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Would You Be Interested in Building From Plans a DA20-like Airplane if...

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Would You Be Interested in Building From Plans a Diamond DA20-like Airplane If...

  • Definately Yes

    Votes: 2 18.2%
  • Maybe

    Votes: 4 36.4%
  • Definitely no

    Votes: 5 45.5%
  • Definately Yes

    Votes: 2 18.2%
  • Maybe

    Votes: 4 36.4%
  • Definitely no

    Votes: 5 45.5%

  • Total voters
    11

Nims11

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Total build time = 1500 and total cost = $30k

More information about the DA20 here:

Diamond DA20 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Why Buy DA20 | Diamond Aircraft

Specs and mission type in summary:

- Safe and stable (good for low-time pilots)
- Two-place
- Efficient
- Good (not great) cruise performance
- Good (not great) range
- Low fuel burn
- Good room for baggage (for a two-place)

As a side question, can anyone point to a better existing flying design of a composite airplane with these general specs and mission parameters?
 

SVSUSteve

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Aug 20, 2007
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Evansville, Indiana
$30,000? This is a joke, right?


BJC
There's only one way to explain someone being that grossly off in their cost estimates...

Moderator Note: We'll leave the rest of the thought to the imagination of the reader. Play nice, guys.
 
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SVSUSteve

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The Europa comes close. Also easily twice as expensive as that...
There was a Europa at the airport near me up in Michigan. I remember the owner making a comment that the final cost for construction was something like $75,000 so I think you're probably right. Nice plane though.
 

mcrae0104

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Nims--what aspect(s) of the DA-20 do you want to recreate? Performance? General configuration? Construction materials/techniques? Etc...

I agree with some of the other comments that $30k is low if you want to create a facsimile, but there are plans-built designs that can give you nearly DA-20 performance at $30k. If your interest is in developing a plans-built at that price point, I think you will need to consider auto conversion engines; otherwise you'll spend the better part of the budget on an O-240 (DA-20), Jabiru 3300, Rotax 914, or similar.

I do think it's possible to design and build a plane with nearly the performance you want around $30k, but as you work through the design process, you will have to do some real soul searching as you are confronted with the myriad compromises.

May I further suggest that you disregard anyone who says you're on crack? You will find that there are people interested in helping you succeed and then there are people who are interested in telling you all the reasons a thing can't be done.
 

SVSUSteve

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May I further suggest that you disregard anyone who says you're on crack? You will find that there are people interested in helping you succeed and then there are people who are interested in telling you all the reasons a thing can't be done.
May I suggest that we try to remain aware of and working in the realities of the world we live in? I also strongly suggest maintaining a sense of humor.
 

BJC

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Oct 7, 2013
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97FL, Florida, USA
May I further suggest that you disregard anyone who says you're on crack? You will find that there are people interested in helping you succeed and then there are people who are interested in telling you all the reasons a thing can't be done.
Plus there are people with senses of humor that some understand and appreciate, and others do not. One certainly can have fun while discussing HBAs; it doesn't all need to be dry technical discussion.

Now, to those of you who don't understand us rednecks, just let me say [multiple explitives deleted]. :)


BJC
 

autoreply

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Rotterdam, Netherlands
And WRT interested; no. A 2nd hand C152/motorglider/LSA is all going to do that and is cheaper to buy 2nd hand that even a scratch-build is going to end up building yourself. With that amount of hours, you can also do a full overhaul for one of those airframes and get partly compensated for those hours when you resell.
 
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Nims11

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May I suggest that we try to remain aware of and working in the realities of the world we live in?
Reality? That is funny. The day before the Wright brothers took flight, human flight was not a reality.
 

Nims11

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Nims--what aspect(s) of the DA-20 do you want to recreate? Performance? General configuration? Construction materials/techniques? Etc...

I agree with some of the other comments that $30k is low if you want to create a facsimile, but there are plans-built designs that can give you nearly DA-20 performance at $30k. If your interest is in developing a plans-built at that price point, I think you will need to consider auto conversion engines; otherwise you'll spend the better part of the budget on an O-240 (DA-20), Jabiru 3300, Rotax 914, or similar.

I do think it's possible to design and build a plane with nearly the performance you want around $30k, but as you work through the design process, you will have to do some real soul searching as you are confronted with the myriad compromises.

May I further suggest that you disregard anyone who says you're on crack? You will find that there are people interested in helping you succeed and then there are people who are interested in telling you all the reasons a thing can't be done.
Thanks for the positive feedback mcrae0104.
The thing about the DA20 that appeals to me is the performance level and efficiency and comfort (meaning your not totally cramped) in a safe and stable airplane. I would like to work with composites as I feel it gives more flexibility and potential for greater efficiency. Also, I would just like to start learning composite building as a personal goal. So, I know there are aluminum frame aircraft with similar performance that can be had for 30k, or even less, maybe a sonex it in this catigory, not sure. But I would rather work with composites.
 

WonderousMountain

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Clatsop, Or
It is semantics mostly.

Once complete, the dissenters will point yeah it's a good plane but DA20 does X better, so I stand by my original remark. Costs do add up quickly, good to look at them the whole way through, less something rear it's expensive head.

LuPi
 

Nims11

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$30,000? This is a joke, right?
It can be, if you find it funny. :)

The DA20 uses a Continental 125HP engine. Displacement is 3.9 Liters, weight is about 255LBS, developed in 1971. Cost, if you were to buy a used one and have it overhauled is in the $25k range.

A modern auto engine like the Hyundai Gamma engine is 1.6 Liters, weight is about 213LBS @ 138HP (naturally aspirated), developed in 2010. Cost, there are 3 on Ebay USA for between 650-850 US dollars. Add another $1500 for the overhual and total cost is about $2500.

That is one tenth the cost of the DA20 stock engine and a cost savings of $22,500. There is no technical limitation that says you need the 25k engine. There are just some technical problems to be solved, which I believe if solved would open up a whole new world of affordable airplanes and new pilots.
 

Nims11

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And WRT interested; no. A 2nd hand C152/motorglider/LSA is all going to do that and is cheaper to buy 2nd hand that even a scratch-build is going to end up building yourself. With that amount of hours, you can also do a full overhaul for one of those airframes and get partly compensated for those hours when you resell.
A C-152? No way is it comparable to the DA20, it is way slower and way less efficient.

I like the Europa, the monowheel idea it interesting. Perhaps if this plane was a plans build with a auto engine conversion it could get to the 30k mark.
 

DangerZone

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Zagreb HR
Total build time = 1500 and total cost = $30k

More information about the DA20 here:

Diamond DA20 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Why Buy DA20 | Diamond Aircraft

Specs and mission type in summary:

- Safe and stable (good for low-time pilots)
- Two-place
- Efficient
- Good (not great) cruise performance
- Good (not great) range
- Low fuel burn
- Good room for baggage (for a two-place)

As a side question, can anyone point to a better existing flying design of a composite airplane with these general specs and mission parameters?
I would definitely not build such a heavy and outdated airplane as the DA20.

A better solution for less money would be the Alpi Pioneer 300.

Alpi Pioneer 300 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

It is much safer and much more stable than the DA20 due to better engineering and design, it has retractable landing gear.

It is lighter at 285kg of Pioneer compared to 528kg of the DA20, around a quarter TON makes a lot of a difference.

The Pioneer has the same cruise speed with a fixed pitch propeller and BETTER (great) cruise speed with a variable pitch prop on LESS POWER.

The fuel consumption of the Pioneer is far less than that of the DA20, meaning BETTER (great) RANGE.

The stall speed of the Pioneer is 58km/h compared to 83km/h of the DA20, which is a 25km/h LOWER VSO.

So, if the Diamond DA20 can't have a stall speed of 58km/h and a cruise speed of 250km/h consuming merely 10 liters of fuel an having a range of more than 1000km, why would any rational homebuilder opt to build an overpriced and underperforming aircraft..?

BTW, the Alpi Pioneer 300 can be plans built for around 20.000$ under the name of Asso V. Or it could be bought already finished from Alpi Aviation for around 50.000€, ready to fly.
 

leifarm

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Dec 10, 2012
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Norway
While I agree that the performance of the DA 20 is less than many other planes , if you want a docile plane with good crashworthiness you could certainly do a lot worse. I would think that a second hand one would be easier to find below the target cost than building a plane of similar performance. At least in Europe the Hoffmann H 36 Dimona and the Diamond HK 36 Super Dimona, which the DA 20 is based upon can be had for that kind of money second hand although a relatively or completely new Super Dimona costs quite a bit more.. If you want to build, by all means do so as long as you are aware you won't be saving any money.
 

DangerZone

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While I agree that the performance of the DA 20 is less than many other planes , if you want a docile plane with good crashworthiness you could certainly do a lot worse. I would think that a second hand one would be easier to find below the target cost than building a plane of similar performance. At least in Europe the Hoffmann H 36 Dimona and the Diamond HK 36 Super Dimona, which the DA 20 is based upon can be had for that kind of money second hand although a relatively or completely new Super Dimona costs quite a bit more.. If you want to build, by all means do so as long as you are aware you won't be saving any money.
Actually, even the crashworthiness of a DA20 is questionable. The only reason the company is advertising it as 'crashworthy' is the fact that it is a certified airplane, nothing else. In a scenario close to a crash, the DA20 is not an airplane you want to be in.

Dont get me wrong, the DA20 is good for a CERTIFIED aircraft, compared to Cessnas, Pipers and the like. But compared to many ultralights and homebuilt aircraft it simply is no match performance/safety wise. If one would need cheap build up hours to the CPL then the DA20 might be ok. But not for ownership or as a homebuilt. It is simply too heavy, too expensive and underperforming.
 

autoreply

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BTW, the Alpi Pioneer 300 can be plans built for around 20.000$ under the name of Asso V. Or it could be bought already finished from Alpi Aviation for around 50.000€, ready to fly.
Dream on. Real numbers (from a builder) puts that at about 50K US$ and over 100K US$. That's before VAT.



http://users.skynet.be/am279048/texte/prix2008.pdf

Add about 25% for inflation for todays numbers.
Actually, even the crashworthiness of a DA20 is questionable. The only reason the company is advertising it as 'crashworthy' is the fact that it is a certified airplane, nothing else. In a scenario close to a crash, the DA20 is not an airplane you want to be in.

Dont get me wrong, the DA20 is good for a CERTIFIED aircraft, compared to Cessnas, Pipers and the like.
You're saying that based on... gut feel?

It's nonsense. The DA20 is one of the few planes where crashworthiness is well though-out and executed. Go read the inches-tall stack of scientific research on the DA20 w.r.t. crashwortiness for example.
But compared to many ultralights and homebuilt aircraft it simply is no match performance/safety wise.
Performance (or price/value ratio) that's certainly true.

But most ultralights (MLA's) are a joke in terms of crashworthiness and not a single one comes even close to the DA20 in terms of crash-survivability.
 

DangerZone

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Dream on. Real numbers (from a builder) puts that at about 50K US$ and over 100K US$. That's before VAT.

http://users.skynet.be/am279048/texte/prix2008.pdf

Add about 25% for inflation for todays numbers.

You're saying that based on... gut feel?

It's nonsense. The DA20 is one of the few planes where crashworthiness is well though-out and executed. Go read the inches-tall stack of scientific research on the DA20 w.r.t. crashwortiness for example.

Performance (or price/value ratio) that's certainly true.

But most ultralights (MLA's) are a joke in terms of crashworthiness and not a single one comes even close to the DA20 in terms of crash-survivability.
Even though your priclist is from 2008 and a bit outdated, it show that you can have various options as in any airplane. Thus the DA can also cost a hundred thousand Euros up To a quarter million euros, depending on what you want in your airplane.

With a non-Rotax engine like Sauer or some similar which cost almost three times less than a Rotax, the Pioneer 300 has been built as the Asso V for 20.000U$ in Europe. If the person is a homebuilder of course, not if he pays someone to do it. Then it costs from 50k€ onwards, depending on what you want inside.

The crashes of many DA20 is mostly attributed to pilot error. Thus this claim is based on stall speed which can allow one to land in tighter corners. This is a serious advantage of the Pioneer over the DA20 with a stall speed over 83km/h. It needs a long runway to land which reduces significantly the chances of safe landing in an emergency. The stall speed is a fact and not a gut feeling, thus both the Asso V and the Pioneer can land on a 100m land strip. Quite handy when there is a pilot error, it allows even a mediocre pilot to get away easy. Which you cannot say for the DA20 which needs at least 400m of landing strip and lands at speeds around 90km/h. It's called physics, if you are able to land a DA20 in a same way as a Pioneer 300 in around 100m, you are gonna be my hero. But I somehow doubt anyone could do it due to physics. Just google DA20 crash to see the final condition of these airplanes after the crash at high speeds, it ain't a pretty sight. And then google Pioneer 300 crash, you might not find a single one just because this airplane is so light and eaSy to handle it can litterally land on someone's lawn or short field.

The DA20 is a good airplane for what it is designed for, it is a certified aircraft for long airfields. This is what it does well, like the Cessnas, Pipers and the whole family of certified aircraft. It is too heavy and it's stall speed would not pass the EASA criteria for homebuilts, less than 65km/h maximum VSO and up to 295kg. Thus it cannot compete with homebuilts, it simply is not in the same class. Making a hombuilt from such an aircraft would simply be a waste of time and money, if one could have a nicer homebuilt aircraft for less money. Let Diamond stick to what they do well, certified airplanes. I know there is a recession that struck the aircraft building industry but this would be a major mistake by Diamond to invest into something they might only lose money from. It would be better to design a new aircraft from scratch and compete to other airplanes, the DA20 is simply not the right choice.

But hey, everyone is free to do with their money as wanted. If they wanna do it, let them. A friend of mine says that some people simply have to learn the hard way.
 
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