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TFF

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Tin foil hat numbers. No pilot license? That number would generate the need to be required for everyone who had a bicycle. Especially in your country. Then you have airspace issues. Think what 500k new aircraft would do at once. It would shut down pleasure flying right then.
 

Tom DM

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Tin foil hat numbers. No pilot license? That number would generate the need to be required for everyone who had a bicycle. Especially in your country. Then you have airspace issues. Think what 500k new aircraft would do at once. It would shut down pleasure flying right then.

It is a figures-game: ± 160.000 licenced GA pilots in the US on a population of 330 million ( about 0.05%) or 1 person per 2000

There are about 200.000 GA aircraft in the US and 440.000 in the world. These planes have an average age of 50-60 years.
Where they are in their lifecycle is an open question. The total Belgian registered aircraft ( GA and ultra-lights/ homebuilt) comes in at ± 600

500k new aircraft (assuming they would not replace some (g)oldies) - that tin foil number was around the total number of GA airplane in the world- would indeed "fill the sky"... or wouldn't they? The "market of light aviation" would about double and remain ... very small.

Just to put in perspective: the US produces about 9.2 million cars *per year*. Assuming that a car life is about 15 years , that's ±150 million vehicles.
Need a reason why a car represents far better value for money than an airplane?

I agree with you: it would shut down pleasure flight right then... NOT
 

Hephaestus

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heh 500k.

Cessna is making 330ish 172's a year; I heard its nearly a 2 year waitlist now. Cirrus doing about that total (including jets) a year - I know the SR22T is an 18+ month wait.

I don't think we're going to see 50k aircraft of any mark made in the next 50 years.
 

J.L. Frusha

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First open goals: it won't require a pilot's license nor an airfield.
Which I was also poo-pooed for stating...

Presuming a median income, a family, mortgage/rent, pets and other Median Household indices, it HAS to be an ultralight that can be built and stored in a relatively small space, at low cost and high fuel efficiency (maximizing flight time on 5 gallons of fuel - currently $22+ ).

They also got pissy when I said flying, even in an ultralight is capable of being faster than travel by automobile...

The average according to both the AAA and DoT is about 54 minutes per day at an average speed of 32 miles/hour or about 28 miles per day x 365 days=10220 miles
.
..., but, wth do I know, I'm just the guy that tried to point out the median and that I AM the median..., but they want to talk about $150k planes and what THEY can afford, not what I, being the typical middle-of-the-pack American can actually afford.
 

TFF

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It’s not they, it’s what it costs if you pay people. Complaining gets no one anywhere. If I decide to go into real business as an A&P on my own, the liability insurance is $7000 a year. I keep up some friend’s and good clients stuff, but I probably made $8k doing that. I’m not going to expand without it. These people are too nice to say no to them.

The only thing that keeps my old airport from turning into waste treatment expansion or warehouses is they would have to give back government money. The Memphis racetrack is going to become warehouses. Use to have NHRA, NASCAR truck and Xfinity oval and the road course at the drag strip. $400 a month at the airport for a hangar doesn’t pay for anything, it’s just a place holder. Add all than money up and it pays for grounds keeping, and resealing the surface every couple of years. The city spends more than comes in. There is another airport right next to the racetrack,that they would love to flatten.

1965 C150 was $7000, 1978 152-$15,000, 1985 152- $40,000. Coming up on 40 years of economic change since then. That’s why $150,000+ Big hole that all of a sudden people wanted filled.
My parents bought a house for $40,000 in 1975, my mom sold it for about $170 in the early 90s. if they still had it, it’s over $500K. Middle America not anywhere fancy.

Things go up, that doesn’t bother me, it’s me being stupid and not beating it. Plenty of people do every day. Nothing special. It does require doing stuff I don’t like. When you choose to go a different way, that’s the payment instead of the money.
 

Bigshu

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heh 500k.

Cessna is making 330ish 172's a year; I heard its nearly a 2 year waitlist now. Cirrus doing about that total (including jets) a year - I know the SR22T is an 18+ month wait.

I don't think we're going to see 50k aircraft of any mark made in the next 50 years.
Yeah, but there's a reason they only build so many and have a huge waiting list. Look back to the 60s and early 70s to see what numbers were produced during the boom. Times are changing, and the great resignation and the troubles in the world will push people into new adventures in their remote working lives. I can see more aircraft being produced, especially when airframe chutes and autoland software becomes common.
 

Dan Thomas

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They also got pissy when I said flying, even in an ultralight is capable of being faster than travel by automobile...

The average according to both the AAA and DoT is about 54 minutes per day at an average speed of 32 miles/hour or about 28 miles per day x 365 days=10220 miles.
An average of 32 MPH. Does anyone fly an ultralight around town? Nope. They fly across country, at 50 or 50 or 70 MPH, about the same speed as a car, unless the ultralight is really light. Those go slower.

Now, drive to the airport, pull the airplane out (or drag it out of the trailer and put it together), fuel it up, check the weather, take off, fly 50 miles, land, tie it down, go do whatever you wanted to do, then come back, get it ready and fly it home. Put it away, then drive home.

I've done that with REAL airplanes, at real-airplane speeds (100-150 MPH) and it's quicker to jump in the car and drive those 50 miles. Every time. Even in a real airplane. Trips don't start to make sense at 100 MPH until you're going 200 miles or more. In an ultralight? It'll never make sense.
 

J.L. Frusha

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An average of 32 MPH. Does anyone fly an ultralight around town? Nope. They fly across country, at 50 or 50 or 70 MPH, about the same speed as a car, unless the ultralight is really light. Those go slower.

Now, drive to the airport, pull the airplane out (or drag it out of the trailer and put it together), fuel it up, check the weather, take off, fly 50 miles, land, tie it down, go do whatever you wanted to do, then come back, get it ready and fly it home. Put it away, then drive home.

I've done that with REAL airplanes, at real-airplane speeds (100-150 MPH) and it's quicker to jump in the car and drive those 50 miles. Every time. Even in a real airplane. Trips don't start to make sense at 100 MPH until you're going 200 miles or more. In an ultralight? It'll never make sense.
Sounds like a personal problem to me. I have a small farm, of 6.39 mostly clear acres.

Cross country flights are between points, not circuitous roads and highways. IF I calculate the functional radius of a US FAR Part 103 ultralight at 144 miles (36 mpg) with 20% reserve, that gets me a LOT further at 63 mph (with zero wind), than the averages reported by AAA, etc.

Comparison? It's almost 2 hours to travel the 46 miles to my VA appointments, by highway, mostly at 75 mph. It's the in-town crap that drags the average speed down (not counting accidents, or road work).

So, suppose I fly cross country to a friends farm and land my ultralight there. First, that friend has to live within that 144 miles, unless I can make arrangements for fuel and extend the trip. Either way, I'm getting there faster and more economically in a more direct flight, than with a highway route that requires me to travel shorter distances AND have city travel delays.

Sorry, I cannot afford hangar fees, registration fees, insurance fees, mandatory certified mechanics, etc., etc., ad nauseum, BUT, I can afford, even at $100/month, to build my US FAR Part 103 ultralight and do the vast majority of the maintenance and repairs myself. I freely admit that I will need a decent lawnmower mechanic if anything weird is going on with the engine..., but, there is at least one in almost every town on the map.
 

Tiger Tim

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One builder that built from plans got his (Sonex) done for (IIRC) $8500 but he was good at scrounging
That’s incredible. I would have thought there would be at least a quarter of that amount tied up in factory cowls, wing/tail tips, and canopy on a Sonex.

Given that it can survive extended outdoor tie down and cruises at probably a hundred-ish I’d think it fits the point of this thread quite well.
 

Tom DM

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heh 500k.

Cessna is making 330ish 172's a year; I heard its nearly a 2 year waitlist now. Cirrus doing about that total (including jets) a year - I know the SR22T is an 18+ month wait.

I don't think we're going to see 50k aircraft of any mark made in the next 50 years.


The reason for your correct numbers is evident: the actual market is controlled, monopolized AND exploited. This unhealthy situation explains why a 1950-ties Cessna 172, build in 2022-2023, retails for 500.000 US$ and boost a phenomenal USB-port as mayor innovation.

I refuse to place a bet on "I don't think we're going to see 50k aircraft of any mark made in the next 50 years." . The very wise fail to predict 10 years, let alone 50 years. Who saw in December 2019 Covid coming?

Lessons -not 50 years old- seem to be forgotten and the same errors are happily redone... a bit of research into the market-share of the Big Three over the stated period could be of interest.

In (General) Aviation 2 countries (both far more populous than the US and in size not that small) are quietly amassing knowledge, production facilities and methods as well as the required expertise.

If a situation occurred where a 50kUS$- Cessna 172 became a necessity or an advantage, this could become reality in a matter of months, maybe even weeks. While it would not bankrupt Piper, Cessna or other Cirrus (these countries own them) the US-based production industry as any flight school using these, would be in for mayor turbulence.
 
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Tom DM

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Nope. It's one person in 500. 0.2%. Canada is the same. Over 600.000 in the US. Number of active pilots in the U.S. 2020 | Statista


160.000 private general aviation pilots: non-commercial, non-professional pilots.
Figure in constant decline (around -20% in 10 years)

1 / 2000

If the small-aircraft-market would grow significantly, not the CPL/ATPL-pilots will account for that: they are among the most likely to already have an airplane. Selling them another is possible yet business-plans drawn upon the exception are not the brightest of ideas.
 
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Daleandee

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That’s incredible. I would have thought there would be at least a quarter of that amount tied up in factory cowls, wing/tail tips, and canopy on a Sonex.

Given that it can survive extended outdoor tie down and cruises at probably a hundred-ish I’d think it fits the point of this thread quite well.

I'm not certain that could be done in today's money and he did have a few folks contribute parts at no cost or sell him parts at greatly reduced prices (project leftovers).

But saving money like that, as I'm certain you are aware, means bending a lot of aluminum and welding a lot of parts. Gentleman that helped me build this last Sonex scratch built his over a period of ten years. Time & skills are not possessed by a lot of builders that want to take it out of the box and rivet it together.

BTW ... wing tips on a Sonex can be made out of aluminum but patience and skill are required. Tail tips were not part of the original design (as I understand it) but are now required to help with stability.
 

Dan Thomas

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160.000 private general aviation pilots: non-commercial, non-professional pilots.
Figure in constant decline (around -20% in 10 years)

1 / 2000

If the small-aircraft-market would grow significantly, not the CPL/ATPL-pilots will account for that: they are among the most likely to already have an airplane. Selling them another is possible yet business-plans drawn upon the exception are not the brightest of ideas.
From that site:

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From Wiki:

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And...

1656690097381.png


One more:

1656690147148.png

See, you only counted private pilots. There are numerous categories, and pilots from every category fly private airplanes. Many commercial and Airline pilots own their own airplanes. Even some student pilots own airplanes. Some student pilots never get beyond their student status but still fly. Ultralight pilots aren't even included here, and they often have their own airplanes.

One in 500.
 

Dan Thomas

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Sounds like a personal problem to me. I have a small farm, of 6.39 mostly clear acres.

Cross country flights are between points, not circuitous roads and highways. IF I calculate the functional radius of a US FAR Part 103 ultralight at 144 miles (36 mpg) with 20% reserve, that gets me a LOT further at 63 mph (with zero wind), than the averages reported by AAA, etc.

Comparison? It's almost 2 hours to travel the 46 miles to my VA appointments, by highway, mostly at 75 mph. It's the in-town crap that drags the average speed down (not counting accidents, or road work).

So, suppose I fly cross country to a friends farm and land my ultralight there. First, that friend has to live within that 144 miles, unless I can make arrangements for fuel and extend the trip. Either way, I'm getting there faster and more economically in a more direct flight, than with a highway route that requires me to travel shorter distances AND have city travel delays.

Sorry, I cannot afford hangar fees, registration fees, insurance fees, mandatory certified mechanics, etc., etc., ad nauseum, BUT, I can afford, even at $100/month, to build my US FAR Part 103 ultralight and do the vast majority of the maintenance and repairs myself. I freely admit that I will need a decent lawnmower mechanic if anything weird is going on with the engine..., but, there is at least one in almost every town on the map.
Your situation applies to maybe one in a thousand pilots. Most don't have an acreage with an airstrip. Many have to drive an hour to the airport. Sometimes more. And an hour home again.

I speak from experience. I held Commercial and Instructor and Instrument ratings. I KNOW how inefficient short flights are, even in faster airplanes. And I had my own airplane, in my own hangar, at an airport less than ten minutes away. And I know how weather messes up flights all the time.

In an ultralight, you are at the mercy of any wind, never mind clouds or snow or fog. It's a toy, not a serious cross-country machine.
 

Dan Thomas

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The reason for your correct numbers is evident: the actual market is controlled, monopolized AND exploited. This unhealthy situation explains why a 1950-ties Cessna 172, build in 2022-2023, retails for 500.000 US$ and boost a phenomenal USB-port as mayor innovation.

If a situation occurred where a 50kUS$- Cessna 172 became a necessity or an advantage, this could become reality in a matter of months, maybe even weeks.
This is naive, and it comes up all the time on other aviation fora.

A 2022 Cessna 172 is not a 1956 172. It has three wheels, an engine and prop, and that's about where the similarity ends. I should know, I worked on all of them. The new 172 has a 180-hp fuel-injected engine that has a 2000-hour TBO and is known for going far beyond that with no major work required. The '56 had a 145-hp carbed Continental that had a shorter TBO and needed cylinder work at half-time. The new 172 has a complete Garmin G1000 glass-panel suite, with synthetic vision, two comms, two navs, two ILS, GPS, Mode C transponder, flux-gate compass, complete engine instrumentation, an emergency standby battery, airbag restraints. In has an ILS/VOR/GPS-coupled autopilot. The '56 may or may not have had an attitude gyro. It sure didn't have two comms as standard equipment, a transponder, or GPS or an autopilot. Might have had an ADF, or a VOR if the customer paid for it. The new airplane is 400 pounds heavier than the 1956 model, reflecting structural beefups in almost all areas, and of course all the fancy electronic stuff and the nice interior and upholstery adds to it. It carries more fuel. The seats weight about three times as much as the old seats, maybe four times as much as the 1956 seats, because they had to meet current FAR requirements for 26G seats in the front and 19G seats in the rear. The seat rails and all the hidden structure beneath the floor is also much stronger.

One-third of the price of a new 172 goes into liability coverage for the next 18 years to protect Cessna against the now-standard lawsuits every time some pilot does something stupid and crashes. That coverage has to be carried not only by Cessna, but by Lycoming and every other manufacturer that has stuff in that airplane. That is not Cessna's fault; that's a societal problem, a lack of personal responsibility for bad behavior.

And no, nobody, no matter how hard they try, is going to mass-produce a $50K 172 now. That's a fantasy. Airplanes do not lend themselves to robotic construction; it has been tried, and failed.

When I was learning to fly in 1973 I checked the Cessna dealer to see what a new 172 would cost. It was $23,000. A new three-bedroom house was the same price. A new house now is about the same price, or more, as a new 172, in the same city. 172s have always cost about the same as a new house. But the new airplane is far better equipped than the old ones.
 
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J.L. Frusha

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Your situation applies to maybe one in a thousand pilots. Most don't have an acreage with an airstrip. Many have to drive an hour to the airport. Sometimes more. And an hour home again.

I speak from experience. I held Commercial and Instructor and Instrument ratings. I KNOW how inefficient short flights are, even in faster airplanes. And I had my own airplane, in my own hangar, at an airport less than ten minutes away. And I know how weather messes up flights all the time.

In an ultralight, you are at the mercy of any wind, never mind clouds or snow or fog. It's a toy, not a serious cross-country machine.
In the most recent survey, there were 2.01 million U.S. farms in 2021, down from 2.20 million in 2007. With 895 million acres of land in farms in 2021 and there were about 273,000 small farms, of 1-9 acres, in 2017, representing just 0.1% of all farmland in the U.S.
I seriously doubt that, as a small farmer, building/buying/owning an ultralight, on a median income, with a tight budget is as much of an 'outlier' as people in this forum want to claim.

ALL flights are affected by weather conditions, not just ultralight aircraft, so, singling out one category is something I'm going to have to call BS on.
 
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