Okay, this thread (like so many) is in danger of going sideways quickly...Monty, I am the annoying marketing guy, but I'm also a business owner and I like the way you think. :gig: See my post above.
and since it's my thread, It's going to be ME that takes us over the brink (insert evil laugh)...
Seriously though, I lay claim to most annoying... I am not truly an engineer, but I often think like them (I even keep a calculator next to the bed, in case I wake up trying to sort things out).
I am not truly a marketing guy, though I've made (and lost) several small fortunes being able to get a sense of what a particular niche market needs.
I'm not a good businessman, as I rarely follow the bottom line, as I really just want to have fun, and profits are simply tools for being able to build new/better things and chase down my ideas.
I am mildly OCD, which is actually great for an entrepenuer - but it often drives other people crazy! And I'm really good at pissing people off, because I'm usually too blunt.
Okay, I understand the need for marketing research - which I've been doing casually for the last twenty years. But I don't care how many focus groups you have on this particular subject, you won't get the answers you need, because people don't tell you want they want/need - they tell you what they "think" they want/need.
I don't want to beat a dead horse, or come across totally obstinant and clueless, but it's obvious that the status quo isn't cutting it, yet no one is sure what is going to resonate with nexgen. What we do know is that, in spite of the current economy, there is still a lot of money being spent on big-boy toys.
I disagree that a proper marketing plan will help us come up with the wonder cure (design) - because there isn't one.
If someone was willing to plunk down a big chunk of cash to do a little research (gosh, universities get tons of grant money for studying the weirdest things - why not us?) we might be able to get a tad bit closer, but I would give good odds that the results would be vague and most of the time would be spent chasing tails.
Frankly, I believe the answer is to produce the best UL we can that will retail for under $15k (you can option it to death, later), and $12k would be awesome (though such a number will likely only be possible with a sales volume that is probably not feasible).
I really love Orion's picture of the 'Rasp', and a flying wing like that would probably generate serious interest from the general public. Even a reincarnation of the Quickie might do the trick.
But most of our neat ideas, shapes, and materials are going to be useless given the limitations of 103.
So I continue to stress that we be as creative as we can with this pair, and then let others (including designs from this group) be the "next step" for affordable aircraft.
I for one see an awesome potential there.
Here's our marketing plan for the Solo and Duet.
- Build inexpensive sport planes.
- Sell them as S-LSA to the bulk of the people.
- Sell them as nearly complete E-LSA's to others who want to modify them.
- Sell them as Kit -built to those who want to take the same design to the extreme (200+ kts).
- I'm actually hoping that people will be able to buy the E-LSA, but use it as the basis for their hotrods, so all they have to do is buy a ready to mount firewall-forward package, an appropriate instrument panel - and their off to the races (figuratively and literally).
Follow the same concept if you like, or share a potential iteration!
The advent of this proposed UL/LSA pair will do nothing but help the sales of our aircraft, as well as similar craft from other designers/manufacturers.
You can smirk all you want, and ridicule my name forever in a few years, but I fully expect to be able to sell as many of our Solos and Duets as the rest of the 'current' industry combined... and I intend to 'put up', not shut up
The UL/LSA we are proposing here is nothing more than a "loss leader" for our other aircraft offerings, but here's the real skinny - - -
I intend to be a part of building such a UL regardless of how many copies end up being built, because I LIKE designing and building, and because I want (at least) one!
And though I'm struggling financially right now, I'm confident that we'll eventually turn that around (again), and so I'm not worried about throwing some time and money into this - especially if others want to join the ride. And frankly, I'm getting old enough that I don't have anything to prove by being a lone cowboy, so being a part of a team has great appeal to me.
Yes, this probably all proves I'm OCD, but I already let that cat out of the bag.
SOOO, can we get back to designing a plane, or do we need to continue with the naysaying and endless prognosticating?
I move (and second) that we get on with it... all in favor? vote aye... :ban: