"Inexpensive" airplanes you LIKE, and why you WOULDN'T buy one.

Discussion in 'General Experimental Aviation Questions' started by Topaz, Sep 16, 2016.

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  1. Sep 16, 2016 #1

    Topaz

    Topaz

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    Okay, this is going to be an unusual question, and it's far too nuanced for a poll. This one's "audience participation"! :gig:

    Here's the challenge: I'd like you to name an airplane (homebuilt or used-type-certificated) that's on the market (new or used), that you consider "inexpensive", and that you like very much.

    And then I want you to tell me why you wouldn't buy one, either as a kit or as an already-completed airplane.

    If you've already purchased your inexpensive dream plane, you're automatically disqualified from this one. Take $10 out of petty cash.

    No, I'm not just doing this question to be contrary. I've got a very specific set of goals in mind for this one, which I'll talk about once I have some of my questions answered by the replies. It has to be asked this way to be of use to me.

    Thank you for your indulgence. There will be no further questions/polls from me today.
     
  2. Sep 16, 2016 #2

    Hot Wings

    Hot Wings

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    Starlight.

    No folding wings, not currently available, needs a 4 stroke FWF.

    edit: Technically still on the market but don't pop up often.
     
  3. Sep 16, 2016 #3

    skier

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    Flybaby - Afraid of wood structures without a hangar in the Northeast. It's a taildragger which I'm rated for, but mildly afraid of. It's also open cockpit which limits the flying season and has issues with hangars again.
    Volksplane VP1 - same as above
    Mignet Flying Flea - same as above
    Minimax - same as above
    Corby Starlet - same as above, but at least it's closed cockpit. Unfortunately, it's aerobatic and I have no interest in them and am afraid of ending up with a twitchy plane that's uncomfortable for cross country flights.
    Airbike - again with the needing a hangar/place to store it.

    Are you seeing a trend?
     
  4. Sep 16, 2016 #4

    Pops

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    RV-3, Hatz, etc.

    First of all, I haven't bought a model airplane kit since Carl Goldberg came out with the Falcon 56. Always designed and scratch built my own. Same for the kits for homebuilts. I would never buy a homebuilt kit, I would buy the plans and scratch built the RV-3, Hatz, Mini-Coupe, Cygnet, Pietenpol, etc, etc. I like to build things, not put together what someone else has built.
    By watching what you buy, you could build all of these inexpensively and have a lot of fun building and flying.
    As you can see, I like fast and slow.
     
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  5. Sep 16, 2016 #5

    TFF

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    Umm, if its your inexpensive "like", like really like, plane or "DREAM" plane, the only reasonable reason is you are too poor to buy it or store/ maintain. I like every airplane, I love too many. I think there is always the perfect excuse of its not the perfect airplane so I will wait till it materializes. Like hoping Star Trek "Mirror Mirror" will solve the problem. Where is the petty cash box?
     
  6. Sep 16, 2016 #6

    don january

    don january

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    Lil Breezy. lil breezy.jpg but like skier said it fits into the "trend" up in the north country.
     
  7. Sep 16, 2016 #7

    Topaz

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    Okay, true, but we can all generalize into clouds like that. I'm trying to force you into making concrete selections and choices. Not to act upon, but to talk about here. Think of a specific "inexpensive" airplane that you really like, and then think about the reasons you haven't already bought one.

    We have lots of people here who are talking a lot about inexpensive airplanes, and not buying one of the very nice airplanes already on the market. There are lots of nice used airplanes out there, yet people are talking here about "inexpensive" airplanes that are in the exact same price range, plus you have to build them! I dispute that you don't buy the "inexpensive" airplane only because it's "too expensive" or even "too expensive to store and maintain." That's a contradiction - either it's "inexpensive" or it's... not affordable.

    The data so far is indicating that there is a price range and range of capabilities that people consider a reasonable trade in value, yet we're not seeing purchases in great quantity of airplanes that fit that price range and set of capabilities. Something is getting in the way of the sale. What is that 'something'?
     
  8. Sep 16, 2016 #8

    Topaz

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    Yes. You really like airplanes that aren't suitable for the climate where you live. And that trailering and/or storing in an enclosed trailer are not an option for you, for some unstated reason.

    Accurate? Neither of those is a judgement or criticism. Just observations.
     
  9. Sep 16, 2016 #9

    litespeed

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    I would love a Hummelbird but for two reasons........


    It is currently out of my price range currently to build- pathetic I know- so not really a fair criticism.

    I would want a little more space and more grunt than the I/2 vw so would redisign with a rounded cowl and a bigger four stroke or a two stroke and pretty up the lines to suit.
     
  10. Sep 16, 2016 #10

    12notes

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    I'm going to go ahead and assume that I have my realistic two year build budget right now rather than just say I can't afford it.

    Hummelbird - I really like this one. It's small, it's cheap, it's relatively quick to scratch build, it's aerobatic, it uses 2 gallons per hour cruising at 100mph. But I wouldn't build it because it has zero baggage carrying ability, and it's not recoverable from a spin.

    (My current favorite is the BK-1 with a BMW R1200 engine).
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2016
  11. Sep 16, 2016 #11

    Little Scrapper

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    I thought about this a lot. There's only one.

    WACO Taperwing. I have a full set of prints gathered over the years. It's too complicated and big for me. Too much money for the whole enchilada like maintenance hangar etc. But boy, I sure do love the airplane. I'd only settle on building it and that's just not in the cards.
     
  12. Sep 16, 2016 #12

    pilot103

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    Kolb, Excellent fliers, folding wings but I cant bring myself to put my feet that far out front, a buddy had 2 and I just kept thinking screw up a landing and I'd never walk again
     
  13. Sep 16, 2016 #13

    Kyle Boatright

    Kyle Boatright

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    Stewart Headwind.

    Fly Baby.

    Why not? Because I have other irons in the fire. I have plans for both, so one day...
     
  14. Sep 16, 2016 #14

    Aesquire

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    Minimax. Himax is fine, I just have a thing against running the wing struts through the landing gear. Too intolerant of lack of talent.

    Really any plane with that feature is off my list no matter how cute and nostalgic. It's pretty much the only reason I don't already have an Aerodrome Airplanes "Dream Classic" parked in the kitchen. ( Done as a Demoiselle knock off, Yes, I've thought about it )

    If I gave it some thought, I'd have other reasons & picks. Some may be hard engineering or mission pet peeves, some irrational based on perceived beauty or lack of sex appeal.
     
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  15. Sep 16, 2016 #15

    fredoyster

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    All of the good 15-1600 pound 2-seaters that don't qualify for people flying under light sport who are that only because of some twist in the medical rules, like taking 4 meds instead of 3 for BP. Grumman AA-1, Tomahawk, C150 etc.
     
  16. Sep 16, 2016 #16

    RUSTY

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    Do you care to give examples of the airplanes people aren't buying? I'm not trying to be contrary, I'm just trying to understand what you're getting at.

    I live in a rural area and there are two flybabys, a VP 2, and probably a dozen ultralights close by. I suspect many people in this hobby are just quietly doing their thing.
     
  17. Sep 16, 2016 #17

    Chris In Marshfield

    Chris In Marshfield

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    Pretty much all of the MiniMaxes with 2-strokes. Probably because Rotax doesn't produce them any more, other than the 582. I'd love the big MiniMax with the VW.

    That's pretty much the only excuse I have if I have to make an excuse for not having a particular airplane ;)
     
  18. Sep 16, 2016 #18

    VFR-on-top

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    aaerolite103.jpg
    Aerolite 103. Now available as a kit and can be built to an EAB. Won't buy because wings don't fold and no closed cockpit option.

    akolbfirestar.jpg
    Kolb Firefly or Firestar. May not buy because its a tailwheel.

    aquicksilver.jpg
    Quicksilver GT400. No folding wings and apparently, not available as a new aircraft.
     
  19. Sep 16, 2016 #19

    Topaz

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    Pretty much anything generally described as "inexpensive" on the forums, other than the Sonex family, which seems to be the only company selling what are perceived as "inexpensive" airplanes that have any really significant sales. Minmax and its brethren would be the other possibility, but are probably being hampered by their single-seat nature, if the "characteristics" poll is to be believed. I excluded aerobats, seaplanes, and actual ultralights, simply because they don't really match up with what people have described as "inexpensive". Ultralights certainly are, but my observation is that they're excluded from the category by simple lack of utility and the need for very still air. They are, both legally and by view of most of the market, "not airplanes."

    The example that came to mind when I first considered this question is the Double Eagle which, as I've noted, matches all the objective criteria, yet it's not selling noticeably well. The few Cub-alikes that fall into the lower end of their price range are out there, but not in any particular numbers, unlike their much-more-expensive siblings. People want inexpensive aircraft, yet aren't actually buying them in any particular numbers, beyond Sonex and MiniMax. Challenger has a decent foothold, but their success seems to have flattened out. The only company in the segment that seems to actually be growing is Sonex.

    As for what I'm trying to get at with this question, I don't wish to share that yet. Knowing the reason I'm asking would poison the data. I'll share that information once I see a clear result in the data. I'm not seeing that yet.
     
  20. Sep 16, 2016 #20

    bifft

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    I keep reading/dreaming about the Sandlin Goat. Doesn't get much cheaper or simpler than that. But I'm 25% over the design max pilot weight.
     

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