Price Gouging - Titan Aircraft

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TXFlyGuy

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As you know, my aircraft was nearly destroyed by the former Titan Aircraft Factory Test Pilot.
We are in the rebuild stage now. A few months ago Titan Aircraft provided a repair quote. This included all parts needed, plus labor if I chose to have the factory do the repairs.

An entire high speed wing kit was quoted at $24,000. This is the left hand and the right hand wing, not including the center section.

All we require is the left wing, as that received the most damage. The right wing is fine.

So a left wing would be $12,000. I built all of my repair cost analysis from the factory price quote provided to me after the crash. All of this was submitted to my insurance company, and they accepted the costs.

But wait, there's more...

Today when we go to place the order for parts, the price increased by 50%. The $12,000 wing is now $18,000. I asked Titan what is up with this, and why are they not standing by their original quote (only a few months old)?

Their response...inflation.

The wing kit in question was manufactured by Titan in 2018, and has been sitting on their shop floor collecting dust since 2019.

This is an example of a company taking advantage of an individual. Why? Because they can.

I have chosen to repair / rebuild the left hand wing. We can do it for far less than $18,000.

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plncraze

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Love your wing jig! That is cool. Is it hot wired foam?
I know some folks who are getting their Stearman's Continental overhauled. The last overhaul was $5,000. I believe they said it was approximately 20 years ago. Their current overhaul is going to be $35,000. The engine had been out for 6 months and there was no firm delivery date. Probably a lot like your situation; the parts were manufactured a long time ago but are being priced ( probably) at current replacement cost. It hurts and is frightening and when you think about the future it is scary. If everybody pads their cost to cover themselves into the future more folks can't afford it and we loose what little volume discounts we have now.
 

Vigilant1

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"Gouging?" The price went up for everyone, including buyers of new kits, right? I think that's just called a price change. Folks can choose to pay it or find alternatives (as you are doing).
If someone needs/expect to depend on a certain price for a certain period, they need to have a contract. If you got a price quote, what was the stated term?
 
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TXFlyGuy

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My quote was good for 60 days, and it technically expired 2 months ago.

A 50% price increase is not only gouging in this case, it is immoral. And we will not pay it, instead we will repair what we have.

And that wing kit will continue to collect dust on the shop floor at Titan Aircraft...for years.
 

Deuelly

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Sorry to here you're having to go through all this TX.

Aside from any oddball custom extrusions, you should be able to make that with a couple weeks time and $1500 in material at most. At least if that's most the major parts in the picture. I'd buy some MDF and aluminum and start going after it.

I could probably help you out on some of it since I have the resources. Let me know.

Brandon
 

TXFlyGuy

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The real work is in the cutting of the foam profile, and jigging it. I do not think materials / parts are a problem.
Thank you for the offer!
 

Hot Wings

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My quote was good for 60 days, and it technically expired 2 months ago.
Facts of life. I don't see anything wrong with a 50% price increase (especially in the current environment) even if it has been "setting in the shop gathering dust". Businesses have to replace their stock unless it is the last one they ever expect to sell. This means replacing the in stock item with one that now costs more in materials and time - often more than the last 'retail price' of said item. This principal is more pronounced in low volume settings, like our hobby. Been there done that on the selling side. It isn't any fun from that perspective either. None of us like disgruntled customers.

Price windows are there for a reason.
 

TXFlyGuy

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Facts of life. I don't see anything wrong with a 50% price increase (especially in the current environment) even if it has been "setting in the shop gathering dust". Businesses have to replace their stock unless it is the last one they ever expect to sell. This means replacing the in stock item with one that now costs more in materials and time - often more than the last 'retail price' of said item. This principal is more pronounced in low volume settings, like our hobby. Been there done that on the selling side. It isn't any fun from that perspective either. None of us like disgruntled customers.

Price windows are there for a reason.
This wing kit is the LAST one. It was discontinued a few years ago, never to be offered again. There are no more.
And that kit can continue as an $18000 dust collector, sitting on the Titan shop floor.
 

bmcj

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I missed the earlier details. You say it was destroy by Titan… do they not bear some of the responsibility to repair or insure?
 
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Saville

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This wing kit is the LAST one. It was discontinued a few years ago, never to be offered again. There are no more.
And that kit can continue as an $18000 dust collector, sitting on the Titan shop floor.
Was that $18k including shipping?

Is it possible that some of that price increase - maybe a majority of it - could be increased shipping costs?

Or did they give you shipping costs separate on the $18k quote?
 

TXFlyGuy

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No shipping involved, as we would pick it up at the factory with a truck.
Titan did not destroy the plane. But it was a former Titan employee who is 100% responsible.
 

Saville

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No shipping involved, as we would pick it up at the factory with a truck.
Titan understood this when they gave you the quote? That you were going to pick it up via trick so there would be no shipping charges?
 

tspear

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@TXFlyGuy

They are likely looking at the fact you only want one wing. Selling the wing pairs is likely significantly easier, and being only left with a right wing is part of the reason of the price hike.

Tim
 

Saville

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@TXFlyGuy

They are likely looking at the fact you only want one wing. Selling the wing pairs is likely significantly easier, and being only left with a right wing is part of the reason of the price hike.

Tim
That's a good point...if they aren't making them any more then they have strong incentive to sell both as a pair. The chances of someone needing the right wing are pretty small - especially since it's a discontinued speed wing.

18k is a 50% increase over the first quote - half the value of one wing at the first quote. I could very well see them raising the cost that much as an incentive to someone to buy both. To test that it would be necessary to ask them the price for both wings.
 

Vigilant1

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These planes seem to get pranged-up with some regularity. I'm pretty sure Titan believes they will sell that remaining kit set... Just as the Whirlwind props folks seem to enjoy an ongoing revenue stream.
 

Saville

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These planes seem to get pranged-up with some regularity. I'm pretty sure Titan believes they will sell that remaining kit set... Just as this will seemingly remain an ongoing source of revenue for Whirlwind props.

It would be interesting to know how many T-51's have the speed wings and what percentage of the overall T-51 population that is.
 

Gregory Perkins

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Could it be that they are essentially out of business in terms of recent business activity ? I am surprised to hear that they have an address or telephone to answer. If anyone knows what their activity level is or has been please share.
 
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