Are Kit planes worth it ?

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KZNChris
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Are Kit planes worth it ?

Unread post by KZNChris » Mon Mar 11, 2019 12:39 pm

Been doing a bit of reading -- ALWAYS a dangerous pastime.

Had a look in the -- "Building and Maintaining Aircraft" section but seems not much going on there ?

With the way the "rand" ( small letters ) is going and seeing that many ( most ) Kit-planes originate in the US is it any longer economically viable to order and build a Kit Plane ?

It would appear that it is more cost effective to purchase a type certified "old war horse" that is / has been on the SA register

I have seen Cessna 180's go for the price of a finish build LEGENDS Super Cub replica ( not to mention a Carbon Cub )

Is / Has LSA become a -- cul-de-sac / Dead-End ?
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Re: Are Kit planes worth it ?

Unread post by okflyer » Mon Mar 11, 2019 1:16 pm

KZNChris wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 12:39 pm
Been doing a bit of reading -- ALWAYS a dangerous pastime.

Had a look in the -- "Building and Maintaining Aircraft" section but seems not much going on there ?

With the way the "rand" ( small letters ) is going and seeing that many ( most ) Kit-planes originate in the US is it any longer economically viable to order and build a Kit Plane ?

It would appear that it is more cost effective to purchase a type certified "old war horse" that is / has been on the SA register

I have seen Cessna 180's go for the price of a finish build LEGENDS Super Cub replica ( not to mention a Carbon Cub )

Is / Has LSA become a -- cul-de-sac / Dead-End ?
Running costs are the costs someone should care off. A NTCA is much cheaper to maintain and you are not depending on blood sucking ..........
There a also some fantastic local produced kits available in SA with a very reasonable price tag. I am flying a NTCA (with a partner in SA) and old war horses (Cessna, Debonair, Piper etc,) here in Europe. Maintenance costs are at least 7 times higher for the certified birds. Always trouble with incompetent, overpriced and hour riding "CERTIFIED" shops, It does not matter where you go, it is always the case, that work has been invoiced which has not been done at all or not to the level it was asked for. Your always have to come back for fixing stuff that has been done not correctly or not at all (or worse: has been f..up by the shops)
We are just importing a SA NTCA to Europe (KFA Explorer, certified in Europe as 600 Kg. factory built UL) and looking forward to do most of our maintenance by our self or deciding ourself what has to be done when and where and what parts need to be replaced.
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Re: Are Kit planes worth it ?

Unread post by Jean Crous » Mon Mar 11, 2019 1:24 pm

KZNChris, :D I am sure you know the Cubby , Explorer and Safari, and the Sling, the Bushcat, and Whisper aircraft ,not to forget the Carl Bast Raven ,all cater for a wide variety of flying appetite 8) They are all local products, offering good value for our deminished "rand".
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Re: Are Kit planes worth it ?

Unread post by KZNChris » Mon Mar 11, 2019 1:33 pm

I am sure you are aware of the other disadvantages that go with NTCA ?

The Legend Cub I quoted was a TWO seater -- the Cessna 180 is a FOUR seater ( with probably better payload and range )

It is not like NTCA do not ALSO need regular maintenance

NTCA and experimental is for FUN
A Cessna 180 / 185 -- staying within the "bush-plane" and STOL category are WORKING planes

IF the Kit Plane had at least a 30% price differential then the FUN part would make sense !
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Re: Are Kit planes worth it ?

Unread post by KZNChris » Mon Mar 11, 2019 1:41 pm

Jean Crous wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 1:24 pm
KZNChris, :D I am sure you know the Cubby , Explorer and Safari, and the Sling, the Bushcat, and Whisper aircraft ,not to forget the Carl Bast Raven ,all cater for a wide variety of flying appetite 8) They are all local products, offering good value for our deminished "rand".
Jean.
Yes indeed Jean , :)
and
NO offence to anyone -- I am not any kind of expert
Do the local offerings compare favourably to something like a Carbon Cub / the Legend / The Bearhawk / The Kitfox / THE RANS S21 -- the Husky and so on.
Something that you could put a Rotax 915 or IO 320 in

At this level the COMPLETELY specced Kit is coming in at the price of -- I mentioned "old-war-horses" Cessna but could also be a MAULE ?
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Re: Are Kit planes worth it ?

Unread post by Jean Crous » Mon Mar 11, 2019 1:45 pm

I hear you.Horses for courses though.
The Sling does offer the 4seat version in a kit, if you build it yourself I recon one can get away at a reasonable price. The deciding factor for me would be on how many times will one fly with more than 2 occupants. If the answer is not often, then I would seriously look at the Safari. It is a real load carrier, goes at a good rate of speed, is huge fun, and a workhorse. To top it , the maintenance will not kill one`s love for flying, neither so the running costs.
:lol: Yes I know I am punting for the competition, but give credit where it is due.
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Re: Are Kit planes worth it ?

Unread post by okflyer » Mon Mar 11, 2019 1:59 pm

KZNChris wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 1:33 pm

NTCA and experimental is for FUN
A Cessna 180 / 185 -- staying within the "bush-plane" and STOL category are WORKING planes
All planes without de-icing and IFR are flying under the same conditions.
80% of the time I am flying alone or with one passenger. The KFA Explorer has a payload of 240 Kg and more.
A Cessna 172 is legally not even a 3 Seater (take 3 SA Oaks and gas). It does fly under the same conditions and sucks at least 2 as much (much moire expensive av-) gas. It depends what your are looking for. What would I prefer for a long trip with more than 2 mates? Yes I would take a C210 or a Debonair. But then I would charter, because 90% of the time a two seater will suit my purposes for a fraction of the maintenance costs of a certified plane.
Therefore, you have to compare Apples and Apples, meaning certified and NTCA planes in the same category.
Visit the local manufactures, see the products, fly them. Then judge yourself. I know what I am buying. I know the US stuff, too. It all depends on the manufacturer and not on the country where it comes from.
You can get a SAFARI with the 915 or Verner Radial or Lycoming, the Slings are also going 915 too. Even with the 912/914 you have a take off run with DA > 9000 in less then 300 meters fully loaded (I am getting normally under 150 on a grass RW).
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Re: Are Kit planes worth it ?

Unread post by KZNChris » Mon Mar 11, 2019 2:23 pm

Jeepers but you guys are "selfish" with your flying ....

In the middle of all this, I love having the ability to go for a flip along the coast on a beautiful day in my Jabi. I have a mental list of people who’ve asked for flips and I work my way through it over the weekends.

https://www.avcom.co.za/phpBB3/viewtopi ... 1&t=216721

Aircraft owners should NEVER fly with "empty-seats" .... [-X :wink: :D
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Re: Are Kit planes worth it ?

Unread post by Rooster » Wed Mar 13, 2019 5:55 am

Yes!
Absolutely!
If you build your own, see the cost above buying a cheaper certified as school fees as well as cost of joy of building - you'll never know another aeroplane better!
If you don't want to build, bide your time and one will come up at the right price.
You'll fly much, much more!
R.
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Re: Are Kit planes worth it ?

Unread post by KZNChris » Wed Mar 13, 2019 10:25 am

Rooster wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 5:55 am
Yes!
Absolutely!
If you build your own, see the cost above buying a cheaper certified as school fees as well as cost of joy of building - you'll never know another aeroplane better!
If you don't want to build, bide your time and one will come up at the right price.
You'll fly much, much more!
R.
Indeed
However
What would the cost of -- for example -- a Kitfox 7 STi with Rotax 915 ( or equivalent ) be in THIS country ?
How many people that start a Kit Plane actually ever finish the build ?

Kitfox 7 STi

http://www.kitfoxaircraft.com/index.php/s7-sti-package

Pricing Brochure ( PDF )

http://www.kitfoxaircraft.com/images/PD ... e-2018.pdf

2005 Kitfox series 7 for sale ( South Africa )

http://laviatore.co.za/shop-aircraft/ad ... africa,264

Perhaps THIS one ?

https://www.avcom.co.za/phpBB3/viewtopi ... 2&start=20

That is a -- pocket-full -- of "school -fees"
The missus will - CRY -- much , much more ! .... :)
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Re: Are Kit planes worth it ?

Unread post by Rotor Mad » Wed Mar 13, 2019 3:11 pm

KZNChris wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 10:25 am
Rooster wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 5:55 am
Yes!
Absolutely!
If you build your own, see the cost above buying a cheaper certified as school fees as well as cost of joy of building - you'll never know another aeroplane better!
If you don't want to build, bide your time and one will come up at the right price.
You'll fly much, much more!
R.
Indeed
However
What would the cost of -- for example -- a Kitfox 7 STi with Rotax 915 ( or equivalent ) be in THIS country ?
How many people that start a Kit Plane actually ever finish the build ?

https://www.avcom.co.za/phpBB3/viewtopi ... 2&start=20

That is a -- pocket-full -- of "school -fees"
The missus will - CRY -- much , much more ! .... :)
Chris,
It take a special kind of guy to finish a kit. That is a lot of work.

The big difference is between TCA and NTCA come at the Annual every year.

For a TCA you seldom get away with less than R60k to R80k
With the most expensive NTCA an annual might only cost you R10k however most of the time you do the work yourself
and pay R500 for the inspection.

After 5 or 10 years it do not matter if you spend more money buying the NTCA
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Re: Are Kit planes worth it ?

Unread post by Johan Swakopmund » Wed Mar 13, 2019 3:47 pm

Rotor you are 100 % correct re building or restoration of a NTCA.
Bought a dilapidated but smooth running Bushbaby for 60 thousand.
When we started inspecting it boils down to totally strip all.
That is all components all paint everything.
Just numbering and keeping log of what go where is a massive job.
Found two cracks on airfame that was easy to repair, and then rebuilding with new bolts, nuts
screws etc.
Repaint frame with anti corrosion stuff undercoats and final coats.
Now the party got going to recover with new seconite - lucky we got help from a master in that field
in showing us the beginning.
Think 16 layers all in all go on the raw material - that is now from dope to final finish coat.
As you go along working you realize the wiring all work but look unprofessional , so redo
Now me and my son is finished after two years of every weekend and in between when available
I am very proud of what we have done but if i knew
The time it would take and
The extra cost it would take
You must either be dedicated in building or give it to Kitplanes or Jean or Boet to do it for the labor
they ask
It did cost us an extra 100 + thousand to finish ( including some instruments etc we didn't need)
So we stand at min 200 K spend with hundreds of hours not accounted for labor.
Do think twice and talk to aircraft builders before buying a kit and start building.
If you want the plane for hour building or flying then forget about kit self build.
Buy an aircraft

Johan
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Re: Are Kit planes worth it ?

Unread post by KZNChris » Wed Mar 13, 2019 3:51 pm

Rotor Mad wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 3:11 pm
Chris,
It take a special kind of guy to finish a kit. That is a lot of work.

The big difference is between TCA and NTCA come at the Annual every year.

For a TCA you seldom get away with less than R60k to R80k
With the most expensive NTCA an annual might only cost you R10k however most of the time you do the work yourself
and pay R500 for the inspection.

After 5 or 10 years it do not matter if you spend more money buying the NTCA
Have a look at my RANS S21 thread

It all comes back to what you can do with a TCA -- in terms of trying to get some money back
This may not be at all possible -- but the below are perhaps some things people are involved in ?
( Understanding that with every damn thing you try and do in aviation there are a hundred hoops / hurdles / barrels to negotiate )

Charter
Tug
Freight ( parcels )
Pax

TCA "Fun-Flying" in SA is only for multi-millionaires

As a pundit once said -- in the long run we are ALL dead !
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Re: Are Kit planes worth it ?

Unread post by Spoke Eagle » Wed Mar 13, 2019 4:00 pm

I dont know about kitplanes but in my day of building from plans only 25% of projects were finished and only 25% of those by one builder. Maybe kits are easier but there must still be lots of work to think about.
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Re: Are Kit planes worth it ?

Unread post by SaraLima » Wed Mar 13, 2019 6:12 pm

Johan Swakopmund wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 3:47 pm

If you want the plane for hour building.
Buy an aircraft

Johan
JDV.. ek en djy gaan nou baklei :lol:

The absolute worst thing you can do to yourself if you're "hour building" for a higher licence is to buy an aircraft (or a share in one) - You end up like the proverbial "one trick pony" - you have the hours but vokkel else and you're pretty much useless in the job market since you will probably have bought a cheap LSA and everyone knows that ALL the charter companies are desperately looking for single-type-rated pilots who can only fly one brand of cheap LSA.

Rather "build the hours" on different aircraft (preferably TCA) as you get rated on them - that way you're getting hours and types together. Yes it costs a bit more, but it pays back returns quickly when you hit the job road running.

All the above is meaningless waffle if the aircraft you buy to build your hours on is a C206 :lol: :lol: I doubt there's a charter op anywhere that doesn't have at least one 206 in its fleet.
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