Just to be clear I've quoted your first post implying we are bending over and taking it because nobody does anything about it. No wall needed.While there are some truth's to the "Volume made argument" there's still a huge PINK ELEPHANT standing on everyone's toes that has answered that they seemingly ignore. We are getting Screw'd because we have been conditioned to accept it. Look at how many commentators defend it rather than rebel against it.
The Continental and Lycoming's have long since paid back their tooling cost and amortized off their engineering cost as well. The fact that they charge what they charge is just b/c you are stuck with no choice. An aircraft itself has ZERO value as an engine OH can cost more than a sales price for an A/C.
In my business I make, design, manufacture a lot of different castings in Stainless, Aluminum and Bronze. I get charged at the foundry by the pound of material, the labor and material it takes to make the negative shape in a Green Sand, an the labor and material it takes to make the core's, plus a profit on these parts and the profit on the energy to heat the material.
An engine case like these in quantities of like 50 units would be less than $300/side un-machined raw.
The hand built argument is a bit over rated as it's hard to automate much more than some bolt torquing in engine assembly. Also Continental has their "Titan Engine" line where they charge more for a "Hand Built Engine" inferring that their standard production is automated, or to some degree at least.
That being said, I know that GM pay's $17.000 per head to have the raw castings machined for a Small Block. Volume makes the price drop for certain. GM has less than $600.00 in a complete LS small block engine (minus electronics)... That's labor, machining, etc... A complete LS engine ready to go out the door.
This is why "Viking" is using a Honda engine, Aeromomentum is using a Suzuki engine and the diesel engines are a Mercedes Sprinter Van engine (which cost way more than 2 of the complete van's they come in) making them noncompetitive in the market.
After building a cut case 1/2 VW , I would not do it again. With all the machine work, Scott is working very cheap. Doing it again, I would just buy a 1/2 VW from Scott Casler. Try welding the counter weighs on the crank and make the equipment to balance it and get back with me and tell me its a piece of cake.We can't really know if they are maximizing their profits just from the sale price per item. If they charged $2 million each and sold none, that's probably not the best plan. Supply, demand . . .
I'm still not sure what solution your posts are proposing. But as far as what this >thread< was about, the OP had an observation about his perception of the relatively high price of a Casler 1/2 VW. That's a funny example because Scott Casler enjoys very little pricing power. He has no regulatory or certification "moat" to create artificial scarcity. He has no exclusivity/proprietary part/patent protection leverage: anyone can easily buy exactly the same parts he uses, and from many suppliers. The plans to do what he does are widely available at a low price--he'll even sell a copy of those plans to anyone. And he's got a long waiting list of folks wanting to buy his completed engines at the price he has set, so if anything he is undercharging for his labor and expertise. At least that's what the market says, and that's more important than what sideline snipers of any persuasion think. Me included.
Taiwanese O-235 clone.Curious that we don't have a chinese O320 clone actually...
I mean they clone the Rotax engines already...
That is one HUGE component of anything to do with aircraft. Until the USA gets out of the LLL (Legal Liability Lottery) business, insurers will continue to rape aviation as hard as they feel like doing. The other major factors are the shift of the North American economy from creating wealth to merely re-distributing it by specualtive activity and thus purely inflationary results. Instead of sticking capital into productive business, where a 5% per annum return would be sufficient in a stable economy, having everyone throw cash into Casino Capitalism that inflates the living crap out of the greenback means "investors" no longer invest, but put money into Wall Street to see the value grow along with inflation through endless speculative transactions that create zero wealth - but make a few people very wealthy. As a result, airplanes and airplane engines are no longer made by the people who's name is on the door, but belong to mega conglomerates who's MBA whiz kids have to milk more and more money from consumers to prove their worth - at our expense. Then of course there are the outside predators (AVIC for instance) who could care less about the consumer at the other end of the line, but have a much larger and purely predatory interest in the business - and the cash behind them to do whatever they feel like doing (not bound by any of the normal market forces) - but worth noting they seem to be able to offer a new recip SI or CI engine for less money than their domestic competitor. Helps when you can afford the luxury of a brand new plant with all of the latest CNC toys without the fuss of having to be accountable for the cost.The main reason aviation stuff is so expensive is product liability insurance, probably makes 90% of the cost on an engine.
Jan at Viking made a statement this week on FB that he has sold over 1,000 units of his Honda converted engines to the experimental market. I believe he even made similar statements in an article in “Flying” magazine this month also,I would consider this statement true if their non-certified version had a price close to reality, which I think is that there is a lack of competition in this sector, anyone who wants to enter this market offering a product with the same characteristic of simplicity and reliability with slightly lower price to exclusively serve the non-certified aviation market, when they saw the quantity that this new manufacturer would sell and how they would be left behind maybe the situation would change, but what usually happens is that new manufacturers come in based on the price of traditional ones already thinking in high profits as Rotax and Jabiru.
One thing and fact, a simple engine, direct drive, without double camshaft, without any electronics and air-cooled would always be the best option within aviation and also as the VW engine should be cheap, the VW engine was for decades one of the cheapest engines to buy and rebuild in the world. While a simple low-tech carb engine costs more than a new SUV ready for use, I think personal aviation tends to disappear and it is precisely because of that that there is little competition, nobody is willing to invest in a dying market.Jan at Viking made a statement this week on FB that he has sold over 1,000 units of his Honda converted engines to the experimental market. I believe he even made similar statements in an article in “Flying” magazine this month also,
This seems to piss everyone off, but pilots are as a collective whole a bunch of cheap SOB’s. Yet so many are brain washed into defense of the status quo with Lycoming and Continental. I was reading where a guy bought a C150 for $12K and he spent $20k on his IO200 rebuild. Someone pointed out to him that new the engine is $31k with an 11k core exchange and a factory rebuild is $27k with the same 11k core exchange meaning he could have purchased a new one off the same $ and a factory rebuild for less $.
It is not so much that aviation as a practice has greater liability, it is that the lawyers and insurers see aviation as a sacred cow they can milk for anything they want. In the days before the TINY tort reforms of '90ish the end of Cessna piston engine production came because more than half he cost of a 172 was insurance premiums. I can't think of another business outside of the Russian Roulette Home Kit where the insurance premiums are greater than the actual cost of production. If you know anyone who had a flying training operation that was in business after 9/11, ask them what happened to THEIR insurance costs.On the liability issue, I truly believe that there's no more liability in aviation than any other field (likely less), but just like the economies of scale when building the product, there are economies of scale with liability. If you can spread your incident risk across 7,000,000 vehicles a year, it's much less of a problem than spreading it across 700.