Most cost effective homebuild?

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Nut Behind The Wheel
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Most cost effective homebuild?

Unread post by Nut Behind The Wheel » Mon Oct 25, 2010 8:25 am

Having read "Oldtimers" post and his decision to change direction with his project due to financial issues, it got me thinking about what would be the most cost effective way for a homebuilder to realise his dream to build and fly? I know that aviation is not a low budget based pastime/hobby but what would probably be the best option? Obviously there would be factors to take into account like what construction materials would be prefferable i.e: Rag n tube, wood or ally. What engine option would be the most logical and affordable? VW? Everything would be based upon cost and effective application. Any thoughts on type (VP1/2, Piet n pol, KR2 etc) would be appreciated. Your opinions guys?
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Re: Most cost effective homebuild?

Unread post by heisan » Mon Oct 25, 2010 9:43 am

The basic wood aeries like VPs and Minimaxs should be the cheapest to get airborne. Engine would be VW, or Rotax 503/582, and even then the engine will likely be the most expensive part of the plane...
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Re: Most cost effective homebuild?

Unread post by oldtimer » Mon Oct 25, 2010 10:38 am

I agree with Heisan on the wood and cloth aircraft.

Another "huge" difference between wood and tubing airframes lies in the "Own" build time. With wood everything is done by yourself with very little outsourced and therefore you spend a helluva lot more time in the hangar than with tubing, and with tubing eveything from the main airframe to the smallest mounting bracket will have to be welded by highly experienced and qualified CAA approved welder, at their cost. It becomes frustrating if you are nearly ready for assembly and realise you forgot to add this little bracket, specially after the paintwork has been done as well.

A good example is the Skybolt plans I was advertising in another thread. I'd use them for wall decorations in my hangar as it is a tube and cloth construction.

Unless you buy a kit, and unless you have a very good friend in the welder's catagory detailed above, stay away from self build tube frame aircraft.

If I was you I'd buy a semi built project from someone who lost interest or does not have the finances i.e. "Me", for instance. Most of the donkey work will have been completed already and a semi built aircraft / project is really not expensive. It very rarely happens that the builder who starts a build will finish it, it normally changes hands about three to five time before receiving it's ATF. Before you commit to a purchase have your AP inspect the project and based on his response make your decision to buy or not. I have seen all grades of workmanship over the last few years, some bad workmanship with a very convincing seller may have you end up with a project that will need stripping before work can continue. Saw an example at Rhino a few weeks ago, with the new owner nearly in tears when he started sanding down the wings and realising that the only way he can take remedial action is to strip the covering off, Eina!

My 2c worth.
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Re: Most cost effective homebuild?

Unread post by noelotten » Tue Oct 26, 2010 6:16 pm

Nut Behind The Wheel,
Johan has summed it up well! I have a Turbulent that is for sale. I'll send you a PM.

Noel
The words "cheap", "aviation" and "safe" cannot, in my opinion, be used in the same sentence; not unless you add the word "not"! ... John Howse 1947 - 2010
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Re: Most cost effective homebuild?

Unread post by Theuns v V » Tue Oct 26, 2010 8:07 pm

When it comes to bang for your buck, nothing will beat sheet allu. A wood and lappies plane is second I recon.Just look at something like a tienie or any other small blik aerie. The allu is more expensive than wood, but the fabric more than makes up for this if you were to use certified systems. ( I will only use a system that has a manual, bach # and after sales backup, will not burn my fingers again wit "no-name" stuff [-( )

You can go far with a sheet of 4'by8' allu, and when rivited in place you paint with relatevly cheap 2k.

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Re: Most cost effective homebuild?

Unread post by skyvan » Thu Nov 04, 2010 9:54 pm

Most cost effective could well be the VP1 or a Minimax, but don't discount the Teenie Two, all ally, a total of 11 sheets is all you need, some ally angle, not a huge amount of 4130 steel (so very little welding) and powered by a VW motor (can be powered by a 503 or 582 if you have one).

It is a basic single seater, but the build time really is about 450 hours, and total material cost (no engine, instruments,radio) should not be more than 20k.And the beauty is, the plans are $100, and once you have them, you buy the 2024 locally, one sheet at a time (just over R1200 each) until it is finished. There is a lot of stuff on the internet about the T2, including things like cutting patterns so you don't waste the aluminium, the way to make the cockpit slightly broader (for us dik ous), and stacks of construction photos. I had started one a few years ago, but sold it to build from a kit, but I wish I had kept at it, it really is a simple plane to build.

And there are lots of other "old" design planes out there like that, like the mini-coupe, that are simple, easy enough for first-timers who are building for fun and on a budget.

Good luck :)
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Re: Most cost effective homebuild?

Unread post by angelwingsthesecond » Sun Nov 07, 2010 3:30 pm

Sonex and Onex

Sonex viewtopic.php?f=147&t=69016
Onex viewtopic.php?f=147&t=52281

Great aeries... Not discounting what has already been mentioned, just mentioning these too. Recently flew in a Waiex, an aerie similar to the Sonex and also made by Sonex.... Amazing Aerie.
This is what I do, to pay for my flying. Check out http://bit.ly/Avcom
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Re: Most cost effective homebuild?

Unread post by crazeeflya » Mon Nov 08, 2010 11:44 am

My observation and research with homebuilds to date has been that resale is limited (in most cases) to the cost of the components at best..... but for one exception, the RV.

Although expensive, teaming up with a partner or two spreads the financial burden and keeps spirits high - improving odds of successful completion.

I could think of nothing more soul destroying than putting in a few yrs spare time and getting so little for my precious baby should I want to upgrade.....(a heckuva "cost" IMHO)

Interested to see various opinions hereon...

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Re: Most cost effective homebuild?

Unread post by noelotten » Mon Nov 08, 2010 7:55 pm

crazeeflya wrote:My observation and research with homebuilds to date has been that resale is limited (in most cases) to the cost of the components at best..... but for one exception, the RV. .......
Aspiring RV builder.
If you're building to sell .... you're building for the wrong reason! Build to fly!!!!

And don't build something because 'it's cheap' to build! That is a mistake! 'Cheap' aeroplanes stay 'cheap'!

Well built 'serious' aeroplanes do appreciate in value! There is always someone who wants a 'serious' aeroplane whether it be a vintage classic, a speed-merchant or an eye-popping aerobatic steed. I regret the day I ever sold my Pitts Special. It cost me all of R7 500,- to build, including the tools I bought back in 1971 - 1975. If I had kept it I would have had 1000s of hours of fun out of it and it would still be worth a couple of hundred grand today. The SKYBOLT I bought cost less than R 30 000,- to build originally in the late 1980s and I picked it up for peanuts at R 250 000,- after 20 years and 400 hrs of flying!

Noel
The words "cheap", "aviation" and "safe" cannot, in my opinion, be used in the same sentence; not unless you add the word "not"! ... John Howse 1947 - 2010
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Re: Most cost effective homebuild?

Unread post by heinrich » Thu Nov 11, 2010 4:02 pm

I can throw in another "new-ish" design single seater that seems to be quite popular in the States and UK: Thatcher CX4. Also all metal with VW upfront.

Don't think many are being built in SA at the moment but it it a very nice airplane. Teenie 2 is out for me. I sat in one at Springs and I'm too tall for it so that means some work to change canopy if it can be done. I also like the VP1 and have seen the one fly at Barag but that is a "different" kettle of fish with open cockpit and pretty slow aerie. But given the $$ and space to build I'd go for CX4 all week. But Johann's post a while ago about building single seat is also very true. It's nice to share...

That being said I've seen a fantastic Druine Turbulent in the UK at Headcorn once and that is a beaut. But isn't that the one with the box spar that is apparently a nightmare to construct?? Noel?
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Re: Most cost effective homebuild?

Unread post by noelotten » Thu Nov 11, 2010 11:50 pm

heinrich wrote:I can throw in another "new-ish" design single seater ....................

That being said I've seen a fantastic Druine Turbulent in the UK at Headcorn once and that is a beaut. But isn't that the one with the box spar that is apparently a nightmare to construct?? Noel?
Heinrich, I can't comment about the difficulty of constructing a Turbulent. I've flown them, and I have one sitting in my hangar at Baragee .... but I've never even seen the plans for them. If it was that difficult to construct, there wouldn't be that many around. The "difficulty" factor is relative to your level of expertise. From what I can see of the structure of the Turbi it looks straight forward to me! An aeroplane that I have flown and seen being built that was a "complex" design, (as opposed to being "difficult" to build), was the Super Emeraude. There must be hundreds flying throughout Europe, Canada and the USA. Tony Bingelis, (a well known EAAer in the USA), built 3 of them!!!! And what an aeroplane it is!

As I stated before, don't build something simply because it "looks easy to build", or promises "cheap" flying, or any other grand reason of that nature.
First and foremost .... "build something you can fly"!
Secondly .... choose a "2 place" over a "single place"!
Then do the sums and build the one that best suits your pocket! As time goes buy, and with a little luck and hard work, your budget has a tendency to grow in size. Don't choose the design that your 'present day budget' dictates to you ..... build the one that your income in 5 years time will probably allow you to fly!

Noel
The words "cheap", "aviation" and "safe" cannot, in my opinion, be used in the same sentence; not unless you add the word "not"! ... John Howse 1947 - 2010
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Re: Most cost effective homebuild?

Unread post by Nut Behind The Wheel » Fri Nov 12, 2010 8:31 pm

The Thatcher CX4 looks great and would definately be an option for me but is only a single seater so that unfortunately eliminates it. I like the ally construction and it's easy on the eye as wel! Pitty.
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heisan
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Re: Most cost effective homebuild?

Unread post by heisan » Fri Nov 12, 2010 10:46 pm

Of course, another option is the Raven - a local aircraft similar to the Zenith 601HD. All aluminium construction, and designed to be built with common workshop tools. Plans offered for free on this forum (search for posts by 'liberator').
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Re: Most cost effective homebuild?

Unread post by Nut Behind The Wheel » Sat Nov 13, 2010 8:14 am

I have done a search on "Liberator" but didnt find anything unfortunately. I know that the Zenith 601 had some issues with the wing and/or failures thereof. Apparently they have changed the design somewhat to resolve this. Does anyone know if the Raven has this same issue?
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Re: Most cost effective homebuild?

Unread post by oldtimer » Sat Nov 13, 2010 8:56 am

Agreed, the 601 "HAD" problems related to aileron flutter causing severe wing loss, apparently only when flying on the limits. The design was changed and since then the problem was resolved. I just wonder how many owners actually heeded the instruction to alter the ailerons. I know Phillip of Bundu Aviation at Zynkrall is "currently" busy with the mod on a 601 wing.

Never heard of a similar problem with the Raven though.
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