drawings, etc. to support us PF owners (I have a ‘41 Collegiate with a Franklin 90). Tim Talen was also interested in the PF TC’s, but I don’t recall him making an offer to Joe for the works. I have no idea if there’s any tooling left, other than what Joe built up for stamping out aluminum wing ribs and getting a PMA for producing them. Joe was a really nice guy and was emotionally invested in the PF and probably wasn’t willing to sell out his dream for $100K at the time your friend came around. Four years ago, he may have...
 

addicted2climbing

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I bought the rights to the Raceair Skylite and Lil Bitts last year and Ed's plans are a work of art and I want to keep the designs relevant. I redid the skylite rib drawing and designed a new rib jig using a bunch of 3D printed assembly aids, but that's about as far as I got. Been too busy with another opportunity that has curtailed my aviation until at least February. However this will fund the aviation stuff after. I have the Skylite Fuselage in Solidworks with all the tubes coped and plan to build one this summer. I also bought the SN#001 Lil Bitts even though I likely wont fit in it to have a working example to work on offering subkits as well. Also hope to put a Pegasus DP1 in it. I don't intend to make much if any money but more of a fun project to see where I can take it.

That honeybee low wing looks fun. I also saw the Sportster tooling for sale and hmm that could be another option if its still available once I am done with this other project.
 

aeromomentum

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Commuter Craft is for sale. The first version flew well. The fairly different second version not so well. Included is the complete first version aircraft less avionics and engine. This one was flown over 50 hours before the engine and avionics were removed for use in the second version. All of the design rights, tooling and more are included.
 

BJC

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Commuter Craft is for sale. The first version flew well. The fairly different second version not so well. Included is the complete first version aircraft less avionics and engine. This one was flown over 50 hours before the engine and avionics were removed for use in the second version. All of the design rights, tooling and more are included.
What was the reason for the second version?

Did the first version meet the forecasted performance specs?

Any information on the cause of thecrash?

Thanks,


BJC
 

ToddK

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If the Porterfield TC owner you mention was Joe Rankin, he did pass on, a few years ago. His son, Brad, holds the TC’s now but doesn’t seem to be doing much with them. He’s a CFI and is probably too busy with that and running their wee airport south of Maryville, MO to devote much time to sorting out the PF drawings, etc. to support us PF owners (I have a ‘41 Collegiate with a Franklin 90). Tim Talen was also interested in the PF TC’s, but I don’t recall him making an offer to Joe for the works. I have no idea if there’s any tooling left, other than what Joe built up for stamping out aluminum wing ribs and getting a PMA for producing them. Joe was a really nice guy and was emotionally invested in the PF and probably wasn’t willing to sell out his dream for $100K at the time your friend came around. Four years ago, he may have...
Thanks for the update, and appreciate your comments. The idea of emotional investment really got me thinking. I believe that can be a major problem in aviation. It what keeps airplanes setting in hangers unflown for decades, type certificates, intellectual property and tooling setting unused gathering dust. People let there emotions not the market set the value for things, and just can’t let them go. Maybe the EAA should host host a yearly auction for this sort of stuff, let the market reallocate stuff to people who might do something with it.
 

Rik-

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Already have 20 kits worth of CNC metal parts for the Quickie (Q-1)on a shelf - Where they will stay until I have the AV plans finished* and a V-twin conversion ready for the nose.


* Part of why I'm around here so much. It's easy to take a break from the CAD and check in because i"m right at the computer.
It's a stretch, but do you know anything about the Q1 with the 100 hp diesel engine in it?
 

crusty old aviator

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Thanks for the update, and appreciate your comments. The idea of emotional investment really got me thinking. I believe that can be a major problem in aviation. It what keeps airplanes setting in hangers unflown for decades, type certificates, intellectual property and tooling setting unused gathering dust.
Everybody has dreams, Todd. Unfortunately, it’s the poor airplanes that pay the ultimate cost of them. We’ve all seen the derelicts slowly sinking into the ground at their tie downs. I’ve contacted many owners after looking up their N#’s and all the owners have big plans “to get her back in the air again.” The responses to my query of “what do you think it will take to get her airborne again,” are the usual mix of delusion, denial, fantasy, and guilt, but it does give them something to look forward to, something to talk/brag about. When they finally impact hard with reality, the carcass can usually be had for pennies on the dollar, which is about all it’s worth.
 

addicted2climbing

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I ran across the Z-Stol on barnstormers and the design and all tooling is for sale. The Roncz designed aluminum wing would make it a really nice airplane, but now with the homerun Rans hit on the S21 it would be tough to compete. Also the Rans has a higher gross and its all metal. Still its pretty much turnkey and the guy did everything right. Also you need 170k to get the rights...
http://z-stol.com/
 
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