# Inexpensive Homebuilts... Why?

## Which is the closest reason to why you're interested in "inexpensive" homebuilts?

• ### I CAN afford many offerings, but can't get the (performance, looks, etc.) in my price range.

• Total voters
75
• Poll closed .

#### Topaz

##### Super Moderator
Staff member
Log Member
We see a lot of threads here on HBA about "less expensive" or "inexpensive"airplanes. The VP-21 and "flying motorcycle" threads are prime examples, and there are many, many more. In fact, such threads tend to become our some of our more-popular postings. Along with spiders. Weird. Anyway, many,many people, it seems, are interested in "inexpensive" homebuilts. Others say, "Don't bother - save up your money and get something you'll enjoy more," usually meaning much higher performance, better looks, etc. There's a lot of wisdom in that latter point, yet the popularity of"inexpensive aircraft" threads persists. Are we all silly dreamers?

It struck me to ask WHY are you interested in "inexpensive" homebuilts? Please read through all the options and pick the ONE that is closest to your own situation.

The poll closes on October 20th, 2016.

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#### Hot Wings

##### Grumpy Cynic
HBA Supporter
Log Member
It's not the initial cost for me that bothers me. I learned a long time ago to spend less than I make and saved for things I really wanted. After years of this I could afford to purchase about any reasonable plane I might lust for. The costs after the purchase are the ones that add up over time and with certified planes you never know when that one pesky AD will come out that makes your purchase worthless (Blanik/Let). That's one of the reasons I'm interested in Experimental.

#### plncraze

##### Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Aviation is a disease and I can't let it go. A cheap homebuilt is my only ticket to fly on a regular basis. I am employed in aviation as a mechanic and cannot afford a factory built plane.

#### StarJar

##### Well-Known Member
Ever since I saw Roger Mann's designs it changed my whole way of thinking. I thought; if he can make all these different planes cheaply, using pretty much the same techniques on all of them, than this is a cool way to go. If you try a new shape or idea, and it doesn't work out, you're not out a whole lot of bucks.
You can use a lot of the stuff again too (as long as you're not dead). Lol

#### gtae07

##### Well-Known Member
I went with "cheap bastard", partly because I am, and partly because I want more than one airplane and something cheap is the only way I'll be able to afford the second (and third, and fourth...) one.

#### Topaz

##### Super Moderator
Staff member
Log Member
Very interesting responses! I'd love to see more!

Log Member

#### skier

##### Well-Known Member
Unfortunately at most airports around here, to rent an aircraft you need to schedule it 1-2 weeks ahead of time. You never end up scheduling one of those beautiful evenings. And weather frequently cancels a planned flight. When one of those perfect evenings comes around, I'd love to be able to ditch work a little early and head to the airport for a short flight. To be able to do that, I need my own plane.

I make enough that I could probably purchase a more expensive certified aircraft if I so desired. To do so, however, I would have to give up other things that make me (and my wife) happy. If it were possible to purchase an aircraft for <$15,000 spread out over 2-4 years that allowed me to fly 50 hours per year for <$5000, I'd be a happy man.

Cheap bastard? Might be a good description. I tend to think of it as keeping peace at home.

How much does your car cost?
But my car has a purpose that is easy to justify: getting me to and from work where I make the money to be able to afford a place to live, food to eat, and yes, that car for transportation. To get good jobs that we like my wife and I work an hour apart. In most of the US, unfortunately, cars are more a necessity than a luxury. No good public transportation in rural areas, suburbia, or even smaller cities (I'm looking at you Hartford, Wichita, etc.).

My plane (when I have one), on the other hand, is just a toy used to give me some enjoyment and relaxation. I can't get to work with it. Without IFR and Flight into Known Icing I'm not going to be travelling for work in it or even to see friends and relatives in this part of the country.

#### bmcj

##### Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Perhaps another good poll (an offshoot of this one if you will) would be to set price ranges and ask members which kit price point would tip them over edge from looker to buyer.

#### Topaz

##### Super Moderator
Staff member
Log Member
Perhaps another good poll (an offshoot of this one if you will) would be to set price ranges and ask members which kit price point would tip them over edge from looker to buyer.
Never works. People say one thing, do another.

I'm interested to see how this plays out, when more votes are in. I may have a follow-on or two. What I ask depends on the result that comes from this one.

#### rbrochey

##### Well-Known Member
My dad was 100 years old when he passed away in 1990. He was old school to say the least and taught me to be independent. At age 11 I was on a step ladder learning to install ceiling lights in our old farmhouse that didn't have electricity when he bought it... he looked on from his folding chair while drinking his ever present cup of coffee when I asked how do I know if this wire is hot? His reply was 'touch the black one and white one at the same time.That will tell you. ' I did and was shocked..and he said 'there now you know you have to wire up the light carefully." I'm 67 now and have been doing wiring and everything else for myself my entire life. All thanks to him teaching me. I don't think there's a day that passes that I don't use something he taught me. I have had maybe three outside service calls in my entire life. I like doing things myself. I want to build my own plane for the same reasons I build everything else for myself, like my dad said, 'avoid the paths everyone else is walking down, you'll never get anywhere.' And when the plane is finished? I will name it Russell. RIP dad. And thanks.

##### Well-Known Member
Part of the question resolves into how much does it take to make you happy? I can't say that I've ever enjoyed flying anything more than my Airbike and CGS Hawk ultralights, and then my Sonex. Lots of bang for the buck.

#### lurker

##### Well-Known Member
cheap bastard.
that's why i have what nice things i have.
retired, fixed income. some little of it is disposable, so i don't want to fritter it.
aviation is a luxury. don't really know that i'd enjoy flying often, like every weekend. but i want to try it on my terms and schedule. not concerned (yet) with "performance", or going anyplace particular except maybe back to the field i took off from.
if i build (i've always wanted to build my own airplane, just so i can tell myself i did) a cheap (frugal/inexpensive sound so much better) airplane and i just love it, maybe there's a license and nicer bigger faster airplane in my future. if not, i had fun and learned something, and it didn't break the bank.

#### Pops

##### Well-Known Member
Log Member
I guess I am cheap. I like to make my money go as far as possible. I also like to build things, airplanes, houses, cars, boats, etc from scratch. I am sort of a relic of the past, if I don't have the cash, I don't buy. I live a lower life style and as simple as possible. Built both of my new homes without a mortgage. Never had a car payment since I bought a new 1968 VW bug for $1868 and paid it off in a few months. No credit cards, no debt of any kind. Credit rating, not listed, (great, I had my bank check on me). With all of that, having 3 children, we have lived a very nice life style and done a lot of things and traveled a lot. So, since I like building and rebuilding things, I would never buy an aircraft kit. Airplanes have been very good to me in my life in all ways. I have been blessed in all ways. In building the SSSC, I didn't build it cheaply because I couldn't afford it, I wanted to see how inexpensive I could build a nice performing airplane. I had a little more than$3850 spent when I did the first test flight.

#### cavelamb

##### Well-Known Member
I went with "cheap bastard", partly because I am, and partly because I want more than one airplane and something cheap is the only way I'll be able to afford the second (and third, and fourth...) one.
How many airplanes do you have right now?

#### TFF

##### Well-Known Member
In response to the car, my car does get me to work, to eat, kids to school and it is only the second one in my life that only has that purpose. All the other cars I have owned had the joy of ownership first and I dealt with making it get me to work or school. Alfas, Triumphs, MGs, A Jag, Range Rover among many others were my normal kit and only options. I started driving what I have now, and everyone I knew wanted to know if I had hit my head as it was very un-Tom. AC does work good though. So to me a Pininfarina designed fender is way more important. Why do I drive what i do now? Free. Would rather turn it into a 65 Mustang if I had the choice.

#### cavelamb

##### Well-Known Member
Very interesting - and very telling!

6 of 29 hold licenses (20%).

80% don't.

I think that explains a lot of what I've read on this forum!

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