Would you buy a $13,700 Chinese Aerolite 103 Clone (Ready-to-fly)?

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cheapracer

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It seems that the aerolite design doesn’t use any welding (not even the engine mount) - only 6061 aluminum tubes and CNC brackets. Both are extremely cheap to obtain in China.
I imported an Australian kit plane into Sichuan made entirely from 6061 T6.

I ordered a heap of extrusions locally here in Sichuan, 6061 T5, as well as 6061 T6 0.5mm sheet.

Sent samples of both for testing, the Australian was actually 6060, not 6061, and barely met minimum T6 temper, while the Chinese was "good quality" 6061, and above T5 temper for the extrusions.

And yes, cheap, very cheap.
 
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Aerolite jack

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I would love to see these aircraft kits built again I would sell the lot but only to someone who was going to build them I am happy to keep an interest in it. There is good export market for these kits all of which are SSDRs in the UK . I have a lot of spares for these aircraft perhaps someone should start an owners club and get them flying again.
 

cheapracer

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Why not build these aircraft in the USA Bert howlands arcraft are far better than the Chinese ultralite
That's based on what facts or experience?

China is going to be expensive once they have killed the completion and that is not far from happening .
Nope, you don't understand the Chinese mindset. Their idea of more profit is to sell more and more.

Example: Chinese drills, grinders, benders, hand tools, etc, pretty much hold the market, yet haven't gone up in price.


You don't happen to fly on Airbus or Boeing do you?

I can list the extensive amount of major components made within an hour radius of me if you like ... :)


Since there is no such thing as civil aviation in China you better have the guanxi to pull it off.
The CAAC, the one that doesn't exist hey ... Civil Aviation Administration of China - Wikipedia
 
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addicted2climbing

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I would love to see these aircraft kits built again I would sell the lot but only to someone who was going to build them I am happy to keep an interest in it. There is good export market for these kits all of which are SSDRs in the UK . I have a lot of spares for these aircraft perhaps someone should start an owners club and get them flying again.
Jack I sent you a message on here. Have a look at the mail icon at the top right next to your screen name
 

Aerolite jack

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With regard to Chinese 6061 t6 I agree it is good quality.but trump put 20+percent on it so not cheap now + expensive shipping. I tried to purchase 6061 t6 from American producers they would not supply me because it was going to be used in an aircraft. America you have shot yourself in the foot again.
 

BJC

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You don't happen to fly on Airbus or Boeing do you?

I can list the extensive amount of major components made within an hour radius of me if you like ... :)
You may be assuming, incorrectly, that my “no” is because it is made in China.

I do, on occasion, fly on an Airbus or Boeing, but prefer Boeing and don’t like airliners in general.


BJC
 
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Victor Bravo

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This would be SO COOL if addicted2climbing and AeroliteJack made an arrangement to do something with the Howland designs, and the deal was made right here on HBA.

We could have our own version of Shark Tank...

"I'm Jim Bede and I'm here seeking twelve million dollars for 5% of my cutting edge homebuilt airplane company Bede Aircraft..."
 

addicted2climbing

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There is a certain engine of the same name that woudl work with one of the howland designs...or for that matter all of them...

Marc
 

GeeZee

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There is a certain engine of the same name that woudl work with one of the howland designs...or for that matter all of them...

Marc
Yes that would be very cool but how about a Verner 5S on that little biplane. 152 lbs might be a little heavy but maybe not….it’s a +8 -6 G airframe and the aircraft spruce info says it’s been powered with up to 95 hp engines.
 

addicted2climbing

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With regard to Chinese 6061 t6 I agree it is good quality.but trump put 20+percent on it so not cheap now + expensive shipping. I tried to purchase 6061 t6 from American producers they would not supply me because it was going to be used in an aircraft. America you have shot yourself in the foot again.
Aerolite Jack,
I am interested in the designs if your thinking of selling or possibly a collaboration to get these back into the public eye of builders.
Please email me here: [email protected]
Marc
 

pfarber

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Chinese manufacturers can make very high-quality stuff...when they want to. And therein lies the problem -- they are usually fine with cutting corners to make a quick buck.
But this really is on the buyer to have a QC program to spot this stuff. I watched a documentary on Chinese factories and when asked, the factory owner laid it all out: the buyer gets the quality they pay for. And the while the cost per part may be small, the huge volume can make it expensive.

For example a CNC machined part with a cost of $50. To have each part QC's (worker checks with go/no-go gauge) it adds $2 to the part. At 100 parts its $200. At 200,000 parts your project cost just went up $400k for a single QC check! And now you want every parts QC'd? Now the bean counters step in a try to project if the guesstimated failure rate due to this single part will be more or less than the $400,000 to add in this one step. And what does this check do to the cycle time of the part? Now you have to also QC the guages and have a tracking program.

So while we all like to say 'they just cut every corner' what it really comes down to is the very real cost of the QC checks, and if those checks are beneficial to the financial success of the project.
 

addicted2climbing

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First off it seems Aerolite jack did not return. Anyone know of a way to get ahold of him. If you have an email are cell please PM me rather than posting his contact publicly.

Now onto the Chinese VS USA MFG I have a lot of experience with that. My previous job in LED lighting had me visiting China to qualify vendors and verify parts prior to production. I had never visited China before and was unsure what to expect. What I found absolutely surprised me. I visited a casting foundry that was so clean with epoxy coated floors you could eat off of it. Every American foundry I had visited was the most dangerous and dirty environment I had ever seen. It was a crazy contrast. While there I found a few issues with parts but not from them more my error on a few dimensions. I modified the drawing explained to them how to fix it and about 2 hours later they are tapping me on the shoulder to check the part. I was dumbfounded, the changes I made required mold tooling changes and they made the fix and then reset the machine to run parts. I also visited CNC shops, Injection Molders and electronics assembly and every place I visited was top notch.

When I returned home my manufacturing friends asked me what I thought and I told them I think we need to find another line of work soon as we wont be able to compete sadly with their prices and their quality is just as good. Yes some shops cut corners and buy lesser material, but on my end I have not seen that.

About the only downsides I have seen are tapped holes done at the wrong pitch and one part I asked to be made out of Mic-6 (cast tooling plate) and they had issues sourcing it so did the part in 7075 instead which still met spec after it was done. Also issues with sandblast media in blind tapped holes being bonded in after anodize. Once it happens once, I say blow out all the holes prior to anodize and it has not happened sense. The occasional lost in translation moment as well.

Now would I buy an Aerolite Copy or any airplane kit from china.. Likely no as I am unsure how well the tubes are made and if they are at the correct temper. But would I have any reservations getting CNC parts from China that are not airplane related or structurally important. Regretfully to the detriment of my own industry, its a big Yes... Yet to that end, my Gopro Camera Mounts are still fully made in the USA as I make them from custom extrusions and don't want to go through the hassle to start over and I am happy with my local CNC vendor. But for my high end camera equipment for the film industry I am about 50/50 domestic vs asia and all final assembly is done in the USA by me.
 

addicted2climbing

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I would love to see these aircraft kits built again I would sell the lot but only to someone who was going to build them I am happy to keep an interest in it. There is good export market for these kits all of which are SSDRs in the UK . I have a lot of spares for these aircraft perhaps someone should start an owners club and get them flying again.
Very interested Jack please contact me.
 
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