# The lack of portability ( hi hangar costs ) killed ULs imop

### Help Support HomeBuiltAirplanes.com:

#### Attachments

• 170.1 KB Views: 16
• 134.8 KB Views: 16

#### ElectricFlyer

##### Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Good trailer, low and easy rollon-rollout. This is the minimalistic trike design, it can fit into a small car's trunk. More info Air Trikes: Completed trikes for sale
Thx
I like the setup vids -- surprised your not promoting them Part1 and Part2LessWingSetUP
Could use a faster engine attachment system . Starts taking bolts out at 4:25 so rest of time getting engine secure and all cables - 6min? Get that down to 2 or 3 and that is a stellar setup
Cheers

Last edited:

#### Toobuilder

##### Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Log Member
In all the urban area concentrations of the population, a year of hangar costs began to exceed the market value of most ultralights...
Lets take a step back and examine the relative market cost of "storage" to see if your premise makes sense.

At many airports, hangars are used as long term storage for non aviation items. This happens so often that the FAA has even stepped in and made "rules" prohibiting this. So why do non airplane people flock to airports to use available hangar space? Because compared to the cost and availability of "public storage", hangar space is a bargain.

So this begs the question: Why do airplane owners complain about the "high cost" of hangaring their delicate flying machines, while John Q. Public will happily pay far more to store their incomplete dining room set, broken refrigerator and collection of disco 8 Track tape cassettes?

#### BBerson

HBA Supporter
$5000 Ultralights need more space than a boat and a '66 Corvette. So the cost ratio of storage is greater. Arlington had about 160 ultralights in cheap open front hangars. Even those low cost hangars are mostly abandoned now. #### Toobuilder ##### Well-Known Member HBA Supporter Log Member I think people get hung up on the wrong "value proposition". A$1500 ultralight will kill you just as quickly as a $150,000 RV-8, and both offer the same "access to the sky". And it is "access to the sky" that you are buying with your hangar rent, just like a membership to a tennis club or golf course. The value of the equipment or your relative skill do not change the cost of entry. Flying, like any other leisure endeavor, costs money. That cost is either worth it to you or it is not. #### Toobuilder ##### Well-Known Member HBA Supporter Log Member ...and if you have ever watched "Storage Wars", you will see that most people do not store their Corvettes and boats. Most is pure, complete junk. ...that people pay thousands and thousands of dollars to keep. #### BBerson ##### Light Plane Philosopher HBA Supporter Right. People need 4000 sq.ft. houses to store complete junk also. But the OP point was trailers. Elite glider people don't store assembled 18 meter gliders in huge hangars. They use trailers and still have "access to the sky". #### PagoBay ##### Well-Known Member See this post. Dan Johnson notes that his earlier articles on the Just 103 Ultralight Aircraft (now on sale in Kit form) was viewed over 350,000 times. Hardly consistent with the OP that UL aircraft have been "killed". #### ElectricFlyer ##### Well-Known Member HBA Supporter See this post. Dan Johnson notes that his earlier articles on the Just 103 Ultralight Aircraft (now on sale in Kit form) was viewed over 350,000 times. Hardly consistent with the OP that UL aircraft have been "killed" IMHO thats just window shopping for things you cant have -- akin to youtube views, YT vloggers begging the 10k viewers to sub to their channel that only has 1k subs currently. Cheers, Patrick #### Riggerrob ##### Well-Known Member ...and if you have ever watched "Storage Wars", you will see that most people do not store their Corvettes and boats. Most is pure, complete junk. ...that people pay thousands and thousands of dollars to keep. Yes. I am moving to a new apartment this week, but I don't want to move all my old sewing machines. Storage compartments start at$150 per month in my neighborhood. I calculated that if I gave away one sewing machine per month, it would be a "wash" after 6 months.
I just told another parachute rigger to show up - with a truck - if he wants my sewing machines.

#### Brünner

##### Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
I think people get hung up on the wrong "value proposition". A $1500 ultralight will kill you just as quickly as a$150,000 RV-8, and both offer the same "access to the sky". And it is "access to the sky" that you are buying with your hangar rent, just like a membership to a tennis club or golf course. The value of the equipment or your relative skill do not change the cost of entry.

Flying, like any other leisure endeavor, costs money. That cost is either worth it to you or it is not.
Fair point, but here in beer country having a plane with folding wings means that your hangar rent will probably be lower that a similar plane with non-folding wings. Sometimes folding wings can make the difference between being able to store it inside or outside.

On a related note, the Challenges in the early '30s were made for airplanes with folding wings, and the timing and easiness of the process was awarded points.

#### BBerson

##### Light Plane Philosopher
HBA Supporter
The 1923 Lympne Trials required a "portability test".
"Before an aircraft could enter the fuel economy test it was required to pass a demonstration of portability, called the transport test.[6] Each aircraft had to prove it was capable of going through a standard field gate and then be wheeled along a country road for a mile using not more than two men.[6] Because this limited the width of the aircraft to 7 ft 6in then the designs all featured either detachable or folding wings.[6]" (wiki)

#### Victor Bravo

##### Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Elite glider people don't store assembled 18 meter gliders in huge hangars.
BB as you and most glider people know, the "elite" gliders have trailers that are so good, and work so well, that one person can go from road to runway in less than a half hour, and the form-fitted trailer protects and pampers the delicate laminar sailplanes better than a huge hangar would.

99.9% of all the ultralight and airplane trailers in the world are nowhere near that good. What passes as a "normal" E-AB or UL trailer here in the USA is worthless scrapyard junk compared to what the Europeans have for their gliders. Any effort towards portability and ease of utility for UL's or E-AB's in the future will have to include that level of thought, design, etc. in order for it to deliver the benefit of folding wings or whatever.

The one well known video (from somewhere back east where the guy takes his Firefly out of the trailer and has no trouble rigging it himself in ten minutes) is the only thing anywhere in the same ballpark as the European stuff. And that's only possible because of the U-joint built in to the Kolb structure.

#### PagoBay

##### Well-Known Member
IMHO thats just window shopping for things you cant have -- akin to youtube views, YT vloggers begging the 10k viewers to sub to their channel that only has 1k subs currently. Cheers, Patrick
Guess you may have missed Post #9 in this thread?

Dan Johnson says Part 103 sales are exceeding previous years.
"Every producer I know of a Part 103 aircraft is backed up with orders."

First few minutes of this video...

#### BJC

##### Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
The lack of portability ( hi hangar costs ) killed ULs imop
I remember when ultralights were at their most numerous. In that time, I don’t recall ever seeing an ultralight in a hangar at an airport. Certainly, there could have been some. I do recall seeing some in hangars at ultralight flying fields.

In many areas of the southeast USA, lack of hangar availability is a problem, and drives the cost up. One way to get more hangars is to work through the local airport commission and get approval for long term leases of airport property to allow construction of hangars that meet building and aesthetics standards. If one waits for others to take action, it never will happen.

Another problen was addressed by the FAA some years ago with their action that favors the use of hangars, at airports that have accepted imperial government funding, for airplane storage over other uses. That action was opposed by many, including HBAers, because renting a hangar was more cost effective than building a home workshop, business warehouse, a boat storage, race car / junk car / favorite car awaiting restoration storage area, etc. That is evidence that the cost of available hangar space, limited as it is, is competitive with other available rental spaces.

When I drive anywhere outside of major metropolitan areas, or fly, I see many fields that would be good ultralight airports. If I wanted to, I am confident that, with persistence (it may take talking to 50 or 60 land owners), I could find a way to base an ultralight in a pole barn on one of those fields.

In my experience, no one is going to hand you anything; it is up to you to come up with a plan to achieve what you want, and then go and make it happen. If you fail, you reassess, develop a new plan, and try again.

BJC

#### Dana

##### Super Moderator
Staff member
The one well known video (from somewhere back east where the guy takes his Firefly out of the trailer and has no trouble rigging it himself in ten minutes) is the only thing anywhere in the same ballpark as the European stuff. And that's only possible because of the U-joint built in to the Kolb structure.
I've posted this before so apologies if you've already seen it, but it's relevant (yes, it was my plane):

In the early days of UL flying, a half dozen guys with their planes would go to the field, help each other set up, and spend all day or all weekend flying, watching each other fly, and just hanging out before packing everything up and going home. Few were trying to use them as an actual airplane and going somewhere. Today only paramotors seem to have that same kind of scene. But a paramotor is much more transportable, even if you drive a Miata:

#### BBerson

##### Light Plane Philosopher
HBA Supporter
the "elite" gliders have trailers that are so good, and work so well, that one person can go from road to runway in less than a half hour, and the form-fitted trailer protects and pampers the delicate laminar sailplanes better than a huge hangar would.
Right. But that isn't true of the heavy two seaters or especially the super heavy two seat motorgliders. Grob told me 90% of the G109 fleet are kept outside at tiedowns. I kept mine at the airport tiedown here one full year and found the winter weather was a hassle. So it worked best for me to tiedown 5 months each summer. For an ultralight that can be assembled quicker without back strain as the Grob, I would probably take it out to the airport tiedown for a few days at a time and bring it home to stay in the trailer most of the time.

#### Dan Thomas

##### Well-Known Member
Hangar costs are, like most everything else, market-driven. There is more demand for hangars than there are hangars to meet the demand.

Now, how much of the shortage is due to the closure of so many small airfields and airports in the last 40 years? Land that turned out to be more valuable for housing or a mall than as an airport: another market-driven thing.

It will only get worse, I think, as population increases and expands to fill the space available. Flat land is needed for a strip, and affordable flat land tends to be scarce in inhabited areas. It costs a lot more money to build cities on mountainsides.

Maybe man-carrying electric quadcopters will fix it all.

#### Toobuilder

##### Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Log Member
But markets are very localized. I'm trying to get a toe hold on a very high end airpark in AZ by buying a hangar. I thought I could offset the fairly steep purchase price by renting it out with an equally steep monthly rent. Nope. Hangar rent in the area is cheap enough that it hardly makes sense for me financially. For the paltry \$200 per month, I might as well just keep it empty.

Another data point - I have lived on the same airpark in So Cal for 20 years and one can still buy a plot for about the same price today as I paid in 1997. Paved runway, zero chance of encroachment in my lifetime, good flying weather, and right in the heart of the biggest aerospace manufacturing and test industrial areas in the entire US - yet most of the lots remain undeveloped.

Point is, there are plenty of opportunities to own a hangar and an airplane and fly if it is important enough to you. I based my career and place to live on availability to an airpark. The need to live with my airplane was literally priority #1 over everything else. My life was "engineered" around airpark living, and I have had many opportunities as a result. On the other hand, if flying is "just a hobby", and you are waiting for opportunities to drop from the sky and align perfectly with your interests, then yeah, it's going to look like GA is in a decline.

The solution, as always, is to just "make it happen".

#### BBerson

##### Light Plane Philosopher
HBA Supporter
Average income pilots in Alaska make it happen without hangars. I don't understand the point of owning a hangar that costs more than the aircraft.
Dr. Bob Jones likes his hangar/trailer because it is mobile and he travels the entire USA. He isn't low income.

Last edited: