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Hot Wings

Grumpy Cynic
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You should learn more about the NAvion then... <<snip>>

The only "problem" with the NAvion is that it is not as efficient as most of its competition.
Agree with all and do actually kind of like the Navion. If I had enough money to make simply affording one 100% painless* I'd probably go ahead and buy the thing. At least it's not subject to the prop AD that the last one we were considering was. But between not being as efficient as the competition, and being a certified plane subject to such onerous and expensive AD's that tend to pop up without warning..


* another zero in the bank account would do that. :gig:
 

Hot Wings

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Ah, good, some hard data.
That is still misleading. Net worth is not the same as liquid or disposable assets.

According to that chart I should be buying that Navion mentioned. I'd have to move 2 bars up to be comfortable with that kind of expenditure. I'd pay cash, even if I for some irrational reason decided to buy it today. Here in the US a good average figure for indebtedness is to limit monthly payments to 40% of your yearly income. Once you account for the housing, 2 cars, and the credit card debt there often isn't much left over. That is the figure that needs to be used to determine if this new plane is affordable to the target market.
 

Turd Ferguson

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The question that led to my starting this thread was, "Is there some design that could create interest in homebuilding the way that the BD-5 did decades ago?"
It wasn't the actual product as much as it was timing. The BD-5 shows up right on the cusp of the largest GA expansion in history. Think back to when you first got into flying. Did you dream about zipping around the country in a C-150 or Piper Colt/Cherokee? Heck no, you dreamed about zooming around the country in a compact paramilitary fighter jet. At that time, there were a lot of new pilots getting into GA. Learning to fly was in the initial stages of an explosion and the BD-5 was everyone's fantasy come true.

About the only thing that will satisfy that fantasy today is something like cartoon character George Jetson's spacecar. Think Cartercopter, Moeller aircar, any type of levitating car or man carrying drone. People don't have to fathom leaning how to fly because you either drive it like a car or control it with a computer tablet. Bet you could put together some type of vaporware conversion to create a levitating Prius, or Prius drone conversion kit, take deposits and make a fortune before the bubble burst.

There's two groups out there....the established aviation group grounded in reality and the under 30 generation (whatever letter you want to use to describe them) that insist the world is changing and none of the historical limitations are an obstacle.
 

mcrae0104

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That is still misleading. Net worth is not the same as liquid or disposable assets.

According to that chart I should be buying that Navion mentioned. I'd have to move 2 bars up to be comfortable with that kind of expenditure. I'd pay cash, even if I for some irrational reason decided to buy it today. Here in the US a good average figure for indebtedness is to limit monthly payments to 40% of your yearly income. Once you account for the housing, 2 cars, and the credit card debt there often isn't much left over. That is the figure that needs to be used to determine if this new plane is affordable to the target market.
Apologies to BJC, who would probably like to focus more on the airplane that would attract new people, but it is worth discussing the personal finance side of making flying and aircraft ownership affordable. HotWings, you have a very good point that debt figures heavily into this. I think this is one thing that has changed since the "golden age" (whenever that was). Even if your net worth looks OK, so much of cash flow is eaten up by debt payments for the average American that there's no room for flying. But it is possible to live without debt (within one's means). You may have to live without as many toys, a big house, and fancy cars; it's just a matter of setting the priorities that matter to you. I don't mean to be preachy, but there is no "magic bullet affordable plane" that will allow the prospective aviator to get around the personal/household debt problems that have become endemic in the US.
 

BBerson

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The question that led to my starting this thread was, "Is there some design that could create interest in homebuilding the way that the BD-5 did decades ago?" And please resist the need to comment on Jim Bede's lack of business acumen.


BJC
The BD-5 created interest with marketing in major magazines like Popular Science. Lots of non pilots bought kits, I think.
They bought a dream mostly (like you said about ICON).
The answer is yes, you can sell a dream that doesn't fly well, if at all.
Offering a solid, crashworthy, sporty, gentle, easy to build, low cost .... In one package is hard.
 
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Toobuilder

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...The thing that will attract and keep new pilots and builders, in addition to interesting aircraft within the financial and technical reach of the average person, is community. Airfields welcoming of fence-Leander's and families and regularly opening their doors and offering people the opportunity to see and touch and ride in a little plane...
Two comments on this- recently drove over to WJF to pick up some things and noticed they have installed new perimeter fencing. They have featured the automatic drive through gates for years, but this new fencing and high security man gates really locks the place down. It looks like a prison now. A real shame.

Also rediscovered an old book from my formative years: I'll Take The High Road by Langewiesche. In the opening pages of this 1939 edition, the author discusses the bariers to GA and how he was challenged to overcome them. Namely, cost, time and fences around the airport. Sound familliar?

With regards to this discussion, I'm not sure anything of substance has really changed in aviation since the very beginning except the increasingly competetive environment for our free time. I think plenty of people are interested in aviation- it just doesnt fall high enough on the priority scale to act on.
 
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Mark Z

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Education should be paramount in aviation if you "think" you want to jump in. Get a private certificate and fly every type you can get your hands on and see what appeals to you. Speed, comfort, or just doing 20 minute jaunts when the air is perfect. There are suitable airplanes for all tastes but you must find what taste you desire. Your taste may change after you have jumped in, so now what? Think down the road and play out all the questions you and other experienced folks can offer. What makes a Champ more desirable than a Cub or vise versa? Emotion is a devil in this business; how many folks have bought on emotion and discover a major overhaul is necessary.
What about building? Can you go the distance? (think objectively not subjectively) And then, now that you have gone the distance with meticulous attention to detail, have you built a duck that you don't care for the way it operates? How many have soured in this field only because they haven't thought it through. Don't be a statistic, do it because you love what you are doing and learning even more through a great journey.
 

BJC

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Apologies to BJC, who would probably like to focus more on the airplane that would attract new people, but it is worth discussing the personal finance side of making flying and aircraft ownership affordable. HotWings, you have a very good point that debt figures heavily into this. I think this is one thing that has changed since the "golden age" (whenever that was). Even if your net worth looks OK, so much of cash flow is eaten up by debt payments for the average American that there's no room for flying. But it is possible to live without debt (within one's means). You may have to live without as many toys, a big house, and fancy cars; it's just a matter of setting the priorities that matter to you. I don't mean to be preachy, but there is no "magic bullet affordable plane" that will allow the prospective aviator to get around the personal/household debt problems that have become endemic in the US.
More young people should heed the guidance of Dave Ramsey.

Dave Ramsey Homepage - daveramsey.com


BJC
 

nschmandt

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Just to revive this thread about getting more people into general aviation...
These guys Raptor Aircraft Home, despite all their criticisms, now have 400 deposits. That's $800000 that have been committed. They don't even having a working prototype, and their engine remains theoretical.
I don't want this to turn into another discussion about them, but the fact that so many people are putting money down despite so much limitations to their plane shows beyond a doubt that there is a huge amount of interest in this kind of airplane.
 

cheapracer

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Just to revive this thread about getting more people into general aviation...
These guys Raptor Aircraft Home, despite all their criticisms, now have 400 deposits. That's $800000 that have been committed. They don't even having a working prototype, and their engine remains theoretical.
I don't want this to turn into another discussion about them, but the fact that so many people are putting money down despite so much limitations to their plane shows beyond a doubt that there is a huge amount of interest in this kind of airplane.
No one is doubting their enthusiasm or commitment. They are even doing it.

Even if successful, how does another $120,000+ aircraft "attract new homebuilders" exactly?
 

Dana

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Really? Perhaps I'm misinformed, and of course I never saw those days, but the model planes that come to my mind when I think of that time period are ones like C182, C210, Aztec, C310, B55, and those are not weekend planes, they are planes to get around with a good load in...I always thought the attraction of those was with cheap gas, they could really move you around.
When I think of those days, I think of Taylorcrafts and Cubs (both still being made then), Citabria/Decalthalon, Pitts, [relatively] cheap clapped out Stearmans, the beginning of hang gliders and ultralights, and the explosion of homebuilt designs (including BD-5!) of those years.

Dana
 

nschmandt

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The reason I keep bringing it up is because I don't feel there's nearly as much interest and effort in developing homebuilts for the purpose of long distance travel as there is for LSA. Never mind what raptoraircraft is saying/promising, the fact that 400 people took out deposits shows a large amount of public interest in this type of aircraft.
What is really innovative about this aircraft is the engine, which runs on jet-A, allowing for much cheaper and international travel.
If we want to attract more people to general aviation, I think this is a clear sign of the way to do it, and it makes sense because this type of aircraft is clearly lacking in the homebuilt options currently available. Engines that run on mogas or jet-A that would help bring the cost of GA down for most pilots seem to draw little interest in our community.
 

Kiwi303

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En Zed. Aka The Shire.
Personally I think Mogas is the way to go for international travel. A good well thought out auto conversion with a knock sensor and high pressure (two actually for redundancy, though how often do furl pumps die in modern cars) pump feeding the EFI which would solve the vapor problem by keeping the fuel over vapor pressure. With the knock sensor and proper program, the fuel could be pretty much any grade if the engine is tuned for a crappy base blend. Putting better fuel in from a good fuel source simply allows the engine to run a little cooler than using old lower quality fuel from a can in the back end of Nowhereistan, same as putting 98 in a car tuned for 91 here.
 

Turd Ferguson

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Never mind what raptoraircraft is saying/promising, the fact that 400 people took out deposits shows a large amount of public interest in this type of aircraft.
Hold on. According to anvegger: "It is virtually impossible to loose your money [the deposit]." And he says Raptor doesn't actually have the money from these deposits; it's being held in escrow. So maybe these people who are "interested" are just speculators lining up to get an early position, hoping they can profit from their foresight later. For that matter, since one can't lose their money, maybe these are all shill deposits (not unheard of in marketing schemes) to generate interest.

The reality doesn't add up. An airplane that proposes to fly 300 kts, carrying 5 people in a pressurized cabin on ~170 cubic inches? "This type of aircraft" (cabin canard) already exist. They are not overly popular and they can't get that kind of performance out of a 300+ hp 520 cubic inch aero engine. Why is this one going to speed right past what has already been proven as possible?
 

Little Scrapper

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Using one company as an example doesn't represent the industry. Especially one who hasn't built the airplane.
 

cheapracer

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Hold on. According to anvegger: "It is virtually impossible to loose your money [the deposit]." And he says Raptor doesn't actually have the money from these deposits; it's being held in escrow.
While that's true, those deposits in escrow hold an awful lot of power when talking to a real investor or bank manager. It is seen as a genuine asset.
 

nschmandt

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@Kiwi Awesome! Yeah, at some point I think it would be good to start a thread on Mogas Cross country builds, it would be interesting to hear what other people have tried/accomplished before. Looks like an RV10 might be an excellent potential candidate.

By the way, are you in New Zealand? I will be there in two weeks, if you have any ideas about what to do while I'm there, let me know!

With regards to the deposits, I suppose that's true, there's no way to know if they really have that many. Though, if they are held through a reputable escrow company, that makes it seem likely that it is legit. And, if it helps them get closer to their stated goal of a $28K ~300HP jet-a diesel engine, power to them.

I was hoping the people at Synergy might chime in with their opinions about this...?
 
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