Where are the fast high wing LSA kits?

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MalcolmW

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Jan 21, 2007
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118
Hello, Kevin M.,

Gee, the BushCaddy comes in at almost $90K, which is beyond Kevin T.'s version of 'affordable.' If you want a LSA that is high wing, will fly at the LSA speed limit (120 kts), perhaps you should consider the Eagle EA100, which completely assembled (fly away) in day VFR configuration, is a smidgeon under $80K (an all metal plane). For details, see Sport Aircraft for the Sport Pilot .

Disclaimer: I have no interest, financial or otherwise in the above two aircraft I have mentioned.

I do agree with Kevin T. that the price objective of LSA aircraft has not been met - they're too expensive. As I tried to reason with AOPA that the declining number of pilots is due to the ever-rising cost of flying (their response? they wanted people flying who could afford the increasing prices - go figure!).

Anyway, it's fun to hear different comments about *fast* high wing LSA aircraft (if there really is such a bird).

All the best,

MalcolmW
 

Modest Pilot

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Aug 31, 2008
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With the Aussie dollar at 68c - US $. you should be able to do a pretty good deal on a Jabiru 250. The kit is under $A70,000 ($US48,000) in Australia, includes everything but paint even a radio. The American models have a prop to restrict speed but with a Sensenich 62 x 56 it will top out at VNE 140kt. (160+mph) They have been test in the experimental cat at up to 800kg.(1750lb) My J230D does a 120kn plus with 2 up and full fuel, endurance 6 hours with full reserves. My mates J250 with the bigger wing takes off and climbs better needs another 50rpm to keep up at cruise.
 

mcjon77

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Aug 5, 2008
Messages
205
You are correct - and that number is 120 kts (138 mph) full power, at sea level.
Just want to make a correction here. LSA speed restriction isn't 20 kts (138 mph) full power, at sea level. It is 20 kts (138 mph) max cruise (based on max continuous power), at sea level. For instance, the max cruise for a Jabiru 3300 powered Sonex at sea level is 135 mph. However, WOT at sea level, it can see speeds of 170-180mph.

Where things really get interesting is operating at higher altitudes and where specifically the engine manufacturers set max continuous rpm.
 

Double Eagle

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Jan 10, 2008
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Albany WI
Check out the Whittman Buttercup, you will be suprised. You will have to use a climb prop to keep it inder 130 knots! After I finish my low and slow Double Eagle, it will be my next project, and cross country plane.
 

MalcolmW

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Jan 21, 2007
Messages
118
Say, while we're on the subject of 'fast' high wing LSA aircraft, I have a quick question:

What are the differences between an *experimental* aircraft, and an *E-LSA* (aircraft) - other than license? Also, can anyone clarify (to me), the flight restrictions (assuming day VFR use only).

I've read several different sets of guidelines, and I'm, well, kinda confused. A clear, concise and accurate summary would be much appreciated.

Thanks!

MalcolmW
 

smoore

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Mar 30, 2007
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Lakewood, CO
From what I understand, E-LSA was intended to bring all the fat ultralights into compliance. Now you would have to build a kit that is also offered as an S-LSA aircraft *AND* build it exactly to the designers' specs, as laid out on the plans. This includes instrument package and layout. NO modifications.

You can fly any E-AB aircraft that complies with the LSA regulations as a sport pilot.

Say, while we're on the subject of 'fast' high wing LSA aircraft, I have a quick question:

What are the differences between an *experimental* aircraft, and an *E-LSA* (aircraft) - other than license? Also, can anyone clarify (to me), the flight restrictions (assuming day VFR use only).

I've read several different sets of guidelines, and I'm, well, kinda confused. A clear, concise and accurate summary would be much appreciated.

Thanks!

MalcolmW
 

DaveK

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Apr 21, 2007
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Location
Northern California
Considering that you say you want to spend 20-30K for the kit, once you add engine, prop, instruments for most of the LSA's you are in the high 40K range easily. I think building an experimental that happens to fall within the LSA rule would be a better thing to do at this price point, then attempting to find an LSA. The Buttercup was mentioned and that would be a great example. Not "sexy" by many standards, but the specs make it a good choice. I've seen mention of fully welded fuselages for sale on the Tailwind board (which also has Buttercup builders participating) and other parts so it doesn't have to be a full scratch build. Another plane worth looking at is the Rans S7. Doesn't quite make your speed requirement, but is a very well put together kit and is in your price range.
 

KevinThorp

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Nov 3, 2008
Messages
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Location
Charleston, SC
Thanks. I'll take a closer look at the Bushcaddy & Buttercup.

But I still don't understand why the major players in the kit plane business don't offer 120 knot high wing LSAs when those are the best-selling factory-built LSAs.
 

Kmccune

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Aug 5, 2007
Messages
162
Thanks for the sarcasm.. but it is $22365.00 Can, according to the website for the kit.

Kevin



Hello, Kevin M.,

Gee, the BushCaddy comes in at almost $90K, which is beyond Kevin T.'s version of 'affordable.' If you want a LSA that is high wing, will fly at the LSA speed limit (120 kts), perhaps you should consider the Eagle EA100, which completely assembled (fly away) in day VFR configuration, is a smidgeon under $80K (an all metal plane). For details, see Sport Aircraft for the Sport Pilot .

Disclaimer: I have no interest, financial or otherwise in the above two aircraft I have mentioned.

I do agree with Kevin T. that the price objective of LSA aircraft has not been met - they're too expensive. As I tried to reason with AOPA that the declining number of pilots is due to the ever-rising cost of flying (their response? they wanted people flying who could afford the increasing prices - go figure!).

Anyway, it's fun to hear different comments about *fast* high wing LSA aircraft (if there really is such a bird).

All the best,

MalcolmW
 

MalcolmW

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 21, 2007
Messages
118
Er, Mr. Kevin McCune;

no sarcasm intended, but the link you provided to 'BushCaddy' showed *completed* aircraft, not kits. If you wish to make comparisons with kits, please provide the link to the *kit page,* rather than the completed aircraft.

I prefer to keep all discourse civil, and I have no desire or intention of belittling or being sarcastic about another's comments.

If what I wrote hurt, I apologize. 'Nuff said?

MalcolmW
 

JerryC

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Nov 20, 2008
Messages
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Location
michigan
I'm with Kevin.
I don't get why there are so few kits or plans for high wing lsa's either.

I emailed zenith and asked if they intended to sell the AMD Patriot in a kit...a very nice high wing design that would rival the new cessna. They replied they have no intentions of producing the Patriot in kit form!

Cessna has already sold (pre-orders) over 1000 of their high wing lsa aircraft!

What the hell is going on? Doesn't anyone want to tap the kit market? The Jabiru models are nice but toward the high end of kit pricing, and besides I would prefer a metal kit, I believe the Jabiru are composite.
 

smenkhare

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Dec 28, 2006
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Location
Sydney, Australia
I'm with Kevin.
What the hell is going on? Doesn't anyone want to tap the kit market? The Jabiru models are nice but toward the high end of kit pricing, and besides I would prefer a metal kit, I believe the Jabiru are composite.

High end pricing? You can get a brand new Jabiru J120 (which meets LSA requirements for AU$58,000. And that includes engine and panel.
 

orion

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Doesn't anyone want to tap the kit market?
In looking at the state of the market, even before the economic down-turn, the number of potential sales of any particular aircraft are not all that large so when considering the issues of airplane development and the relatively marginal sales profits on kits, selling an assembled airplane makes much more sense, especially considering the relatively simple criteria set forth for achieving compliancy in the LSA market.

Simply said, why would a company go through 98% of the development and manufacturing process and then sell the airplane at a substantially lower profit. From an economic standpoint, it makes much more sense to sell complete airplanes than kits, especially if the market forecast is relatively bleak.

And for large companies it's even worse. I doubt that Cessna's 1,000 pre-orders, even if all are fulfilled, will allow the company to come anywhere near breaking even on the investment.
 

smenkhare

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Sydney, Australia
Just to add on to orion, Cessna is probably the biggest name in general aviation. I dare say that a lot of the sales were on brand power alone. Not because the plane is superior to everything else.
 

Double Eagle

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Albany WI
The American Patriot ll looks like a real nice design, but the cost is a little high. Are there any similar designs out there for us scrach builders using 4130 tubing and wood?
 

JerryC

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michigan
Cessna is probably the biggest name in general aviation.
no doubt they are the biggest name, probably because there has always been a high demand for high wing metal airplanes. complete airplane or kit form not withstanding :ermm:

as far as the expense of development vs cost recovery of selling kits, if that argument held true there would be no kits available of any form. but of course there are.

for instance, zenith produces kits based on amd designs. they sell hundreds of low wing kits. the patriot has already been designed and tested. the question then is how many completed patriots have they sold vs how many kits they could sell, and whether selling kits would detract from selling completed planes in the first place.

i am thinking that we are talking about two entirely different markets here. homebuilders are not likely to shell out the money for a new completed aircraft, and non homebuilders would never dream of buying a kit. building is in your blood or it isn't. two different types of people and two different markets.

nothing i have heard so far explains the lack of a high wing metal lsa kit.
 

JerryC

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michigan
I I doubt that Cessna's 1,000 pre-orders, even if all are fulfilled, will allow the company to come anywhere near breaking even on the investment.
that is why they should also sell the plane in kit form as well. as i stated above, homebuilders are a different breed than buyers. i would never dream of shelling out $140k + for an airplane. others would never dream of spending years in their garage building a plane from a kit. there is a market for both. by not tapping into both markets i think the manufacturers are shooting themselves in the foot, especially in a down market.
 

orion

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True, there may be a few more customers for the kit but the profit on most kits is one fifth to one tenth (or less) that of what one might see with an assembled airframe. Given the small market, it makes no sense, especially for a large organization whose business and manufacturing model is based on production and assembly, not kits.
 

PTAirco

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Corona CA
True, there may be a few more customers for the kit but the profit on most kits is one fifth to one tenth (or less) that of what one might see with an assembled airframe. Given the small market, it makes no sense, especially for a large organization whose business and manufacturing model is based on production and assembly, not kits.
Yes, the difference in price for a kit aircraft to a fly-away version of the same is staggering. Take a typical Zenith aircraft which may cost about $45,000 to buy and finish to the flying stage and the LSA ready-built version at $100,000.

Supposedly it takes only 500 hours of (relatively unskilled) labor to put together a kit - a cost of $55,000 or $110 an hour of shop labor. That is a pretty steep rate. Remember, there is no huge amount of FAA certifcation cost to re-coup here and the tooling required for these is already there.

I'd happily build these for people at such an exorbitant rate - at 500 hours each I can produce 4 per year and earn myself $220,000 per year net! Knock off 10,000 for rent of a workshop,. another 10,000 for other bills etc and I would still be as happy as a hog in mud on what's left.

Hm, now this has me thinking....
 
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