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mnewbery

Bydanjohnson Rumours About A New Pipestrel Trainer

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The main web page for ByDanJohnson http://www.bydanjohnson.com/index.cfm suggest Pipestrel will be announcing a short wing Virus (e.g. a variant of the Virus SW) for the training market. The headline information is "all this delivered and flying for $85K USD".

 

Assuming this design comes to be, my questions are:

 

1. We have no idea how much this is going to be in Australian dollars. At what price point does it become attractive to get rid of a fully amortised, avgas burning C150/C152/PA140 with a time expired engine with a new model running on PULP (premium unleaded), rather than putting a new engine in a smelly old trainer with chair springs that poke you in the pants?

 

2. Will the training market eschew the idea of an all metal airframe, metal being recyclable, durable, repairable and UV stable, once the repair techniques for new materials are widely known and accepted?

 

3. How many PULP-compatible trainers does an airfield need to have before a PULP bowser is attractive, thereby driving the running costs down further?

 

 

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Guest Michael Coates

Can't specifically answer your question on fuel browsers but I can help you with everything else because I look after Pipistrel in both Australia and the USA.....

 

I am really pleased to say that this aircraft is €59,000 plus shipping plus GST. If we estimate the shipping to be €3000 then the total cost delivered to Australia (port of Brisbane) is €62,000.

 

€62,000 based on today's exchange rate comes out to be AU$83,000 add to this GST and you come up to $91,300, add to this some local port charges, inspection for a certificate of airworthiness and the first years registration with the RAA and you come up with $94,000 delivered, ready to fly including GST.

 

The difference in price between the US and Australia is there is only a $5 registration fee in the USA (this is for the lifetime of the aircraft not per year-like who can tell is we are not getting ripped off), the certificate of airworthiness is about two thirds the cost of what it costs in Australia and because we are not so far away the shipping is a little bit cheaper to the US but in Australia the GST is the big killer adding 10% of the price of the aircraft, shipping, fumigation and port fees because in the US aviation is tax free (generally speaking)

 

 

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Guest Michael Coates

Yes that is the same one, It is no longer a rumor its available for immediate purchase...... we have been working on this aircraft and its pricing since just after Oshkosh and it has taken this long to put the package together, do the necessary certification testing and released for sale. First deliveries will be leaving the factory in February/March 2012. Any questions please do not hesitate to ask me.

 

 

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Looks like a great value aircraft. Should give the J160/170 a run for its money!

 

Can you get a discount for not installing the BRS? And it might be worth having an upgrade on the price list for a Mode-S transponder.

 

The GA training market will probably want a DG and AI also. (GA pilots and instructors keep telling me you can't navigate with just a compass and they get nervous without an AI.)

 

Would be good if you have a couple of options on those as part of the type certificate so anyone can install them later if desired.

 

 

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3. How many PULP-compatible trainers does an airfield need to have before a PULP bowser is attractive, thereby driving the running costs down further?

The problem with that is that it is hard to get a distributor to come and re-fill the tanks for you if they know PULP is going to be used for aviation. They are scared and don't want to be liable.

 

On top of that, most AVGAS bowsers are not owned or operated by the airfield, they are put there by a fuel merchant. It would be a lot of paperwork otherwise!

 

Most training places that use auto fuel have their own trailer instead which they go fill up - don't ask, don't tell... But they too will only use it in their own operations and not sell it to others. (Otherwise they'd become a fuel merchant themselves, with all sorts of hassle.)

 

It's complicated...

 

 

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Guest Michael Coates
Looks like a great value aircraft. Should give the J160/170 a run for its money!

Can you get a discount for not installing the BRS? And it might be worth having an upgrade on the price list for a Mode-S transponder.

 

The GA training market will probably want a DG and AI also. (GA pilots and instructors keep telling me you can't navigate with just a compass and they get nervous without an AI.)

 

Would be good if you have a couple of options on those as part of the type certificate so anyone can install them later if desired.

Hello Bas, it will give the jabiru a run for its money based on the purchase price but it is still manufactured in a way that is far superior to other composite aircraft. If you decided not to get the parachute there would be a discount but as this aircraft has been designed towards the USA market there are always substantial benefits by having ballistic parachutes. Your insurance is much cheaper anyway. No problem in upgrading commodious transponder, it is just a few extra dollars and your point is noted about the other instruments. This is our entry level aircraft, we will soon be offering a G a version which will have DG and AH as well as all of the lights for night flying etc. No idea what we are going to call this one but seen we have started with the word ALPHA and who knows the next one for general aviation schools could be called BRAVO.... When we get to ZULU we can start again with ALPHA ALPHA, ALPHA BRAVO....

 

With all the Pipistrel aircraft doing modifications afterwards is a fairly simple exercise, we simply have too approach the factory and get approval to fit the instrument. If they have had exposure to the instrument then they simply say yes we have fitted this before and it will make 3 mm difference to the weight and balance etc etc or they will go away forever week to investigate that particular option and how to fit it before they give approval and instructions.

 

 

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A "G" version sounds like a good idea. Would still be a heck of a lot cheaper than the nearest part 23 certified trainer.

 

Now if you can sell as many of these to schools as the Cessna GroundStriker SkyCatcher...

 

 

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Guest Michael Coates

it's interesting that in the US the Cessna is selling really well.... when you however look at who is buying them they are Cessna flight schools and service centres and I am told it is a requirement to maintain the dealership that they must purchase one.... That gives you sales of 500 aircraft instantly.... when I was recently in the US they were using one at Santa Rosa airport, I made enquiries about going for a demonstration flight with the flying school that they instantly declared I was overweight and it would not be legal. I asked them if I could go by myself and a still said I would be overweight. Perhaps, someone is trying to tell me something ?

 

 

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LOL. I think it has only 160 KG left after full fuel. But it takes quite a bit of fuel, so with half tanks around 200 should be OK. Enough for a training environment, but not for a personal cross-country machine.

 

Looking through the POH, I can't find a per-seat weight limit that would have stopped you from flying it solo.

 

The critical mistake they made was putting in that Continental O-200 and BRS. Take out the BRS and swap the engine with a 912ULS and you gain 40 KG usable.

 

 

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Guest Michael Coates

Hello Bas, the really interesting part is..... even if you paid Cessna your $5000 deposit in 2007 with a guaranteed purchase price they are now not honouring that original contract and are offering you the same aircraft at $40,000 more. If you don't like it, you can apply to have your deposit refunded in 30 days.

 

They are losing a lot of credibility at the moment!

 

 

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So much for controlling cost by moving to China... Ended up with pretty much the most expensive LSA on the market. Admittedly, the panel is very well equipment with the G300, which ads to the cost. But why make that stuff standard? Who needs that anyway? Keep it very basic for a BASIC trainer, I say!

 

 

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Well, if it wasn't less capable for more money than the competition (...)

I'm glad you got my point. I was going to relate a story about a brand new composite trainer that instructors and others refuse to fly but in summary, there appears to be an old guard who won't fly anything unless its a direct drive prop and metal skinned. There is no logic in their arguments. I still see this behaviour and it is sadly contagious. These people are making the purchasing and hiring decisions and if a plane isn't being flown, it surely isn't being serviced, worn out and replaced. Instead its on the ground costing someone a packet.

 

So going back to my question, is more safety and utility at half the price (and a much cheaper total cost of ownership) enough, Bas?

 

 

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