# Airplane for the Common Denominator

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#### BJC

##### Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
most can not bear the responsibility of Freedom and are but too happy to exchange it for Security, for not having to Think.
That is a problem.
There is also another "little" thing: keeping things in perspective in a kind of moral way.
Is one right to sell something for 100-1000 times its intrinsic value just because the circumstances allow to get away with it? Stupid Greed will not hesitate to do so, Smart Greed however... Smart Greed transforms easily into Stupid Greed,
See referenced Cicero quote in the link.

BJC

#### gtae07

##### Well-Known Member
While many a RV are 100k, most think of it as all the money right then and fly tomorrow. While not cheap, a kit, a used engine with fixed pitch prop and basic instruments will add up, but it will take at least ten years to build.

That puts it up at $350 a month. And how much will it cost to operate? Lots and lots of focus on the initial purchase/"capital" cost of buying/building an airplane. Very little on what it's going to cost to run said airplane. I submit that the latter will cost much more in the long run (and will require higher average outgoing cash flow in the process). I suggest that someone looking at building figure out how much they can afford to put into their flying hobby per month and ensure that the resulting figure is at least equal to (if not greater than) a realistic and at least slightly conservative estimate of total ownership costs (fuel, oil, maintenance/parts, overhaul reserve, insurance, hangar/tiedown rent, taxes...). Then start putting that money away in the bank. It gets you used to the budget so you don't get surprised when you finish your cheap airplane and realize it's costing you more money to keep it than it did to build it. I would suggest a ballpark minimum of about$450/month for an "average" homebuilder with an "average" airplane--i.e. a two-seat airplane with modest horsepower, renting/sharing a hangar at a public airport, and doing their own maintenance.

Pretty soon I bet you'd have enough to start building a subkit. Keep going, and assuming you have things like a job and kids (so your build isn't a full time job) you'll probably spread it out over a few years and be able to afford more than you thought.

I hit on this strategy a few years ago and as it turns out, between my build going slower than planned and a timely opportunities for extra pay at work (a differential for working four years of weekend shift) I was putting money in faster than it was coming out. I was able to afford the "luxury" stuff I wanted but wasn't sure I'd be able to have right off the bat--a second display, a smoke system, and an IFR GPS--thanks to having a couple more years to save. (the nice seats were a hard requirement from the wife). I'm now to the point where all I have left to buy is paint, and my projected operating expenses are actually lower than the rate at which I'm still saving up in the airplane account.

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#### Pops

##### Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
I consider my flying to be the greatest expression of personal freedom, so your “deeper question”, for me, may be restated and generalized as “Does society benefit by more people exercising and enjoying personal freedom?”

My answer is “Yes”. I wish that other areas of the world cherished personal freedom more. It would make for a better world.

This reminds me of the discussion here Flight Helmets?
Yes, Yes, Yes.

#### Tom DM

##### Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
See referenced Cicero quote in the link.

Over 2,000 years ago, Cicero wrote, “Each should attend to what benefits himself, so far as may be done without injustice to another.”

Studied Latin in school (until 16), the known quote is -to me- heavily flawed: (In) Justice can not be defined nor stable in time or place.

#### Tom DM

##### Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
And how much will it cost to operate?

where all I have left to buy is paint, and my projected operating expenses are actually lower than the rate at which I'm still saving up in the airplane account.

With all due respect - been in quite some (aircraft) beancounting situations, both recreational as commercial- : the cost to operate is unknown but varies from mildly expensive to unpayable. Figures are soooo easy to manipulate.

Predicting is far from easy and always tends to be over-optimistic to downright delusional. About the only truth is that if an airplane flies more, the cost per hour descends. Experiance shows that when you jump, you fall ... it can be that you don't hit the ground hard as the jump was not from high, the longer you miss the ground can be both good or bad.

#### Daleandee

##### Well-Known Member
Then I suppose the Common Denominator is One that can afford a $60,000 to$100,000 airplane.
Most of us would be considered less-than common, then.

I managed to get a two place aerobatic plane that has a fair cross country speed for short hops at less than half the price point you mention.

It isn't an RV, but for the money ... I'm OK with that.

#### Toobuilder

##### Well-Known Member
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100k does not buy a "home" anywhere within 100 miles of me. "Might" get you into a single wide trailer in a friends back yard.

And BTW, I have several mechanics (non degrees, non engineer), working for me that pull down six figures of base pay (more with overtime).

#### Toobuilder

##### Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
Exactly my point. Income must be balanced with the cost of living to determine if someone is better off than another. And by the same point, the "value" of an airplane is tied to its ability to consistently deliver its mission capabilities. The "cost" of aquisition is largely irrelevant, and certainly not tied to "value".

If you fixate on an arbitrary aquisition cost as the sole determinant of value, then you are indeed missing the point of "common denominator"

#### WonderousMountain

##### Well-Known Member
Anticipated Costs on Stubby so far:

500+$Spinnaker fabric 1,-2,000$ engine bay prop excluded.
(Price varies depending on tuner parts)
1,000$Wood Stock & adhesive ]no spruce[. 250$ Hardware of fine quality.
500$Kart sourced Landing gear all new.The common category would be sub 300Kg 661#s. 2-300$ Miscellanious ornamentation.
2-300$Electronic embellishments. 250$ Spun Fuel tank
2-300$Naca Cowl & Acrylic sheet. Artwork not included in budget. 5,1-5,400$ Initial cost incurred.

#### 1Bad88

##### Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
I agree that the RV class checks off the most of the boxes in the right proportions. The ideal plane is the one you have. I am grateful for what I have; it isn't the fastest sexiest thing on earth but it's mine. I know that the RV's are less of a compromise when it comes to specifications but I feel like my plane checks the right boxes for me one of which is budget (acquisition, upgrades, fixed, and variable).

#### BJC

##### Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
Let's talk flying, planes and stuff.
I would appreciate it if you would, and stop the other comments.

BJC

#### Toobuilder

##### Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
We each have certain limitations and biases that drive us to a particular choice. Thats expected and if managed realistically results in the "best" choice for you. But for most, this one point is not stagnant - it evolves with increasing knowledge and personal situation. The guy who buys a 172 because he has a young family and thats all he could afford at the time is unlikely to remain happy with that choice as the kids move away, his skills increase and his wife's appetite for travel increases. But just because we have made the "best" choice for us does not mean we are in the fat part of the bell curve... We may be extreme outliers, or not even in the game. I think my personal mission requirements are very desirable to a fat part of the homebuilt pilot "wish list", but if the playing field changes to cabin class turboprop owners, I'm not even on the board. Cant afford it. Thats life.

#### 1Bad88

##### Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
I think you missed my point. I was agreeing with the concensus on this thread in regards to RV's and I was suggesting that being an outlier is okay. Being content and grateful is the most important aspect in wherever you are on the bell curve.

#### Tom DM

##### Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
Indeed. Many of us take God, country and family very, very seriously. Best not to trample on those concepts if this is to remain a civil place to discuss airplanes.

Will keep that in mind and not respond to your statement as the answer would not be linked airplanes, homebuilding and such.

It is thus far better to keep those concepts out of " a civil place to discuss airplanes" in the first place.

BR