Inexpensive Homebuilts... Why?

HomeBuiltAirplanes.com

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

  • Have some discipline, save, and get something really nice later.

    Votes: 1 1.3%
  • I don't make much money. I can barely afford a used ultralight.

    Votes: 15 20.0%
  • I have a pilot license, but everyday expenses mean I can't afford what's out there.

    Votes: 17 22.7%
  • I need to get my license, and can afford that or an airplane, not both.

    Votes: 2 2.7%
  • I'm just a cheap bastard. Aviation costs too much. It should be less.

    Votes: 31 41.3%
  • I CAN afford many offerings, but can't get the (performance, looks, etc.) in my price range.

    Votes: 9 12.0%
  • Have some discipline, save, and get something really nice later.

    Votes: 1 1.3%
  • I don't make much money. I can barely afford a used ultralight.

    Votes: 15 20.0%
  • I have a pilot license, but everyday expenses mean I can't afford what's out there.

    Votes: 17 22.7%
  • I need to get my license, and can afford that or an airplane, not both.

    Votes: 2 2.7%
  • I'm just a cheap bastard. Aviation costs too much. It should be less.

    Votes: 31 41.3%
  • I CAN afford many offerings, but can't get the (performance, looks, etc.) in my price range.

    Votes: 9 12.0%

  • Total voters
    75
  • Poll closed .

FritzW

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I think aviation (at least the kind that interests me) is too expensive because we make it too complicated. I like simplicity and simplicity usually goes hand in hand with inexpensive.
 

Toobuilder

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None of the responses fit me, but I do look for good value. My $100+k Rocket is cheap in some circles, high end in others, but I consider it an exceptional bang for the buck. I also enjoy my $10k, 4 GPH auto gas Taylorcraft. I define my mission requirements and then buy what I can afford. "Inexpensive" is not a primary consideration "good value" is.
 

Aerowerx

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Marion, Ohio
The last time I flew it was $80 an hour wet (c172). That was about 12 years ago, and I'm sure it hasn't got any better.

So I figured the only way I am going to fly again is to build my own.
 

litespeed

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I am limited in funds and I love working with my hands.

Speed is not important but fun is.
 

skier

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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!
I don't think you're reading those responses correctly. I chose cheap bastard, though I do have a pilots license. The poll only allowed you to select one option, so I don't think you can read the results and figure out how many people have licenses.
 

Dana

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With the exception of my first plane, 30 years ago (I was looking for a small old taildragger and found the T-Craft), all of my other planes "found" me... I wasn't looking, but they dropped into my lap at a price I couldn't refuse.

Dana
 

cheapracer

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Certainly wise, but not the question at hand in this particular poll. I'm interested in knowing why other people are interested in "inexpensive" homebuilts.
I would wonder how much some other things come into the psyche.

Things like knowing that occasionally you are going to have a repair bill from a hard landing, storage out of sight hoping no one touches it, damage from just moving it around or having others moving their planes around under the same roof.

Like when you get a new car and you're terrified at shopping center car parks for the first few months, does having a cheap plane helps to settle all those nerves?
 

Pops

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I would wonder how much some other things come into the psyche.

Things like knowing that occasionally you are going to have a repair bill from a hard landing, storage out of sight hoping no one touches it, damage from just moving it around or having others moving their planes around under the same roof.

Like when you get a new car and you're terrified at shopping center car parks for the first few months, does having a cheap plane helps to settle all those nerves?
Right on. The last airplane that I restored was a headache. Kept it in a heated and AC hanger. I would just fly it when the grass runway was dry and mowed. Laid towels down on the carpet and took my shoes off to keep it clean. After a flight I would spend at least an hour wiping any bug juice off and going over the entire aircraft. Would spend lots of time going over the polished aluminum to keep it looking new. I sold it to a museum in Berlin, Germany. I had just finished the SSSC and would get in with my muddy shoes and taxie down the wet and soft grass runway and watch the water and mud get slung up on the struts and lower part of the wings and just smile. Happy at last.
 

Tiger Tim

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Thunder Bay
I like inexpensive flying but I don't fit into any of those categories. For me it's just that the kind of recreational flying I enjoy the most happens to be populated with cheap airplanes.
 

Turd Ferguson

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Upper midwest in a house
I would wonder how much some other things come into the psyche.
I'm there. I have a 2 motorcycles. Ride them on occasion. Not much invested so when I don't ride them I don't feel guilty that I have money tied up going to waste. Same with 5 jetskis. Almost no investment because they were junk when I acquired them. My kids and me ride the crap out of them during the summer. If I had to junk one, oh well. Same for boat. I have some machine tools, lathe, milling machine, etc. not much money in that stuff but all of these things are here right now and available when I need it.

I want a plane I can fly now and then and more importantly is available when I want it. When I'm not using it I don't want to think about how much money I have tied up which could be used for other purposes. That threshold for me is a capital investment of ~$10k. When it gets too expensive to fly, I'll park it. No guilt that it's not being used. When I have extra money I'll pull it out and fly. Wouldn't think of doing that with a $50k RV-8. Guess that's why I don't have one. Would not be able to sleep at night.
 

skier

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I'd be interested to know out of all the people on here that say they're interested in inexpensive homebuilts, how many are building one or own one?

I know there are a couple:
Dana
Pops
Wanttaja

Are there other's I'm missing?
 

Topaz

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I'd be interested to know out of all the people on here that say they're interested in inexpensive homebuilts, how many are building one or own one?

I know there are a couple:
Dana
Pops
Wanttaja

Are there other's I'm missing?
I think that's good material for another poll!
 

Topaz

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I'd like to make sure I understand the "cheap bastard" answers here, because it's very interesting how that's coming to the fore. I'm seeing some themes emerging, and so let me rephrase a very general version of what I'm hearing, and "read it back" to make sure I've got it right:

"I would like to own a new airplane(/homebuilt) but, let's face it, an airplane is a 'toy' or 'luxury' purchase, regardless of its occasional utility for travel, etc. That being the case, I just don't want to spend the kind of money they're usually asking for on that kind of purchase. I have the money for homebuilts that are out there, but the meaning/actual utility an airplane will have for me doesn't add up to those kind of numbers. It just doesn't. An 'inexpensive' alternative is more in line with the value I get from an airplane in my life."​

Is that, as a very general restatement, accurate for you folks in the "cheap bastard" category?
 

choppergirl

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I'm starting to dig the heck out of airplanes pre-1914.... like the Grade II and Demoichelle . You could own an ultralight, and a real head-turner too... you know if you land a replica from 1909 people are going to do a double take. And you could probably get away with flying it into a WW1 fly in. And if you built one of the offbeat ones, you'd very likely own the only close copy in the world. You could use modern materials and techniques and not be anywhere near 100% authentic, and still have a total airshow beauty queen.

Those guys faced the same problems ultralight builders did. They built their planes really kite-like light because they didn't have powerful engines or a lot of money to spend. Some 80's ultralights were pretty much inspired copies of these early designs (B1RD, Weedhopper, Woodhopper, Dream Classic)...
 
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