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Toobuilder

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I beg to differ. If you are going to spend a good chunk of your free time with the aircraft, you should be comfortable with it and perhaps a bit in love. Here, looks are important, too. Or rather attraction.
Maybe yes, maybe no. I could own a Stinson Gullwing just for the pleasure of looking at it, but it would always come in second place to my Rocket, which lookes like any other "spam can" RV. The Rocket is such a fantastic airplane to fly, I don't care what it looks like or whether it has any ramp appeal at all. Hell, I'd paint it flat brown with pink hearts all over it if it would buy me another 5 knots of speed.

As with people, "looks" never sustain a relationship for long.
 

malte

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The question is, how much fun would an aircraft be, if you're repelled by it's design? Since there are a lot of options for every category, you might aswell consider attraction. Why build a Sonex, if you don't like the looks? Why buy an SR22 or a Turbo Arrow IV if you are repelled by its design? There are nicer looking alternatives in the very class of aircraft.

Since our aircraft are mainly for recreational, private and fun travel purposes, I don't think that purely looking at the numbers will satisfy the needs. Our kind of aviation is always partly fueld by dreams and thus I think attraction is as important as numbers.
 

BJC

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If looks mattered, there would be no Zenair 7XX aircraft, and all HBA would look like either the Polen Special or Symmetry.


BJC
 

Toobuilder

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I flew a Hiperbipe for many years. It looks like the shipping container an RV comes in. I thought it was ugly, my wife called it "the whale"...

I LOVED that airplane! Flew great and hauled a lot of stuff. Pure requirements.

The thing is, you can't see the airplane when you're flying it, so it all comes down to performance and comfort.
 

Daleandee

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Why build a Sonex, if you don't like the looks?
Hey! I resemble that remark! :popcorn:

In my own defense I did all I could to try and make her more attractive. I like the look ... but the performance is what I really enjoy!

Since our aircraft are mainly for recreational, private and fun travel purposes, I don't think that purely looking at the numbers will satisfy the needs. Our kind of aviation is always partly fueld by dreams and thus I think attraction is as important as numbers.
I can't agree as the performance and flight characteristics of any airplane is, IMHO, much more important than the looks. If it can't do what I need it to do - being pretty won't fix that.

Dale
 

BJC

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I wonder if there is a correlation between the number of aircraft one has owned and the relative importance of the looks of an aircraft being considered for procurement, whether it be by building, stealing or purchasing.


BJC
 

malte

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I can't agree as the performance and flight characteristics of any airplane is, IMHO, much more important than the looks. If it can't do what I need it to do - being pretty won't fix that.
Based on this, how would you explain anyone buying a Stearman?

I wonder if there is a correlation between the number of aircraft one has owned and the relative importance of the looks of an aircraft being considered for procurement, whether it be by building, stealing or purchasing.
That is an excellent question, although I think personality is more important, no? I am currently owning four aircraft and I have sold three and for any recreational aircraft I don't think I would buy anything I would not be attracted to. Certainly I would not commit to building anything that I would not look good, too in my eyes. But then again, I am looking through the eyes of an aeronautical engineer...
 

BJC

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I bought a Cessna A152 that had lived its entire life outdoors in Texas. It had a rock-solid airframe, typical dried, yellowed snd cracked ABS interior, and a strong engine. Externally, it showed the results of its outdoor life. Plus, it was a Cessna 152.

It met my wants at the time: basic aerobatic, could be tied down outdoors in Florida (i.e., not a tube, wood and fabric airplane), able to find a qualified instructor for my son-in-law’s pilot training.

I kept it in North Carolina in the summer (see below), and my son-in-law kept it in Florida in the winter. It was a success; he got his Private Pilot and I had a ball in it. Retired, moved to 97FL, got a letter that read, “I want to buy your Aerobat ...”

He did.

48175B53-2496-4EDC-88C8-649D4CCCE82C.jpeg

BJC
 

malte

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What's not to love about a Stearman?
Everything is lovely but performance and flight characteristics. When I flew the Stearman, it wasn't a very pleasuring good performer, considered the hp installed. But it has flair, taste, sound, legacy, ramp appeal. Noone buys a Stearman for the pleasure flight characteristics, roll rate or fuel efficiency.
 

BJC

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Everything is lovely but performance and flight characteristics. When I flew the Stearman, it wasn't a very pleasuring good performer, considered the hp installed. But it has flair, taste, sound, legacy, ramp appeal. Noone buys a Stearman for the pleasure flight characteristics, roll rate or fuel efficiency.
The 450 HP Stearman with four ailerons and aileron servo tabs is nice to fly. Sounds great, too, but that P&W is thirsty.


BJC
 

Pops

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There is only about 3 airplanes out there that I wouldn't own. Performance and handling is maybe 75% and 25% looks. I have owned 13 different airplanes and like them all. I usually kept one for 4 or 5 years and wanted something else. If I had the money, I would have a fleet of airplanes.
Of the 13 airplanes, I like the Falconar F-12 the most. I would like to have it back, but a owner ground looped it and did major damage, fixed it, sold it and the new owner ground looped it and it was totaled. Flew it about 5 years after finishing it and wife and I did a lot of traveling in it, put about 750 hrs on it, and felt like I was setting in my favorite recliner at home. Wife wanted a 4 seat airplane to haul the kitchen sink, so I sold it. Big mistake.
At this time I don't have a flying airplane. First time in about 45 years. I didn't want to, but sold the SSSC to make room for the JMR. If I had more land room, I would have add to my hanger for the extra space.
BTW-- The new owner of the SSSC was taking off behind a large military helicopter and got in the wake turbulence and got blown off the side of the runway and into a side field. Lower firewall hit a tree on rollout. Easier to build a new fuselage that repair. Small Right wing tip bow and tip LE damage. Easy repair for the wing. No injures.
 

Toobuilder

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Everything is lovely but performance and flight characteristics. When I flew the Stearman, it wasn't a very pleasuring good performer, considered the hp installed. But it has flair, taste, sound, legacy, ramp appeal. Noone buys a Stearman for the pleasure flight characteristics, roll rate or fuel efficiency.
I'd own a Stearman in a second. In fact I have a standing offer to trade my L-39 for a 450. But it sure isn't for the looks or status - it's for the experience! The "mission" may be different from my Rocket, but just as valid. That said, a 450 Stearman is an expensive toy, purchased only after the basic transportation "needs" are met by a better/more practical airplane like the Rocket (yes, I just said my Rocket is "basic transportation").

So yes, there's room to buy an airplane on hormonal whim, but that's only AFTER the practical flying needs are met (IMHO).
 

Little Scrapper

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We live in a amazing world with amazing people and amazing opportunities. No matter where you live there’s likely people near you with a large assortment of airplanes. Get to know those people. Go flying. Stick time is really a smart idea. Find someone with a Tailwind and go fly it with him/her. Do the same with a RV, a Sonex, a J3 Cub, ultralight or perhaps a Thorp T18. There’s options like you wouldn’t imagine. You may discover that one ride in a glider is all it takes and you’re committed to that realm of aviation. For some people they love biplanes, it’s like they fly with a pair of wings and they are literally committed for life to the two wing world. I’m personally attached to single seats. I always come full circle for single seats. Renting a two seater is a phone call away. Whatever turns your crank man, but you need to go experience some of this stuff to find out.

Building is a very big commitment but really, for many of us we just live shop time and don’t really care about the future just as long as we are fabricating something.

It took me a very long time to realize building and flying are two very different things, it’s so critical you understand this.

So go meet people with airplanes. I’m serious, airplane people are awesome and airplane people love attention and love to share aviation. Go on a discovery and find what you truly love and understand there’s gonna be some compromises.

Imagine picking a design having never ever been in a open cockpit airplane, or a really fast high wing. You want to experience some of these things first.

Good luck.
 
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Heavy Iron

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Dana

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For me an airplane has to be fun, cheap, and interesting. That rules out most Cessnas, Pipers, etc. The last three have been biplanes, though I could see myself enjoying a seaplane or bush plane. If my wife was interested in flying with me my priorities might be different.
 

gtae07

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I picked the RV-7 in large part based on my experience building and flying my dad's RV-6. I knew the airplane and the build techniques, it can do a do of the things I'd realistically like to do in an airplane, and it allows my wife to sit next to me (she absolutely refuses to sit tandem and it was a deal-breaker).

It might not be interesting, or turn heads on the ramp (it's pretty much the spam can of homebuilts), but those weren't important factors to me.
 
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