Aircraft *designs* available for sale?

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Pilgrim69

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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.
Congrats on the purchase and Cloudbase Aviation site! Speaking of Ed Fisher's designs, the Zippy sport seems about to go orphan. I received today an email from Tom Olenik of GSA, saying they are no longer offering the plans. Just when I got all excited about it.
Ezequiel
 

lr27

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Someone mentioned the Haig Minibat early in this thread. It's a fuzzy old memory now, but some years ago, I spoke to someone who had built and flown one. As I recall, he didn't have anything good to say about the handling. It might just have been his example of the design that had the problems, but it's probably worth looking into carefully before jumping in with both feet.
 

choppergirl

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Choppergirl's Flying Circus ★★☠★★ AIR-WAR.ORG
I think by this point most aircraft plans should be donated into the public domain, so they can be grouped together in personal collections, archived, replicated, and will survive. Those that don't, and hold out for some last oddball purchasers, probably won't survive, and will be lost forever. Most are well kind of obsolete anyway. The best bet for the survival of any information is to be widely replicated in multiple locations.

The world has moved rapidly away from supporting a plethora of a wide variety of airplanes. Eventually you're only going to find huge varieties of airplanes surviving on islands of aviation museums, where a few specialists and aviation generalists maintain them, maybe only in static display condition because there's just too much work to do and too few staff. You'd probably like them to have a copy of your plans, and do everything you can to get at least one of your planes in a museum - anywhere.

Finding plans for my own aircraft was excrutiatingly thin and is still very incomplete - nothing left of them but widely scattered incomplete shadows and pieces, or large scale diagrams. Parts lists gone, build instructions not included, only older early versions of plans found, etc. Designers long dead, or manufacturers addresses or websites long gone cold dead.

I read an article about how NASA couldn't build a Saturn V rocket today if it tried - the plans did not survive, or where never fully recorded in the first place, and the guys that designed it on chalkboards and in notebooks with slide rules, had specialized knowledge that probably no longer exists as working knowledge inside very many heads at all.
 
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Pilgrim69

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Kind like the open source software community. That would be good indeed for not losing legacy designs whose designers are not longer with us or moved to other interest. What aircraft are you building CG, may I know?
 

TFF

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What NASA does not have is the skilled labor and any changes that those people made in the field that were oked as reasonable production fixes. They would have to make the same mistakes and then come up with fixes. Manpower is not there.

All the hand welding can’t be reproduced with the present workforce. There are people with the skill; you just can’t go hire 300 off the street when you need them.

If you have not seen a Saturn V, it’s worth it. It’s like a Seurat painting. Stand back all looks like one piece; the closer you get, the little parts start popping out.
 

Hot Wings

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I think by this point most aircraft plans should be donated into the public domain, so they can be grouped together in personal collections, archived, replicated, and will survive
Vula.org was doing this for a while and had quite a collection of plans. Scott was/is a member of HBA but his web site has been inactive for quite a while. It was a lot of work to collect, scan the plans and pay for/maintain the web site. I doubt the plans he sold even paid for the hosting fees much less his time.

Nice idea, but someone has to do the work. Unless you are a trust fund baby that means taking time that might need to be spent earning a living. My project is getting fully digitized and unless I need to sell it someday to pay the bills it will transfer to the public domain. Hopefully a few more years from now.............
 

robertl

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I have often said that the options are really "replica" (build it as it exactly as designed) and "inspiration" (build your own design to the same concept). Something in between is likely to draw the ire of fans of the original as a "rip off" and not quite fulfill your own vision of what you want it to be. That was my point with the "21st century Volksplane" thread, not how to improve the VP-2, but how to build a modern design to the same "looks easy and affordable, is easy and affordable" brief as the original.
I'm thinking along those same lines with the "21st century Volksplane", I would like to have a VP II as a single place with plenty of room. To me, 80 to 90 mph cruise would be worth taking some x country trips.
Bob
 

cluttonfred

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It sounds like a stock VP-2 set up as a single seater and enclosed would suit you just fine. Check this one out.

58AE65AB-9669-4460-AFB8-EE65D660844E.jpeg

I'm thinking along those same lines with the "21st century Volksplane", I would like to have a VP II as a single place with plenty of room. To me, 80 to 90 mph cruise would be worth taking some x country trips. Bob
 

addicted2climbing

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Congrats on the purchase and Cloudbase Aviation site! Speaking of Ed Fisher's designs, the Zippy sport seems about to go orphan. I received today an email from Tom Olenik of GSA, saying they are no longer offering the plans. Just when I got all excited about it.
Ezequiel
Ezequiel,
While the zippy Sport
Congrats on the purchase and Cloudbase Aviation site! Speaking of Ed Fisher's designs, the Zippy sport seems about to go orphan. I received today an email from Tom Olenik of GSA, saying they are no longer offering the plans. Just when I got all excited about it.
Ezequiel
Yes lots of Ed's designs are about to be orphaned which is why I tried to save the 2 i bought, He also offered me the Mong Biplane but at the time I was flat broke so I had to pass. The zipster biplane is another orphaned/ grey area as the guy from Hart Aero never paid Ed for the design but Ed mistakelnly sent him the items in advance. We all know what happened to Hart. Anyhow a few plans owners have asked if I can support it with rib blanks and such and while I cant sell the plans I can offer the common items from the Skylite to Zipster builders as there is some cross over.

I also bought the sole flying example of the Lil Bitts but there are 3 or 4 in progress of being built now.
 

Pilgrim69

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Ezequiel,
While the zippy Sport

Yes lots of Ed's designs are about to be orphaned which is why I tried to save the 2 i bought, He also offered me the Mong Biplane but at the time I was flat broke so I had to pass. The zipster biplane is another orphaned/ grey area as the guy from Hart Aero never paid Ed for the design but Ed mistakelnly sent him the items in advance. We all know what happened to Hart. Anyhow a few plans owners have asked if I can support it with rib blanks and such and while I cant sell the plans I can offer the common items from the Skylite to Zipster builders as there is some cross over.

I also bought the sole flying example of the Lil Bitts but there are 3 or 4 in progress of being built now.
Why the Zippy... Because I like the "Tailwindesque" style and the cruise performance. In some other thread I have read about Ed designing, but not completing a Zippy two seater. That would probably be my ideal plane. My requirements are something affordable but with decent cruise to make a couple 150 nm trips monthly by myself, but I'd like also to have the capability to take my daughter or a friend for local hops. I'm seeing the O-100 as a very promising affordable engine for a plane that only occasionally would take a passenger up. Maybe I could try to build a very light Tailwind with no electrics and succeed with an A-75 or a 2180 VW, but nobody goes that route with TWs so no real world data to check.
Keep the great work and maybe we can convince Ed to finish the Zippy 2 project!
 

Urquiola

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Aug 23, 2013
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Madrid, Spain
Anybody in the condition of providing a copy of plans for Richard Thompson 'Boxmoth' - 1976; and of Dobson 'Air car' -1966? Thanks. Blessings +
 

PMD

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Apr 11, 2015
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Martensville SK
I approached numbers early on and the story always came out the same, pay me 'X' amount of dollars up front first.

Yeah, nah.

Your plane either hasn't been produced or sold in any numbers for years, if not decades. In 2 examples, the owners wanted more money up front than the plane's total combined retail sales value over the 20 years since it was released!

Example: Plane "Y" fiberglass high wing 2 Pax, had 32 sales over 20 years, aprox $60K per unit, so $2 million gross income over 20 years, guy wanted $5 million for the business!

Example: Plane "Z" was a fiberglass prototype, high wing 2 Pax pusher, been around flying for 3 years, had done various shows and not gained a single order, plane, fuse molds only (it used wings purchased from another brand), wanted $3 million for the lot!

Just 2 of a number.

My offer was always simple, I'll pay for everything to put it into production, marketing ect, and I'll pay a royalty on every sale, it will not cost you a cent, and in a couple of cases, I won't interfere with the business model in the specific country they were being sold in (and weren't being sold anywhere else).

The attitude was pretty consistent, light aircraft company owners seem to think they have companies worth way, way far in value in excess of the actual facts.
Was discussing this very subject with a banker friend/associate who does a lot of M&A work. People in real business see the deals that Wall Street does with dotcommers who rack up BILLION$$ for companies that have never made a penny. They just don't seem to realize that they are trying to do business in the capitalist economy in ways that only work in the casino capitalist world. It is the same problem we have in Genav and commercial aviation overall: until we disconnect actual business from the speculative world, we simply won't have good corporate governance and much good/new/innovative product. Well, that and backing out the insurance, legal, compliance, etc. costs from certifying and manufacturing airplanes in our environment.
 

BJC

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… until we disconnect actual business from the speculative world, we simply won't have good corporate governance and much good/new/innovative product. Well, that and backing out the insurance, legal, compliance, etc. costs from certifying and manufacturing airplanes in our environment.
Wrt HBA, the problems seem to be (as noted above), designers / developers who have neither financial nor promotional skills, products that have no market (misplaced belief that others want the designer's pet concept), costs of purchased components (engines, propellers, aircraft grade materials, etc.), and declining new entrants into the ranks of pilots who fly recreationally.

Other than that, ....


BJC
 

crusty old aviator

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Grantham, NH
I would love to see someone bring back Martin Hollman's Super Stallion.
I wonder what his wife does want for the prototype, plans and molds ?
She was asking $289K for the prototype, the rights, and the drawings & calculations. The molds are long since scrapped. Several years ago, some Chinese dude offered her less than $100K and treated her like she was five years old. She said no, and he replied that because she was so greedy and stupid, he was just going to buy an unfinished kit off of Barnstormers.com, ship it back to China, reverse engineer it, and put it into production, so she'd get nothing.
 
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