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What airplane would fill this mission?



 
 
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  #1  
Old January 2nd 04, 08:39 PM
John B
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default What airplane would fill this mission?

Hello all,

I'm looking for an airplane to purchase or build, but I can't find one
that meets all of my needs/wants (yes, I know, all airplanes are a
bucket of compromises). So, I'm asking all of you out there for
advice on any airplanes that would fit this profile.

Important to Haves:
- could be kept outdoors (eliminates fabric?)
- can carry 2 people
- could be eligible for sport pilot flight (1232lbs gross)
- could cruise at 95+ kts
- could do limited/basic aerobatics
- has at least reasonable short/soft field performance (say
1500-2000' grass)
- is relatively cheap to fly (engine 115hp or so, decent TBO,
5-6gph cruise)
- it's not a one-off design that has no parts support or can't be
insured
- if I have to build it, it needs to be "easy" (I've never built
something, a quoted time of ~400hrs maybe?)

Nice to Haves:
- side-by-side seating
- tricycle gear (mostly for insurance)
- could be used to teach my Dad to fly (in terms of flying/landing
qualities..I'm thinking sport-pilot-esqe, so I don't know about the
regulations/legalities yet)
- I'm partial to high-wing, just because of the view down, rather
than the view up.
- Is a type-certificated airplane (I am seriously considering a
homebuilt, but would prefer something that I could be flying sooner
rather than later)
- could have gyros/ifr certified? This is very low priority, but if
it could not be grounded by "benign" ifr, that would be a bonus

From my research, I can't find an airplane that meets all these
ideals. Something like a Citabria might be close, but the fabric
wings/wood spar rule it out (hangars are 5x more expensive than
tiedown at my airport, and you can't get one anyway even if you
wanted). Something like a Zenith Experimental is close, but I don't
think you can do aerobatics in a 601, and the 701 is much more STOL
(and slower cruise) than I want. Also, the sport-pilot criteria are
greatly limiting, so that would probably be the first to go, although
I do have a few friends that are interested in the sport pilot license
and might be potential partners if it can fit.

I'm a 24 year old professional engineer, with about 190hrs total time,
with a private SEL w/ instrument rating. I don't have tons of money
by any means, but I think right now I could afford maybe
$20,000-$30,000 worth of airplane, as long as the operating costs are
reasonably low (in airplane terms ;-) I just want something that I
can fly around on nice days, take friends along sometimes, could learn
to do limited aerobatics (yes, I would definitely take lots of
lessons), and could take on trips of up to 80nm to visit family around
the area.

Thanks everybody, and I welcome any suggestions of airplanes as well
as suggestions of ways to change my criteria above from those who've
been through my experience before.

John Bumgarner
Ads
  #2  
Old January 2nd 04, 09:23 PM
Colin Kingsbury
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

John,

The airplane you're looking for is called a "Unicorn." They're wonderful in
principle and many people claim that if you look hard and long enough you'll
find one for sale, but no one ever seems to.

You're going to need to make some compromises here. One way to go would be
something like a PA-28-140 or an older 172. You'll lose the aerobatic
capability but it scores well on most other points. If Sport Pilot is a big
deal for you my feeling would be that you need to wait a year or so until we
find out what it will mean in the real world.

IMHO you should also look very seriously at taking at least 1 partner for 2
reasons. First, if you find someone who can afford the same as you can, then
you could buy a much nicer plane to start with and save on the maintenance.
Second, when (not if) a big-ticket item hits you, it won't hurt so bad. The
cost of buying the plane isn't half as important as the cost of keeping it
airworthy.

I'm 28 and work in software in the Boston area, and joined a club as a 1/5th
owner of a middle-aged '79 C-172 last April. It cost me 10k to buy in,
$120/mo for fixed costs, and $50 wet tach. I was tempted to spend more money
and buy something fancier, but going this way the plane costs less than my
car all told, so that I still had money left over for other things and
wasn't at as much risk if I lost my job etc etc. In a few years you might
start thinking about a new car or buying a house and it's nice if you don't
have to sell the plane to do that.

Best,
-cwk.


"John B" wrote in message
om...
Hello all,

I'm looking for an airplane to purchase or build, but I can't find one
that meets all of my needs/wants (yes, I know, all airplanes are a
bucket of compromises). So, I'm asking all of you out there for
advice on any airplanes that would fit this profile.

Important to Haves:
- could be kept outdoors (eliminates fabric?)
- can carry 2 people
- could be eligible for sport pilot flight (1232lbs gross)
- could cruise at 95+ kts
- could do limited/basic aerobatics
- has at least reasonable short/soft field performance (say
1500-2000' grass)
- is relatively cheap to fly (engine 115hp or so, decent TBO,
5-6gph cruise)
- it's not a one-off design that has no parts support or can't be
insured
- if I have to build it, it needs to be "easy" (I've never built
something, a quoted time of ~400hrs maybe?)

Nice to Haves:
- side-by-side seating
- tricycle gear (mostly for insurance)
- could be used to teach my Dad to fly (in terms of flying/landing
qualities..I'm thinking sport-pilot-esqe, so I don't know about the
regulations/legalities yet)
- I'm partial to high-wing, just because of the view down, rather
than the view up.
- Is a type-certificated airplane (I am seriously considering a
homebuilt, but would prefer something that I could be flying sooner
rather than later)
- could have gyros/ifr certified? This is very low priority, but if
it could not be grounded by "benign" ifr, that would be a bonus

From my research, I can't find an airplane that meets all these
ideals. Something like a Citabria might be close, but the fabric
wings/wood spar rule it out (hangars are 5x more expensive than
tiedown at my airport, and you can't get one anyway even if you
wanted). Something like a Zenith Experimental is close, but I don't
think you can do aerobatics in a 601, and the 701 is much more STOL
(and slower cruise) than I want. Also, the sport-pilot criteria are
greatly limiting, so that would probably be the first to go, although
I do have a few friends that are interested in the sport pilot license
and might be potential partners if it can fit.

I'm a 24 year old professional engineer, with about 190hrs total time,
with a private SEL w/ instrument rating. I don't have tons of money
by any means, but I think right now I could afford maybe
$20,000-$30,000 worth of airplane, as long as the operating costs are
reasonably low (in airplane terms ;-) I just want something that I
can fly around on nice days, take friends along sometimes, could learn
to do limited aerobatics (yes, I would definitely take lots of
lessons), and could take on trips of up to 80nm to visit family around
the area.

Thanks everybody, and I welcome any suggestions of airplanes as well
as suggestions of ways to change my criteria above from those who've
been through my experience before.

John Bumgarner



  #3  
Old January 2nd 04, 10:15 PM
Jerry Springer
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Sounds like you want a 152 Cessna Aerobat

John B wrote:
Hello all,

I'm looking for an airplane to purchase or build, but I can't find one
that meets all of my needs/wants (yes, I know, all airplanes are a
bucket of compromises). So, I'm asking all of you out there for
advice on any airplanes that would fit this profile.

Important to Haves:
- could be kept outdoors (eliminates fabric?)
- can carry 2 people
- could be eligible for sport pilot flight (1232lbs gross)
- could cruise at 95+ kts
- could do limited/basic aerobatics
- has at least reasonable short/soft field performance (say
1500-2000' grass)
- is relatively cheap to fly (engine 115hp or so, decent TBO,
5-6gph cruise)
- it's not a one-off design that has no parts support or can't be
insured
- if I have to build it, it needs to be "easy" (I've never built
something, a quoted time of ~400hrs maybe?)

Nice to Haves:
- side-by-side seating
- tricycle gear (mostly for insurance)
- could be used to teach my Dad to fly (in terms of flying/landing
qualities..I'm thinking sport-pilot-esqe, so I don't know about the
regulations/legalities yet)
- I'm partial to high-wing, just because of the view down, rather
than the view up.
- Is a type-certificated airplane (I am seriously considering a
homebuilt, but would prefer something that I could be flying sooner
rather than later)
- could have gyros/ifr certified? This is very low priority, but if
it could not be grounded by "benign" ifr, that would be a bonus

From my research, I can't find an airplane that meets all these
ideals. Something like a Citabria might be close, but the fabric
wings/wood spar rule it out (hangars are 5x more expensive than
tiedown at my airport, and you can't get one anyway even if you
wanted). Something like a Zenith Experimental is close, but I don't
think you can do aerobatics in a 601, and the 701 is much more STOL
(and slower cruise) than I want. Also, the sport-pilot criteria are
greatly limiting, so that would probably be the first to go, although
I do have a few friends that are interested in the sport pilot license
and might be potential partners if it can fit.

I'm a 24 year old professional engineer, with about 190hrs total time,
with a private SEL w/ instrument rating. I don't have tons of money
by any means, but I think right now I could afford maybe
$20,000-$30,000 worth of airplane, as long as the operating costs are
reasonably low (in airplane terms ;-) I just want something that I
can fly around on nice days, take friends along sometimes, could learn
to do limited aerobatics (yes, I would definitely take lots of
lessons), and could take on trips of up to 80nm to visit family around
the area.

Thanks everybody, and I welcome any suggestions of airplanes as well
as suggestions of ways to change my criteria above from those who've
been through my experience before.

John Bumgarner


  #4  
Old January 2nd 04, 10:22 PM
Dave
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default


"John B" wrote in message
om...
Hello all,

I'm looking for an airplane to purchase or build, but I can't find one
that meets all of my needs/wants (yes, I know, all airplanes are a
bucket of compromises). So, I'm asking all of you out there for
advice on any airplanes that would fit this profile.

Important to Haves:
- could be kept outdoors (eliminates fabric?)
- can carry 2 people
- could be eligible for sport pilot flight (1232lbs gross)
- could cruise at 95+ kts
- could do limited/basic aerobatics
- has at least reasonable short/soft field performance (say
1500-2000' grass)
- is relatively cheap to fly (engine 115hp or so, decent TBO,
5-6gph cruise)
- it's not a one-off design that has no parts support or can't be
insured
- if I have to build it, it needs to be "easy" (I've never built
something, a quoted time of ~400hrs maybe?)

Nice to Haves:
- side-by-side seating
- tricycle gear (mostly for insurance)
- could be used to teach my Dad to fly (in terms of flying/landing
qualities..I'm thinking sport-pilot-esqe, so I don't know about the
regulations/legalities yet)
- I'm partial to high-wing, just because of the view down, rather
than the view up.
- Is a type-certificated airplane (I am seriously considering a
homebuilt, but would prefer something that I could be flying sooner
rather than later)
- could have gyros/ifr certified? This is very low priority, but if
it could not be grounded by "benign" ifr, that would be a bonus

From my research, I can't find an airplane that meets all these
ideals. Something like a Citabria might be close, but the fabric
wings/wood spar rule it out (hangars are 5x more expensive than
tiedown at my airport, and you can't get one anyway even if you
wanted). Something like a Zenith Experimental is close, but I don't
think you can do aerobatics in a 601, and the 701 is much more STOL
(and slower cruise) than I want. Also, the sport-pilot criteria are
greatly limiting, so that would probably be the first to go, although
I do have a few friends that are interested in the sport pilot license
and might be potential partners if it can fit.

I'm a 24 year old professional engineer, with about 190hrs total time,
with a private SEL w/ instrument rating. I don't have tons of money
by any means, but I think right now I could afford maybe
$20,000-$30,000 worth of airplane, as long as the operating costs are
reasonably low (in airplane terms ;-) I just want something that I
can fly around on nice days, take friends along sometimes, could learn
to do limited aerobatics (yes, I would definitely take lots of
lessons), and could take on trips of up to 80nm to visit family around
the area.

Thanks everybody, and I welcome any suggestions of airplanes as well
as suggestions of ways to change my criteria above from those who've
been through my experience before.

John Bumgarner


For a low wing suggestion with exceptional "above" visibility you could a
lot worse than consider the Slingsby T67C.
http://www.slingsby.co.uk/firefly.htm#clients

I don't know whether there are any on the US market but they are a well
build plane, composite, hard wearing and my Dad used to be the Chief
Inspector issuing certificates of airworthiness.


  #5  
Old January 3rd 04, 02:05 AM
Dave
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default


"G.R. Patterson III" wrote in message
...


Dave wrote:

For a low wing suggestion with exceptional "above" visibility you could

a
lot worse than consider the Slingsby T67C.


It weighs 1300 pounds too much to meet the requirements.


Compromise


  #6  
Old January 3rd 04, 02:29 AM
Chris
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

www.velocityaircraft.com

Give their "XL" line of aircraft a look, like the Elite XL.

These have a very large passenger space for a kit-built craft, and good
handling characteristics.


  #7  
Old January 3rd 04, 03:37 AM
Frank
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Posts: n/a
Default

A properly finished fabric covered aircraft can be tied down outside for
approximately 20 yrs. before requiring recover, according to the fabric
suppliers.
  #8  
Old January 3rd 04, 04:16 AM
L.D.
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Frank wrote:

A properly finished fabric covered aircraft can be tied down outside for
approximately 20 yrs. before requiring recover, according to the fabric
suppliers.


Yes, Like Frank says, don't rule out fabric airplane. I have seen many
fabric airplanes live outside for 20 years. If your airplane lives
outside and you have a hail storm, you would wish you had fabric. You
ever try to replace all the skin on an aluminum airplane?
  #9  
Old January 3rd 04, 05:03 AM
G.R. Patterson III
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Posts: n/a
Default



Dave wrote:

For a low wing suggestion with exceptional "above" visibility you could a
lot worse than consider the Slingsby T67C.


It weighs 1300 pounds too much to meet the requirements.

George Patterson
Great discoveries are not announced with "Eureka!". What's usually said is
"Hummmmm... That's interesting...."
  #10  
Old January 3rd 04, 05:04 AM
Jeff LeTempt
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Posts: n/a
Default

I think the Velocity only meets one of John's criteria....it can carry 2
people. Everything else is a bust.

Jeff

"Chris" wrote in message
. com...
www.velocityaircraft.com

Give their "XL" line of aircraft a look, like the Elite XL.

These have a very large passenger space for a kit-built craft, and good
handling characteristics.




 




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