# Build one or buy used......Dillema?

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#### Nickathome

##### Well-Known Member
Guys;

I am on the verge of buying my first aircraft. Here's the issue. I signed up for, and attended the Sonex workshop this past weekend. I had a good time and thoroughly enjoyed the project building they had us do( a scratchbuilt leading edge wing rib assy). About 3 weeks before this class however, I got wind of a Cessna 150 for sale at a reasonable price at a local airport. I know a C-150 is just a little trainer aircraft, but it would fit the bill pretty nicely for this first time aircraft owner....Now I'm in a quandry, do I want to fly now, or do I want to build now? Both sides of the coin are very appealing to me, however I can't afford to do both. How about some opinions yea or ney for either side to help me decide. At the moment I just can't do it myself. I need a push. Thanks in advace.

##### Well-Known Member
You can actually do both. Buy the Cessna and go find someone that does build his own aircraft. This way you can accumulate experience and decide whether you really want to build your own aircraft.

#### TFF

##### Well-Known Member
If your main goal is to fly, the C150 is a great thing to have. If flying is only 50% of why you want a plane, then homebuilding is better. Most peoples first airplanes are not homebuilts. Curiosity is why they have homebuilts. Look at every airplane as the next step; not the last step. 150 now; 5 years start a home built or buy a Mooney; 5 after that, a twin or build a homebuilt; after that a P-51.

#### Tom Nalevanko

I think that it is important to keep flying above all. However you can do it... If you have the 150, you can fly it and always scrounge up some $to build on a piece-meal basis. But you can keep flying. And when you get close to having your experimental ready for an engine, you can sell the 150 and complete your homebuilt. #### Topaz ##### Super Moderator Staff member Log Member I'm with Tom on this one. Buy now. Fly. You'll take a long time to build an airplane, and that can be "pay as you go". You're likely to have pay increases over those years, so even though you don't have the income now to support both, you probably will later. Having the 150 gives you more incentive to finish your airplane, increasing the chances that you will. You get to have a taste of what it'll be like every time you take up the Cessna. #### Nickathome ##### Well-Known Member Guys; Thanks for the replies. keep them coming. I never really gave much thought to the idea of building a homebuilt, piecemeal, but it makes alot of sense. I could buy the tail kit for a Sonex, and get my feet wet, and if I enjoy it, then buy the next kit as I go, etc. This way I'll know for sure if that's really what I want to do, and I could be flying at the same time. I'm gonna have to give this idea some real thought. #### teknosmurf ##### Well-Known Member First my story, then my recommendation: I have never built one, but I do own an experimental now. I first owned a Cessa 177 Cardinal, followed by a Cessna 140, and now a Davis DA2A. The 177 was a great family hauler, was very gentle, and a great plane to finish up my training and build some hours. The 140 was a taildragger and great for gaining some invaluable experience (and a lot of fun to boot). The Davis, is the most fun plane I have flow, but I am very glad I had almost 300 hours under my belt before taking it on. It is not nearly as docile and gentle mannered as my first 2 planes. Therefore, my recommendataion would be, if you dont already have a lot of experience, get some experience in something well-mannered until you just start to reach the point of boredom. Then, if you really want to build, go for it. Remember that there are a lot of planes out there that are started, but just need finishing. Make sure you double-check the previous builders handy-work. On the otherhand, if you just want to tinker, which is the category I am in, buy a well proven home-built, and then make it your own! #### PTAirco ##### Well-Known Member Not to mention this is the best time ever to buy used airplanes. I have been browsing ads for years and have never seen such a buyer's market. More than once I come across a perfectly good airplane that has been for sale for a year or more, the price dropping steadily. It is bound to hit bottom soon, if it hasn't already. #### Hot Wings ##### Grumpy Cynic HBA Supporter Log Member At the moment I just can't do it myself. I need a push. Thanks in advace. I have a 150 available to fly for the cost of fuel only. I don't take advantage of it because I just don't like flying 150/172's. To me it's kind of like driving a Pinto around the block just for something to do. I'd rather mix resin than fly a 172 But I'm not you. Take a hard look at the 150 option. If you can't afford it and a home built project look around for a partner you can trust and split the cost of the 150. Another option if you are in the right location is a lease to a local flying school or club. Let them do the maintenance and pay for the storage. :ban: There are ways around the finincial road block if you are creative. #### Mac790 ##### Well-Known Member I have a 150 available to fly for the cost of fuel only. I don't take advantage of it because I just don't like flying 150/172's. To me it's kind of like driving a Pinto around the block just for something to do. I'd rather mix resin than fly a 172 Wow, I was worrying that only I have similar feeling here, most people here are aviation "nuts", they will fly anything , I like only specific type of planes, and if I had to chose between flying 150/172 in real or Bf-109 in virtual world, I would chose later. Flying 150/172 would only repel me from aviation. Seb #### Topaz ##### Super Moderator Staff member Log Member Could you guys send me those airplanes you don't want? For me, I'd be happy to fly even a 150 than sit on the ground! #### Dana ##### Super Moderator Staff member I concur with those who advise buying an airplane to fly now while building the one you really want... but don't jump on the first 150; there are a lot of airplanes in that price range that are a whole lot more interesting to fly: T-Craft, Aeronca, etc. (Cubs are way overpriced), as well as lots of used homebuilts. -Dana When Columbus came to America, there were no taxes, no debts, and no pollution. The women did all the work while the men hunted or fished all day. Ever since then, a bunch of idiotic do-gooders have been trying to "improve" the place. #### LArzfromarz ##### Well-Known Member I vote fly. #### skier ##### Well-Known Member Sure you can find a 150 for$20,000, but like some others I'm not a big fan of 150s or 172s... I thought I was the only one that would rather not fly than fly a 150/172. You could find an Ercoupe for almost as little ($22000-$24000). If you don't need the 2nd seat, there were some homebuilts (Bowers Flybaby) on barnstormers for as little as $10,000. There is a '91 EAA biplane listed at$9000 and a Starduster II for $20,000 on Barnstormers right now. That being said, some people love 150s and 172s. They are great well proven planes. #### johnnyd ##### Well-Known Member Option #3...get into a "partnership" There is usually a "club" or "partnership" closeby that you can become a member of. By spreading the cost of ownership between several members, you can afford to own & maintain the aircraft of your choice. It also makes it affordable to keep it hangered & insured. You almost always have a "co-pilot" when you want a "$100.00" cheesburger or somebody to fly with on a weekend.
Work on your dream plane during the week & when the weather's bad.

#### Nickathome

##### Well-Known Member
Thanks for the advice fellas, however would you mind not bashing my choice. I simply love flying. I'd use waxed feathers if I could do so and not get close to the sun. I'd sooner fly a 150 or 172 than sit on the ground looking up.

As to renting out to a club, etc. I had thought of that, however I see how the plane in the club I belong to now is treated(not by me), and my answer to that is " no thanks". People just don't respect what isn't there's. I understand its a way to help defer costs, etc, and call me selfish but I want no parts of renting out to a club. I'd consider renting to one or two trusted individuals on an ask and fly basis, but never to a club. Then it also becomes a case of I can't fly when I want to, and it reverts right back to the situation I'm in now.

#### Topaz

##### Super Moderator
Staff member
Log Member
...I simply love flying. I'd use waxed feathers if I could do so and not get close to the sun. I'd sooner fly a 150 or 172 than sit on the ground looking up.
Well said.

...As to renting out to a club, etc. I had thought of that, however I see how the plane in the club I belong to now is treated(not by me), and my answer to that is " no thanks". People just don't respect what isn't there's...
Usually the aircraft belong to the club. So the club has the responsibility of maintaining the aircraft, insuring it, curbing member abuses, etc. It can be a viable way to fly inexpensively, and without the hassle of full ownership. Still, you're right about people. Club aircraft tend to end up looking pretty raw, because people just don't take care of what they don't see as exclusively "theirs".

#### Anymouse

##### Well-Known Member
Nick,

Put me into the "do both" camp. Go ahead and get the C-150. Use it to bore holes in the sky when you're not building the Sonex. One of the benefits of having a plane while still building is that you'll have a better chance of being current when it comes time to fly the Sonex. Also, since you already have something to fly, you won't be tempted to take shortcuts or put things off to get the Sonex done so you can go fly.

Good luck whichever way you go.

#### Nickathome

##### Well-Known Member
Nick,

Put me into the "do both" camp. Go ahead and get the C-150. Use it to bore holes in the sky when you're not building the Sonex. One of the benefits of having a plane while still building is that you'll have a better chance of being current when it comes time to fly the Sonex. Also, since you already have something to fly, you won't be tempted to take shortcuts or put things off to get the Sonex done so you can go fly.

Good luck whichever way you go.
I wish I could do both. If I was able to I wouldn't have a decision to make. Unfortunately doing both just isn't going to happen. I simply can't afford to buy a Cessna, and start on a Sonex. I thought maybe I could buy a tail kit or something, but buying the Cessna will strap me enough. It won't be horribly expensive but will leave me little room to do anything else for several years. It may get to where I have to shelve both ideas. Going over my finances, it will be tight and I don't want to shortchange the family simply for my own pleasures.