... I intend to use to build what I want, rather than take-over a rejected remnant of someone else's, whether a used ultralight in need of repair, or an abandoned project (both of which are still viable options, just not within the spectrum of my goals)...
IF that person can work, or find the extra work... In my case, I cannot work, so I have time, but limited funds available to build, rather than buy, which has been a big chunk of the discussion, too. I'm not going to pass a flight physical, nor can I afford flight instruction for a PPL. Again, statistically middle-of-the-road, given the number of Americans on disability...
"...I can't afford..." statements, yet insisting they are "average". On that note, I'll just say. Three years ago, my good friend who is a CFI made the comment, if we had a Cessna 150, I could keep it busy. We looked for a year and a third party said, hey, me and ole Bill will go in on it with you. Now these two guys don't fly 150's, they have bigger iron, although one of them HAS flown our 150 that we purchased two years ago. Less than a $5000 investment each and we have paid the other two, "investers" part of their money back, and all the while the little 150 is paying for it's own maintenance. I know, it's not everybodys cup of tea but this is how we have managed to own an airplane, pay for insurance and maintenance and stay in the game. It could all fall apart tomorrow but for now, we are living the dream.
OK, So now you're back to constrained by extremely limited finances (not average, agreed?). If that is the case, then it stands to reason that designing an airplane yourself expends mental resources and time that could instead be used to generate more income, so it is a form of "cost", right? And this particular cost would be avoided by sticking with an existing design. Further, we KNOW that there is an added cost by pure new fabrication compared to a restoration or aquisition of an abandoned project. So if you really "cant afford", then you need to be looking at Craigs list for that unloved Weedhopper or abandoned Minimax rather than starting from new.
In the long journey of this thread you have made some significant assertions which are in direct conflict - on the one hand you are an average guy of average means, yet you have zero ability to improve your economic situation, and cant afford "anything with an N number". You have also admited that buying existing is cheaper than starting new, and passionately articulated that you dont want to take on anyone elses junk but who cares about budget anyway?
Its clear that your goal is to design and build your own thing. Great. Stick with that. When someone offers a cheaper alternative, dont fall back on "I cant afford", because frankly, most of us know better.
BTW, went over to see my neighbor yesterday after some time without contact. Theres a formerly flying Tailwind project hanging in the rafters. Complete with low time O290G. It was given to him and he tried to sell it without success. He ended up giving it to the guy who just bought his house. Free Tailwind. That's pretty cheap!
JL, I thought you were on the right path when you were talking of a "Whing Ding" type aircraft. Use marine ply for all the ribs and struts and a bit of aluminum irrigation pipe for the tail boom. Part 103 so no BS. Concretors sometimes get rid of their plastic faced ply. Good stuff and even though it is 3/4 inch thick. You could cut one rib shape and then split it in to 2 or 3 ribs. Wheels off a go-kart, brakes are rubber flaps pushed on to the tires. Cover the wings with commercially available shrink wrap and double sided tape. Hunt for a Vanguard engine from a ride on lawn mower. Use door hinges for the controls ( make sure the pins can't get out). Make your own prop. "Start not knowing if you can finish" was the best advice Bert ever gave me. Best of luck
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