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Guest Rufus

Cheap Flying

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Guest Rufus

I remember back in the early 80's, we had a new type of aircraft began appearing in our sky's.

 

The ultralight had arrived, & was spoken of as a boon for economical flying.

 

Being mostly rag & tube,they were cheap to buy.

 

You could build to your own design.

 

You could maintain your own aircraft, they were simple enough so an engineer wasn't needed for most work, thus saving a lot of money.

 

It was expected some form of licensing would eventually be required, & it would be less restricted than a P.P.L.

 

But, time moves on & so does technology.

 

We now see some wonderful modern plastics, being used to build magnificent craft that comply with ultralight Regs., but prices have jumped from say $20000 to around $120000.

 

Many now see all ultralight flying as a pastime for more affluent people, & in many cases walk away.

 

Do we need to seperate them to say ultralight & recreational flying?? thoughts please

 

Roger

 

 

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Like most things I believe we will go full circle and end up back with segregation - the "ultralights" and the plastic fantastic and up.

 

However, I feel we need to go through this "combined" stage before that full circle can occur. If we get 750kg and then say in 10 years it may be 1,000kg and then it may become segregated to 1,000kg assuming MTOW is the driver. If speed is then 100kts - a more likely scenario for ease of differentiation of rules in my opinion.

 

It is great that whilst this is all happening aircraft across the board are developing in both potential categories as the current rules have allowed this

 

This I believe is all to do with evolving and it will take time but again and in just my opinion, we need to get to that crises point before this may happen

 

Other thoughts?

 

 

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may be i am out on a limb here but my thoughts are that 600 kg 120knots two persons on board no more as this gives us planes that can be used as a trainer safley

 

if you want 700kg 140 knts make it a separate issue

 

the way i see it some are trying to get a four seat aircraft into rec through the back door

 

please look to the future going bigger is going to put restrictions on us all

 

after all this is rec flying haveing fun being able to fly anywere with reason

 

why fly where you have restricions some of the people i have met after land at there strip grass and dirt just to have a smoke and a bladder release that to me is what rec flying is all about

 

as ian said we may get to a crises point why do we need a crises point why noy stop before we get to it 600kg 120knts end of story

 

neil

 

 

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Guest Rufus

Ian, I agree we will go full circle. My concern is the belief amongst many people I meet that ultralighting is expensive. How many potential pilots will walk away because they don't know it need not be expensive.

 

I think lower cost flying needs to be promoted now, by pilots of all ultralights.

 

I don't agree we just sit back & allow the wheel to turn.

 

I think that R.A.aus, Pacific Flyer Magazines, web sites, etc. need to be flooded by flyers sending in articles about the joys of rag & tube aviating.

 

O.K., I don't know if I'm alone thinking along these lines, lets find out.

 

Do we only have room for pilots with deep pockets??

 

Roger

 

 

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My thoughts on this issue are that Recreational Flying should be just that, Recreational.

 

The ideal would be to include everything which is not commercial. That would take in all the PPL flyers.

 

What would be the problem? We all fly for fun, not to make a living at it, except instructors. CASA could save itself a lot of work by delegating to RAAus.

 

With the ability to do their own maintenance that owner builders of GA registered planes have now, it is very similar to RAAus.

 

If it is safe for us to fly without a medical in the high performance RAAus planes it must be just as safe to fly a C172 or just about any GA plane.

 

Do I detect in this forum a sense of them and us developing. I hope not. Some RAAus pilots seem to have a complex about being looked down on by the GA pilots, but there is no need for that. I doubt that a GA pilot would be able to jump into a Thruster and perform well, but the Thruster pilot could achieve a safe flight in the Cessna.

 

 

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Hi all,

 

I agree with a lot of what you all have to say.

 

The main reasons I built my VP1 was low cost and fun. From its first flight 17th June 1977 until last week that is exactly what it gave me, FUN, just 40 bucks of fuel per fortnight gave me about an hour and a half flying per week, magic, come and go as i like, no making appointments, that to me was recreational flying.

 

Sure we are developing different aircraft and sure we all should be in the same group but maybe do we need different classes of aircraft with rules unique to that class?

 

The them and us feeling can also be one generated through isolation are we isolationists by default?

 

just a few thought provoking items.

 

my 2Bob's worth.

 

Bob.

 

 

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My rag and tube xair std gives me a lot of pleasure at a reasonable cost. I fly for flying sake, not to be rushing from a to b. As icebob says, $40 worth of fuel and a big grin are the dearest parts of this hobby for me.

 

Cheers

 

 

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Defining factor

 

From my reading of various publications, below 45 knots, with appropriate restraint and design of aircraft, most occupants will survive a crash with minimal harm. Above 45 knots, the picture changes dramatically, and the occupants on average suffer considerable harm or death. The speed range between the two outcomes is reported to be pretty narrow.

 

So, I have always assumed that the defining factor in the difference between an ultralight and GA aircraft is the stall speed in landing configuration.

 

I don't know if that is the real reason this specification was chosen, but it sounds good to me.

 

Jack. :):)

 

 

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I am changeing over to rec flying at the moment. i have been out of flying for about four years and i see the cost of rec training in some places as $180 duel per hr. and others for $130. i see it as still in reach. but i am sure this would be to much for others. and i find the out of control cost of fuel will keep adding to this.

 

Paul

 

 

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I swapped to Rec flying because of price. $115 an hour for a Jab j160 or 105 an hour for an LSA55. No controlled airspace and no bull.

 

Then again, I dropped into a flying school recently and the rental on an evektor sportstar was $140/hr solo and on the sport cub about $175/hr solo. For recreational aircraft, that is over the top.

 

I like to travel in a plane and go places so I need something that will do better than 90kts (Jabas do well here) and wont break the bank at the same time......

 

Wanabigaplane, whats the sapphire like for cross country flying? and I'm assuming you run a rotax 2 stroke? Reliability?

 

Regards

 

Phil

 

 

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flying can still be cheap, my vampire cost me $16,000. cruise at 85 kts, and a hell of a lot of fun... sure i would love something that can take me interstate, but if i need that, then ill hire it.

 

 

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I remember back in the early 80's, we had a new type of aircraft began appearing in our sky's.The ultralight had arrived, & was spoken of as a boon for economical flying.

 

Being mostly rag & tube,they were cheap to buy.

 

You could build to your own design.

 

You could maintain your own aircraft, they were simple enough so an engineer wasn't needed for most work, thus saving a lot of money.

 

It was expected some form of licensing would eventually be required, & it would be less restricted than a P.P.L.

 

But, time moves on & so does technology.

 

We now see some wonderful modern plastics, being used to build magnificent craft that comply with ultralight Regs., but prices have jumped from say $20000 to around $120000.

 

Many now see all ultralight flying as a pastime for more affluent people, & in many cases walk away.

 

Do we need to seperate them to say ultralight & recreational flying?? thoughts please

 

Roger

Hi Rufus,

 

I started flying back in the early eighties by building my own rag and tube Chinook and using some of my own design then learning to fly it,I later jumped all the hoops and obtained an AUF CFI rating and ran a school for 12 years all up.

 

I used an Austflight MAXAIR Drifter for the training and I was totaly committed to keeping the cost of recreational aviation,then called Ultralight flying,to a level that kept it in the reach of most people and could still be seen as fun.

 

I really don`t know the answer to your question other than to say,it`s a pity it has gone that way and if we were to start another organisation,which could be done these days,would we find enough guys willing to do all that is needed, and would the overall costs be less???.

 

I still have my original Drifter and am almost finished a complete overhaul to bring it back to almost new condition,I worked the system of the day and obtained a Level 2 maintenance authority.

 

Check out my thread in the RAA section,titled, Voluntary Membership or Dictatorship.

 

Cheers.

 

farri. :rotary:

 

 

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Guest Rufus

Hi, Farri,

 

Just to clear up a point, I'm not suggesting forming a seperate organizations for rag & tube, or composite aircraft. We're just fine as we are.

 

But, my Golden Circle Air Tbird 11 is from a line of aircraft first built over 25 yrs. ago.

 

Several thousand have been built & flown.

 

My Tbird, like the Drifter, was born an ultralight, has been an ultralight for 25 years, & as far as I'm concerned, will always be an ultralight. This, I feel designates it as cheap fun flying.

 

I feel that keeping the term "ultralight" is indicative of cheap FUN flying, & "Recreational" refers to aircraft built from sophisticated modern materials, & represent more expensive fun flying, akin to flying G.A.

 

I've rented, owned, & flown Cessna's, & Pipers since 1975, & to be honest, I don't want to fly G.A.

 

Roger

 

 

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As a newcomer to flying in general I think the push for more GA style aircraft is a boon for the industry. I think MTOW 600Kg will provide with more essentially GA aircraft. Whilst the category still provides for the rag and tube types.

 

As more people get involved and RA flying becomes more mainstream, we gain more GA pilots. This means the cost of flying the "top-end" of the scale will come down, economies of scale and so forth. I also think it will bring the cost of flying down in the lower end of the GA category, creating competition from the top-end of RA.

 

Do you want to fly in a GA like aircraft for 1\2 to 2\3 of the cost, in a much newer aircaft, with dramtically lower operating costs and ongoing membership and training costs?

 

The really big issue is going to airside space becoming a premium. Real Estate will be the biggest inflationary pressure on our sport. We need more small grass strips dotted around the outer fringes of our CBDs.

 

As with most things labelled as "progress" the more mainstream things become the more they lose their uniqueness. Bringing all of those negative effects with it, but also the positive effects.

 

 

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The future ??????????.

 

I agree that a name change to Recreational Aviation seems to imply, biger,better aircraft, than,so called, rag and tube however the name is here to stay for a while,like it or not.I don`t think the name change is realy an issue though.

 

What we need to concearn ourselves with is that even if taking on more GA style aircraft builds our membership numbers it will surely take us closer to GA costs.

 

The Australian Ultralight Federation was originaly formed to get away from general aviation and to try and provide, "Cheap Fun Flying",it was run over by so called progress.

 

Can we continue to achieve this objective and if so how best do we do it. question.gif.c2f6860684cbd9834a97934921df4bcb.gif

 

farri. :rotary:

 

 

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I must agree with farri, a name change is like a coat of paint, what is important is the organisation as a whole and its direction and the intent to go in that direction.

 

I was one of those lost soles from AUF, the meetings at Bankstown bring back unhappy memories for me.

 

Sure it is "nice" to see all these expensive and modern machines and I would just love one - eventually - not now I am having too much fun - cheap constructive, pleasurable fun and after all that is what we all are here for, fun, fellowship and a bloody good time?

 

Bob.

 

 

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I was one of those lost soles from AUF, the meetings at Bankstown bring back unhappy memories for me.

Bob.

Hi Bob,

 

Not following this line above. Would you expand a little please? was there a major problem with AUF?

 

There was a post here yesterday that was quite scathing of the RA_Aus fraternity but the writer saw fit to delete the post a short time later as was his want. However, it has left me wondering what goes on behind closed doors....

 

Regards

 

Phil

 

 

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Hi Flyer,

 

when I joined the association it was all about the members, what the governing body could do to make our flying better for us, then a sudden change in management and all of a sudden we were being pushed in to GA, we could do noting right but the holy grail of GA was the way to go, better aircraft for us, safer, more regulations proposed anyway it spiralled down into what was becoming a paperwork nightmare, that was not what i joined for and i said how i felt and was put down by the very Representative i had voted in. This happened on a number of occasions so i walked away and behind my back i was knifed as a know it all and a b..it artist. At this time i had just got my LAME's and was just promoted to a Petty Officer in the RAN as an aircraft maintenance manager looking after 8 helicopters, so according to this Rep i knew nothing?

 

hope this gives you a picture of what was going on and the conservative number of loosing 3000 members on the AUF collapse i would say more like 4000. I wonder where they are now?

 

So I am apprehensive of RAA now, I guess past unresolved hurts are still there, I now need proof, to some degree John's response in another thread has settled some of those doubts but he is only one voice of how many who represent us, where are the others and what do they think?

 

is it possible we are repeating history or are we just learning from past errors to make the flying as less expensive as we can in the current climate of rising costs?

 

Bob.

 

 

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Where is the posh for GA type aircraft. What I am seeing is ads in the magazine for expensive planes, but they are payed for by the dealers and do not reflect RAAus views. They do help psy for the magazine which is a plus for us.

 

If you want to go to the basics there is 95-10, and a lot of them still around, but we have the added advantage that we can buy factory built planes. Pay up and fly now. We can build factory made kits, with the lesser costs and a learning experience as we build them. We can design our own and build it or we can buy a design and build that from scratch.

 

What more do you want?

 

Who is telling you what to do?

 

Personally I am happy with the current setup, it lets me fly cheaply, which means I fly often and am therefore current, which I wasn't when I flew GA.

 

 

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Hi Yenn,

 

maybe I didn't fully explain myself, sorry,I was talking about the mob I got involved with in the mid 1970's, they pushed GA down everyones throat, there were a few of us that just sat on the outer rim of this(excluded), did our thing, had fun and kept in touch. I see that drive to GA not now happening which I think is great. I like the fact that changes to the regulations are made available fairly quickly and not as i had problems with at an AGM. Yes I am a grass roots flier and I will support anyone who is as best i can, I also recognise those who do indeed purchase a flash machine, good on them and to be fair none has rammed down my throat "you must" and "you will" like i experienced in the past, in that respect the/our type of aviation has come a long way.

 

I still am concerned about the increasing costs of the items that support my flying, fuel,oil and maintenance/parts.

 

Bob.

 

 

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Hi Bob,

 

I`m pleased to read that you are a grass roots flyer.

 

There was one guy who came into the Cairns QLD. area, with a 2 place Chinook, in the late seventies,I got all excited and built a copy from it and from that" Ultralight Flying" began in this part of the country.

 

You speak about an area representative,For several years I was president of the first ultralight club up here, we have had several area reps over the years and I can`t ever remember us getting a favourable result from our reps,even though they`ve been good ones,they were always outvoted at AUF meetings because the numbers were stacked against us.

 

I don`t think there`s much point in going to area reps,better to go straight to the top if one has to, possibly better to keep expressing our opinions on this forum however if we keep saying that we`re happy about the fees we pay and that they`re better than other areas of aviation,anyway, they may keep going up because they will always be better than GA by comparison.

 

Frank.

 

 

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Cheap Flying....

 

Is there such a thing?

 

Of course there is, and you can do it in the RAAus!

 

The Ops manual gives us plenty of freedom.

 

The main problem I see is that as the majority of schools seem to use 'plastic fantastics' to train on so there is a tendency for new pilots to lean that way when it comes to getting an aeroplane of there own. This is in spite of the fact that these types may be byond their means. What my first CFI called 'champagne taste on a beer budget'.

 

Well, all you have to do is look at the adds in the RAAus Mag to see the amount of inexpensive single seaters on sale, and even some two seaters! These machines would make it so inexpensive to fly that I am bemused to see them taking for ever to sell...

 

I think it may be something to do with peoples attitude to slower aeroplanes, or those powered by two stroke engines. I once owned a two stroke powered rag and tube type, and would do so again. It was great fun and as 'cheap as chips'.

 

I don't think there is anything wrong with the rules, maybe just peoples attitudes.

 

Ice bob, sorry to hear of your VP. I used to have one of those once, and would love one again.

 

Regards,

 

Gerry...........

 

 

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They do not have to be slow. I can cruise in excess of 100 kts. Single seat, 4 stroke using max 13l hr at 120 kts, but averages 10 l/hr. they come on the market at around $25.000.

 

What could be cheaper?

 

 

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Guest ROM

One possible way of capping costs for some sections of the recreational flying community is to set up a class type system for RAA aircraft.

 

In this context even the LSA definition in Australia is not very clearly defined or understood nor are the aircraft that fall or do not fall under the LSA definition clearly defined amongst the whole of the RAA aircraft groupings.

 

Anything outside of a LSA definition just belongs to a rather vaporous "RAA aircraft" definition.

 

Maybe the yanks have inadvertently pointed the way with their limits on airspeed for LSA aircraft.

 

Perhaps a maximum airspeed limit instead of a MTOW limit may be a basis for RAA aircraft classes.

 

Airspeed limits make the choice of building materials a lot simpler and a lot wider as structures can be lightened off for low airspeed limit classes leading to lower MTOW's.

 

This leads to somewhat simpler aircraft and therefore lower cost.

 

Group flying would be easy as everybody in a class flying rally would be roughly the same speed and that leads to a far more camaraderie amongst a class group.

 

Group membership of a class limited by speed takes the deep down stigma away which is felt by a lot of not so well heeled pilots who can't afford a faster and better machine than the guy a few hangar spaces away.

 

I have no idea whether this would work but a look at another couple of sports with the same problems is a good place to start.

 

Gliding and yachting [ and farming!!] have faced the same "get big or get out" syndrome as the RAA flying fraternity are currently facing.

 

Both these sports are a little different to power flying as they are more competition orientated and the competition requirements set the classes or types and standards for those types.

 

I don't know the yachting scene although there appears to be dozens of classes to cater for everybody from the first time sailor to the America cup sailor.

 

In the gliding scene the classes are set by wing spans, such as the non flapped or non lift augmented 15 m span based "Standard class".

 

Then follows the 15 metre class with the span only limit of 15 metres followed by the now accepted 18 metre span class which is particularly suited for the self launchers and finally the Open class where anything except an engine is legal leading to current wing spans of close to 30 metres and glide angles of over 60 to 1 plus some very advanced low speed wing profile changing aerodynamics.

 

As well. there is a class that caters for the older and no longer top or even mid level performance aircraft, the "Sport's class" where the competition between pilots is as hot as it gets but a damn sight less serious and multiples of around 100 in the difference in dollars spent on a sports class glider and an open class super ship.

 

Thats the gliding set up for classes.

 

RAA aircraft can't follow the span based class system but a max speed based system and maybe even a combined max. engine HP / max. speed class system may work to keep prices down and encourage further innovation amongst the aircraft builders and designers.

 

No idea if this would work but it may get some alternative thinking going.

 

 

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Guest Rufus

Rom,

 

Thank you for putting my thoughts into words.

 

I believe a class system, based on airspeed, is possibilly the way to go, as long as the words "up" & "down" are NOT used when an owner changes aircraft to a different class.

 

All classes need to be equal in status, with no stigma attached to any class.

 

But first, RAaus need to give their collective thoughts on, & support to, a class system.

 

Once again, it's pleasing to see that so many people have thoughts on the subject.

 

Roger:thumb_up:

 

 

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