- Mar 13, 2008
- Upper midwest in a house
And in true Ford tradition, there could have been some hype in there. The plane was very conventional for the day, tube, stick and fabric. Requires building techniques that don't favor mass production. As far as building one for $20k today using mass production techniques, if it were made from aluminum just the aluminum stock would run somewhere in the neighborhood of $5k. Add stamping cost, assembly, engine, prop, some instruments, upholstery and paint, which is what the average consumer would demand and $20k is but a spec in the review mirror.It was intended to be mass produced at low cost. Think expensive tooling and a plane every 5 minutes as opposed to no tooling and one plane every 5 years. His plan was to replace hand formed aluminum with a die to make 10 parts per minute and instead of hand bucking rivets to machine assemble major components. Fords production assembly today would produce 500 airplanes per day at a MSRP of $20,000 each or less. Also, we would have an airport and airway system to support the fleet that would be the best in the world. (Can you imagine a runway within 2 miles of your home AND your destination?)
To build the plane today would most certainly require modernization (and improvements) as the originals had several shortcomings. I always ask this question: Who wants to fly a plane that's not any fun to fly?