Cheapest Private AirplaneThe cheapest private airplane
Make this plane for 10 large.
Have you ever dreamed of making your own plane? The RV-9A, one of the cheapest kit from Van's Aircraft, with the most humble features - a used 118 hp motor, a wooden prop, and a basic cabin layout - would even be " somewhere in the high $30,000 range," says Ken Scott, who heads Van's technical sales and publication (and sometimes contributes to this magazine).
At the other end of the range, a Lancair PropJet can be $129,500 - not inclusive of motor, prop, avionics, paintwork or seating, which can potentially push the total to nearly $1 million. Bennett Steve, who owns the Great Plains aircraft kits dealership in Boys Town, Nebraska, sold an airplane named Easy Eagle for $8,000.
You can also rebuild a cheap aircraft from the ground up. The motor is one of the most costly parts of any self-made car. Easy Eagle's power plant, a simple manual starter, one-piece, 1,915cc VW 1.915 eng, costs $3,620, includes the carburettor, but not the exhausts. "Volkswagen's rebuilt motor seems to be the best thing for your wallet," says Pat Panzera, journalist and Publisher of Contact! about Kitplane and self-built engines.
"Especially because it can be driven directly" - the prop is screwed directly to the crank shaft and rotates at motor revs. It' s less expensive power plants, but in the end the owners will spend more because they have to buy a reduced pitch system, Panzera states. Automobile motors run at higher speeds per minute than airplane motors; by addition of the units the speeds are slowed down to make the prop more efficient.
Concerning the other cost of constructing an aircraft for $10,000 or less, we provide two case studies in detail. Bruce King of San Antonio, Texas, in 2004 constructed his BK1 prototypes for only $6,800. It used a VW motor, which it purchased from Great Plains Aircraft for 2,170 dollars. King's first homemade design was a heavily redesigned Hummel Bird, a kit tarpaulin normally designed for a single occupant of about five feet - seven and 160lb.
The BK1: "I blasted it into a larger, more heavy one, using the Bumblebee Bird plan as my guide," King says. They used a full-fledged four-cylinder VW motor (the Hummel Bird is conceived in such a way that it can accommodate a VW motor with only two cylinders) and built a new winged and rear section.
The King ended up with an airplane with a 400-mile cruising distance (and an hours reserve) at a rate of 130 miles per hour and room for a twenty-four and 240-pound pilots with a case that weighed 30 lbs. helicopter from San Antonio to the Experimental Association fly-in last summers in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
The 53-year-old organisation was established with the aim of uniting those who want to construct their own airplane. "One of my best things is to stop at small airports," says King about his off-road flights in an airplane. What do you have to consider before you start building a low-cost airplane?
The Great Plains website, , contains a collection of issues that future builders need to address. What is your timeframe for completion of your aircraft? Bennett estimated that most humans spent between 300 and 400 hrs per year and that it would take 300 to 500 hrs to finish his Eagle.
The Easy Eagle, for example, has a tubular body and fabric-coated wooden sashes. As Panzera says, "the kind of person who would rather make something himself than buy it from someone, are smart, intelligent men. "For those who like to hunt for a low-cost eBay stacks of radios as much as to do handicrafts with a converter motor in their garages.