Picking a Plane

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flienlow

Active Member
Joined
May 13, 2011
Messages
30
Location
Somewhere,CA
Picking a Plane has got to be the most difficult decision in the world. Airplanes are like Motorcycles, seems like you need more than 1 to do different things in different Situation.

There also seems to be a standard progression pattern in Aircraft ownership where someone to buys a Certified AC at first. After a $10k annual or 2, they say to hell with this mess, and go light sport or homebuilt experimental. There are those with little financial concerns which this does not apply, but for the average Person, this seems accurate, no?

On top of the high cost of Certified AC, the further challenge one seems to face is Capability vs simply having a flying Toy. While I am sure it’s possible, you’re not going to fly that Trike thing to Alaska, are you?

And what of Fat@$$ Jake? What do you tell him? “Dude…you’re 3 hundo and that exceeds Max Gross takeoff weight without any fuel so…No, I can’t take you flying.” ??

Then there is the cost of even the "Toys." You can spank a buck twenty pretty quickly with a Light Sport Plane. Your new Light Sport to used Certified Airplane cost appears to be close which further muddies the water. Combine all of this with low plane inventory and here I sit. – Perplexed.

Mission: We are a family of 3 with a small fur-demon that may ride on the wife’s lap.

1.We would like to do Sub 200nm trips to visit family and friends and the occasional 700nm trip to remote family and friends.

2. Would like the plane to be somewhat STOL for off airport flying.

3. Would like the Plane to be able to convert to Floats.

4. Fly to Canada and Alaska on floats to fish

5. Would like the wings to fold for storage.

The Glasair Sportsman 2+2 Fits this mission to a T. Although it is still not a perfect plane. To build a new one will cost over $300k. To find a used one (if you can) will cost over $200k. Put either one on floats, and it will be more. Unfortunately, both ways are going to exceed my budget.

It is at this point where I am now forced to compromise. But to what end?

I could build a Zenith Super duty:

  • Wings do not fold
  • it is very slow.
  • I estimate the resale to be very low
I could buy a Maule M-7 235? This seems to be a somewhat viable option. I would lose the folding wings. Maintenance costs would be high. Not sure of insurance or caring for older fabric wings. I bet its also a pretty thirsty plane as well.



But hell… now that I am having to compromise in the first place, should I succumb to buying the “Toy” now?

Aerotrex A220

Kitfox S7

Aeroprakt A32

Ch750 STOL



All of these planes will be cheap to fly. I will lose the 3 place and Fat@$$ Jake still cannot go with me. This first 2 have wings that will fold for storage if desired and all will function as a floatplane for at least 1 person. Although, I am not certain if I can haul 2 people and Dead Fish while on floats. I suspect I cannot.



This is the situation from my lens and is my dilemma.



Thoughts?
 

Mark Schoening

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Aug 2, 2012
Messages
124
Location
KRHI
Pick the plane that satisfies MOST of your requirements. (750 SD?)
#1 OK, except the 700 miles...rent a plane for long trips?
#2 OK
#3 OK
#4 OK
#4 Nope.......Storage for what? Months at a time, or just when not flying? Hanger is the only way to go. Open the door, pull out, check, and go fly.

Good Luck........PS, the only correct answer is more than 1 aircraft!

.
 

flienlow

Active Member
Joined
May 13, 2011
Messages
30
Location
Somewhere,CA
Pick the plane that satisfies MOST of your requirements. (750 SD?)
#1 OK, except the 700 miles...rent a plane for long trips?
#2 OK
#3 OK
#4 OK
#4 Nope.......Storage for what? Months at a time, or just when not flying? Hanger is the only way to go. Open the door, pull out, check, and go fly.

Good Luck........PS, the only correct answer is more than 1 aircraft!

.
My Wife doesn't like you already. Personally, I think you're hellofa Man. :)
 

rdj

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Joined
Sep 10, 2009
Messages
330
Location
Northern California
Unfortunately, there's no getting around the laws of physics. Passengers, floats, etc. equal weight and drag, and weight and drag equals horsepower, and horsepower equals money. Decide how much money you wish to have disappear into aviation, and that will tell you how much engine you can buy, and that will tell you how many passengers and appendages you can drag around the sky.
 

Pilot-34

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Joined
Apr 7, 2020
Messages
879
A lake buccaneer might work for you or a Wag-Aero chubby cubby/ sportsman 2+2
 

TFF

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Apr 28, 2010
Messages
14,735
Location
Memphis, TN
If it has to be a homebuilt, Bearhawk is probably the best choice. A 182 is always going to be hard to beat. It does stuff good all around. Yes maintenance will be higher than a homebuilt, but it is well known and well supported.
 

Hephaestus

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Jun 25, 2014
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2,221
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YMM

They have those private explorers too...

And canadian content ftw.
 

bmcj

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Apr 10, 2007
Messages
13,783
Location
Fresno, California
That article lacks a date... that’s sort of sloppy in a journalistic sense.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t the president of the company that made the Ecoflyer killed in one? I don’t recall the details, but I think it alluded to some problem with the flight characteristics that led to the crash.
 

jandetlefsen

Active Member
HBA Supporter
Joined
Apr 9, 2020
Messages
41
The Glasair Sportsman 2+2 Fits this mission to a T. Although it is still not a perfect plane. To build a new one will cost over $300k. To find a used one (if you can) will cost over $200k.
Was my first thought when reading your requirements. Look out for Glastar, the predecessor of the Sportsman. Here's an example that sold for $42K some time in May last year:

$42,000
Nicely built 2000 Glastar # 5313. Flys beautifully. I’m very sad to sell it, but I’m no longer flying. It has been out of service since 2016. I’m in Durango , CO. Plane is at DRO. There is another Glastar owner/ instructor here at the field willing to give dual instruction.
430 TT airframe. / 430 TT rebuilt lyc. O-320 (not certified) / aluminum fixed Sensenich ~ 350 hr sn.
Amy White bought it, you can see the plane on her YT channel
 

Pilot-34

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Joined
Apr 7, 2020
Messages
879
Please explain.
I’m not sure where you’re at in the lower 48. But direct route from where I’m at in Illinois to where I go In Alaska it’s just a hair over 3000 miles.
A lot of the lower 48 is between three and 4000 miles from a lot of Alaska.
In a 200 mph c-210 that’s 15-20 hours direct That’s about the limit of the time most families can do in in one or two days .
And that is acceptable one time or for a ferry flight to move aircraft to Alaska
But believe me the fun will be gone from that by the second trip.
Now If you want to make those kind of trips that have 382 stops on them the trip becomes a lot more fun and you can do it a few more times before the fun comes out of it but you will use entire vacations just traveling One Direction

If you wanna explore Alaska you’ll find the trips are a lot more acceptable to the family if you spent six hours on Alaska airlines and the rest of your vacation in Alaska .
Like Victor said those planes have a bathroom
 
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