Engine cost

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rv7charlie

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I owned a small business with less than a half dozen workers, through most of the 1980s and into the mid 1990's. I paid insurance companies more than I paid myself, and I did everything I could to keep costs down. Cessna left piston production because they could make much more money off one bizjet than dozens of single engine piston a/c combined. Liability was just a good PR talking point.

I say again, liability risk is as bad or worse for car mfgrs; they just get to spread the premium cost (risk) across millions of vehicles instead of a few dozen. We see just about every aviation lawsuit, but rarely see the automotive suits because they're not 'newsworthy'.
 

TFF

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I work mostly on one brand of piston helicopter for the last fifteen years. We hired a pilot who had just left that brand as one of their VPs. He was tired of the inefficiency. In accounting and accountability.

What one to five people on the same mission can do is completely different on what 150 union workers do. For tax reasons my guess, business flow is done one way, and that way only gives them 5% profit. They don’t want to change that. I don’t know why but they are fat, dumb, and happy with that. I’m sure Lycoming is probably the same way, don’t make waves or we might all loose our jobs. The helicopter company does make 90% of everything. Very little outsourcing. You go to the factory and 50% of the floor is machining with mostly CNC machines. The price is high to own them with low volume. 5 % of the floor is putting the helicopters together.
 

BJC

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97FL, Florida, USA
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.
Rik:

I’ve been trying to understand just how to go about “rebelling against it”. What do you recommend?

Thanks,


BJC
 

PMD

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Martensville SK
Cessna left piston production because they could make much more money off one bizjet than dozens of single engine piston a/c combined. Liability was just a good PR talking point.
If that was the main consideration, why would Cessna be producing 172, 182, 206 today?

40 years ago, I was able to buy 450HP for $11,000.00 of fully certified and very useful shiny new aircraft engines. I would LOVE to be able to do that now, but harsh reality is we don't do wars that run on recips these days, so it is back to the drawing board. IMHO, the ONLY two ways of getting a lower cost airplane engine is to do an automobile conversion (and we have seen those since old Henry's days...even the V8-60 was actually certified with a reduction drive) and you can see the cost of those by the pricetag on Thielert (bankrupt, now Continental) 135, 155, 170, 300 HP engines that cost about the same per HP as their bespoke direct drive new airplane engine (265). I suspect Austro has about the same values driven by actual costs. The second way is to find an alternate use for your new engine design that has a LOT more volume than aviation and try to get costs under control that way. Think of the Lyc O-290 as a GPU/genset/etc. as how to do that.

I think the people doing Honda, Suzuki, etc. auto engine conversions are on the right track for E/AB, but not sure they are going to make it into the certified world. Remember what the results were when Porsche tried that? I think Limbach came as close as anyone to ever pulling that one off.

Personally, I can't see using gasoline as a motor fuel (ridiculous stuff, and dangerous), so my salvation will have to arrive burning heavy distillate fuels (jet and diesel). Until someone figures out how to make a Rotax 912 weight and power engine for low enough bux, I can't see it happening.

IMHO: the real breakthrough will come if we increase the LSA limits to 3,000 or better yet 3,600 lbs. That is IF the FAA can keep their nose out of it and the government can keep the LLL away.
 
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JamesF

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Mar 30, 2015
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Clovis, NM
Hi,
I’m the guy that started this thread, and I’m glad that I did. I’ve seen some really thoughtful and informative answers. I do however want to make the point that I did not mean to criticize Scott. He makes a fine engine. His price and service must be good as well. I was trying to figure out why he “seemed” to suffer in comparison. I guess that scale and insurance are the major reasons
james Fuller
 

TFF

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In the world of Amazon and home CNC machines, a old school mom and pop business does not make intellectual sense. It goes against what is available for 99% of everything. Its forgotten that instant is not what makes these guys money. It’s value. Instant is disposable because you can always get another. Harbor Freight tools vs Snap-on. Harbor Freight is winning and will kill quality in time. New world of good enough.
 

David Lewis

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Oct 4, 2018
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Longwood FL
An aircraft itself has ZERO value as an engine OH (overhaul) can cost more than a sales price for an A/C (aircraft).
I agree. I've seen the asking price of homebuilt airplanes just equal to the value of the engine and instruments. The airframe is effectively thrown in for free.
ur big buck competitor for discretionary spending these days is real estate: the free ride on tax bill for real estate speculation means a lot more of our money is put into "location, location" than into locomotion for our airplanes.
I also believe real estate is a good money laundering vehicle. That means sellers enjoy enhanced returns, and buyers who are not slave traders, drug dealers, or corrupt politicians less able to afford.
 

akwrencher

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Gustavus, AK
It's not just old airplanes. My last boat, which wasn't in terrible shape, I bought, and sold, for 20k. Probably would have cost more than that for a new engine. Had an old Volvo diesel, maybe 115 hp. I don't like the cost of aviation any more than the next guy, but the reality is, I can buy a flyable 150, or a small aluminum boat, for about the same price. I know this is a thread about new engine cost, but, really, the only "cheap" engines, per hp, are car engines, due to extreme volume. Want a 200 hp outboard for your sporty boat? 20k. Give or take. It just is what it is.
 

PMD

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Apr 11, 2015
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Martensville SK
In the world of Amazon and home CNC machines, a old school mom and pop business does not make intellectual sense. It goes against what is available for 99% of everything. Its forgotten that instant is not what makes these guys money. It’s value. Instant is disposable because you can always get another. Harbor Freight tools vs Snap-on. Harbor Freight is winning and will kill quality in time. New world of good enough.
Sadly, since most Crap-on tools ( I can say that...as I have a number of them) now come from the same place as HF, you are quite right....for North America. Once can still get really good tools from Yurp. For nearly 50 years, my flat wrenches have been mostly Stahwille, lately all of my screwdrivers and ratchet handles are from Wera, pliers from Knipex and on it goes. I have some S-K stuff starting with my first set Dad gave me in 1961 since they remained US made (I think - not sure they are still around) I have tried to buy when I find some and bought Armstrong for field HD use - but they too are no longer. The day of good tools over here are gone along with the shift of thinking money itself is the measure of success, unlike our European ancestors who valued the quality of your work above how much money you got for your time and trouble. I DO get forced into Snapon at ridiculous prices because they are now the VWAG tool supplier and they have some things - such as 1/2" drive torque adapters - I can't seem to find anywhere else. Still like MAC for my 3/8 drive sockets.

Sure sounds like the airplane business today, doesn't it?
 
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TFF

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I was in a factory aircraft maintenance class over ten years ago. 50/50 US and foreign. I asked one what he was bringing home with him. He had hit the local Sears store and bought $3000 worth of tools. It was a gold mine he had planned on. That was a lot of good tools then. You can’t even go to Sears now, and the Craftsman tools you get today are not as high grade as they were. Still ok but not wonderful.

Good screwdrivers and needle nose pliers. Where did they all go?
 

PMD

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Martensville SK
Good screwdrivers and needle nose pliers. Where did they all go?
Wera and Wiha for the screwdrivers, but if you are touching cross points on Asian anything, you need JIS drivers and bits which Vessel is the top source. Knipex for pliers, but if you want the very best needle nose you need Oribis (also made in Germany). They are all still out there, just no longer made in USA (or sadly Canada). I still use Channel lock for "ordinary" pliers (some still USA made) but not for needle nose or side cutters (Klein for latter).
 
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Vigilant1

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Vice-Grips: not a precision tool, but darn handy. The last set I bought were legit Vice-Grip brand and they were not good. I have an old Craftsman pair (made in the mid 60's?) left to me by my dad, they are wonderful. The adjustment screw is as smooth as butter.
 

akwrencher

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Oct 16, 2012
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Gustavus, AK
Tool quality is a pet peave. I have a lot of Craftsman sockets, too many sets to count. Some are old, some maybe 6 years old I bought online. Don't even look like they are the same brand. That's how far downhill they went. Still functional but good grief.........
I always liked snapon for screwdrivers, or Mac. I ordered a bunch of used ones a while back. Recently I've come to appreciate Kleins for a decent value good screwdriver.
 

Rik-

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Sep 13, 2019
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370
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San Rafael, California
Want a real thrill? Price out a DIESEL outboard for your saltwater pleasure. About double the price of a gasser.
BUT, that's an engine, alternator, starter, exhaust, water pump, an engine mount, a gearbox that shifts F/N/R, steering and trim and a 5 year warranty that the owner does not have to pay for the manufacturer's F'ups!!! AGAIN the manufacturer pay's for the AD'S!!!!!!!

It's like a FWF kit with a constant speed propeller.
 

rv7charlie

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Nov 17, 2014
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Jackson
Unless they've gone downhill in the last 5-10 years Klein makes very high quality pliers for electrical and electronic work. I'm not afraid to go cheap, but I had several lives in the electronics field, and I always bought Klein for pliers and cutters. I've got multiple pairs of Klein 'lineman's pliers' that served my father for decades as an electrician, and are still in good shape today, ~40 years after he *retired*. I've got some 5" needle nose pliers that I've owned and used since the mid 1970s that are still serviceable, though the teeth in the jaws are a bit worn now. I finally bought some new 5" flush cutting 'dykes' (diagonal cutting pliers) about 5 years ago, after abusing the old ones for too long. (Note that the cutters I'm referencing are intended for cutting copper/aluminum; don't expect to use them for safety wire or other steel. You really need the right tool for those jobs.)

Charlie
 

TFF

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Apr 28, 2010
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Memphis, TN
I got a little of everything, but the older the tool the better. I was standing on a Mac truck 10 years ago and I saw some long handle needle nose Give me those I said. I end up using them on something tight. I bend the tips squeezing them. I could not figure it out right away why I lost the grip. Flex is one thing; banana shaped is another. I got stuff older than me that is just fine. Even the good stuff is slipping a little. Just the lettering on old tools is better.
 
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