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Guest Rufus

Cheap Flying

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Guest airsick

I think the class system is beginning to become a reality although the terminology is different. In the new manual there is mention of high performance (>85 kts) vs low performance (< 85 kts). Furthermore there are endorsements for things like CSU, tail wheel, etc.

 

In my mind this is the best solution and a very strong move in the right direction. We have one licence that covers us all and we are endorsed on various things. The individual can then pick and choose what he needs from the list and get appropriately qualified. If he chooses to add on extra endorsements then he can.

 

 

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I can't see the relevance of gliding and yachting classes to RAAus fliers. They are all about levelling the playing field in competition. Our flying is more akin to yacht cruising and there are no "rules" for that.

 

Having once been active in yacht racing I would hate to see flying go down that path.

 

 

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Guest airsick

I just re-read ROM's post and I have to disagree with a lot of it. As far as imposing limits I don't see this as being forward looking at all. I think the endorsement approach taken in the new Ops Manual is fine but why impose limits? If I want to go fast and my wallet allows it then why should I be limited by what others can afford? For competition it might work fine but for every other day of the week I want to be able to do what I want.

 

A system that allows me to prove that I am safe and competent to do something is better than a system that just flat out says I can't.

 

 

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Guest ROM

The thread heading was "Cheap Flying" and the comments from some posters are that the days of cheap flying seem to be disappearing as the RAA movement goes down the track of ever higher speeds, sophistication and cost and is starting to resemble the GA section of the flying industry.

 

Maybe I did not make myself clear but I most certainly did not suggest that any upper speed limits be imposed on RAA aircraft in general or that license categories or restrictions on licenses be brought in.

 

I am a little surprised and disappointed that this seems to have been read into my posting.

 

Likewise I merely used the yachting and gliding movements as examples of not dissimilar technology based sports to recreational flying, using classes to keep costs down for those that wish for a cheaper way of enjoying their sport.

 

Recreational flying does not have and is not geared for competition and I am not suggesting at all that it should be.

 

I am trying to suggest that, to keep prices down for those who wish for cheaper flying and who do not want to and cannot join in the rat race for ever higher performance and who are prepared to accept some limits on their aircraft to achieve these ends, that a couple of classes of aircraft, not of pilots, could be brought into the RAA movement.

 

The only limiting factor would be a design specification that would limit these classes of aircraft to below certain maximum speeds.

 

There is no point in limiting MTOW's as there is already the full range of MTOW's to the max 600kgs in the movement.

 

Aircraft designed to these lower maximum speeds would, as I have already pointed out, be lighter, probably simpler and have a wider range of construction materials and be cheaper to buy, build and run.

 

If the cheaper to buy, build and run cannot be achieved through this means then there is no point in the exercise.

 

There is no doubt that when a readily accepted design criteria is drawn up for a class, it stimulates development in that class design and a section of the sport's participants get involved and make that design their own patch.

 

I am not and did not suggest that any restrictions be placed on licenses or for anybody who just wants to go right on doing what they are doing and wish to continue to so.

 

 

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Guest airsick

I am not sure what you mean ROM. It seems as though you are suggesting a specification driven industry will prompt design developments better than a demand driven industry would.

 

We already have aircraft such as the rag and tubes that come in at <$20k for some models (if not cheaper still) and you have the middle of the road Jabs for around $50k - $60k then you have a whole pile of other things for well in excess of $100k. If you look at something like the Pipistrel Virus it cruises at ~120kts, comes in at ~$130k (depending on your specs of course) and has a hell of a range. Compare this with a new 172, SR20, etc. and it still looks cheap to me.

 

I am not sure how promoting the segregation of aircraft into different classes will improve on this. I think if any given manufacturer sees a market they will jump into it and own it without the need for someone like RA-Aus to spend money developing a new class system.

 

Or am I still missing your point?

 

 

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Variety.

 

I don't wish to stifle good discussion, but let's not make things any more complicated than they already are. I don't think that anyone is forced from his current low- performance aircraft, except that as a percentage, with present trends, you will be in a minority, as are tailwheel aircraft.

 

I havent found that a large airspeed variation causes a significant problem with a group going to a common destination, if some leave before the others, although the existence of a wind of say 30 Kts, could mean going another day, realistically, for the slow types.

 

There is a saying that if you have a deadline to meet, take your car, or fly airlines. IF you have PLENTY of time, take your aircraft. Inability to fly VFR. delays you for days, not hours.

 

The 600 Kg AUW, is only for LSA category aircraft, and when the limitations of this category are examined it loses a lot of its appeal, in my view. We are effectively limited to 544 kgs max at the moment. Too light to carry 2 people, fuel, and some baggage, UNLESS built out of composite (EXPENSIVE)! Wood is the cheapest material to construct an aeroplane from, or perhaps Al tube and sails. The ubiquitous Volkswagen is probably the cheapest engine (Left close to its natural state) , but will it pull 2 people? Not usually, because the prop is too small, (direct drive). We have grown like topsy, and our complicated rules are a legacy of this. Since it is available to do so, good, fast aircraft will be purchased by people who can afford them and that is inevitable, and anything good in aviation will not be cheap. Will I buy one? Most likely not, but people have been paying 400K+ for gliders for a while. Progress( some would not call it that, but it is DEVELOPMENT) is inevitable and only a SAFETY problem will limit it. Despite a looming diversity, I wouldn't like to see too much "splitting" or unnecessary limitation occurr. Most of us would not have been able to imagine what we have on offer today, a few years ago, and the future will be no different. To build a low- cost aircraft will be a challenge, but not an impossibility. Nev..

 

 

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Guest ROM

Airsick quote; "It seems as though you are suggesting a specification driven industry will prompt design developments better than a demand driven industry would."

 

When we look at the evidence, the specification driven [ Light Sport aviation ] industry has really stimulated the design developments and therefore demand.

 

Not the other way around as in a demand driven industry.

 

The Ultra Light specifications 95.10 of 1976 and the 95.25 specifications of 1985 with it's 370 kg [ later 400kg ] MTOW laid down a set of specifications that the new sport could develop to and build to.

 

Later, the Europeans specified a 450 kg MTOW and this led to very rapid and significant developments in the ultra light aircraft field.

 

Now we have the LSA specifications with it's 600kg MTOW and the 2 seat limitation which has led to extremely rapid developments in recreational aircraft and a large influx of new flying participants.

 

The point that is missing is that most people like to belong to a group and will often sacrifice quite a lot to do so.

 

Formalising a limited performance based specification class of aircraft enables people to belong and operate within a group based around that specification.

 

Often money does not come into it.

 

As I have said previously, a formalised aircraft specification lays down a set of parameters that aircraft designers and builders can and will work to.

 

The only formal design parameters at present are the LSA specifications.

 

The older Ultra Light specifications have fallen by the wayside and a complete rethink is needed to formalise a couple of new design parameters that are still with in the LSA parameters but encourage the design of cheaper aircraft and ensure cheaper flying.

 

 

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Guest airsick
When we look at the evidence, the specification driven [ Light Sport aviation ] industry has really stimulated the design developments and therefore demand.

I would hazard a guess that this was actually demand driven. There was demand for this type of aircraft but the legislation of the day prevented them from becoming a reality. Allowing weight increases allowed these aircraft to develop and mature into what we have today. There is nothing preventing the lighter, slower guys from doing their thing at the moment. The demand is there and they are selling them. I am still not convinced that creating a special subset of rules for them will do anything more than create more administrative requirements and increase the workload of RA-Aus.

 

 

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Is this an aviation based, "chicken or the egg" discussion?

 

I think the idea of a performace based endorsement system is a great idea.

 

Getting endorsements on only the type and performance of aircraft the pilots desires, not being forced into getting a standard of qualification you may never need.

 

**COUGH GA! COUGH COUGH**

 

 

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Cheaper,Cheapest????????

 

Spacesage,

 

I agree with you,The value of anything is relative,how do we measure it,any amount is too much if you don`t have it.

 

The intention of going going back to basics was to maintain the cost as low as possible,but the scene has changed since I started and that`s just a fact of life,maybe someone will start all over again,one day.

 

On endorsements,I agree also,there`s still a lot of guys out there who fly real grass roots and don`t want to be commercial pilots, I`m one.

 

K.I.S.S. principal, Keep It Simple Stupid.

 

farri. :rotary:

 

 

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Guest Rufus

Folks, I have to say I didn't expect this many varied & good comments when I started this thread.

 

My main concern was the number of non flyers, who, once I've mentioned my interest in ultralight flying, respond with " That's expensive, isn't it" or "rich mans sport, I can't afford that" or something similar.

 

Yes, I get comments like " but that's dangerous, isn't it" but not as often.

 

It also disturbs me, when the number of cheap to own & fly aeroplanes at Narromine a couple of years agon, Rag & Tube, could be counted on one or two hands.

 

I believe that comes about because of lack of exposure of inexpensive planes, giving the impression that they have all gone away, & very few ads & articles about rag & tube.

 

As I see it, if we assume a 15% margin of profit on recreational planes, a $10000 composite plane has $15000 profit to run their business, feed Mum & the kids, advertise etc, where as the $20000 rag & tube has $3000 to do all the above.

 

It's obvious which "class" of plane get's the most exposure.

 

How is this problem effectively adressed??

 

Can we have some thought's along these lines.

 

Thank you,049_sad.gif.af5e5c0993af131d9c5bfe880fbbc2a0.gif

 

Roger

 

 

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Thats a really valid point Rufus, to operate at the level of rag and tube, it almost has to be a love job.

 

If not it has to be coupled with another more profitable business. This is probably going to mean a decline in the skills base for rag and tube flying.

 

Also attracting younger, newer participants is also going to be a problem, because ultra-light flying is seen in some circles as an extreme sport. In my opinion anyone who sees ultra-light flight as an extreme sport doesnt belong in the pilots seat.

 

Heres the challenge, how do you promote and grow your sport without altering so much as to be unrecognisable.

 

 

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Who will?

 

Rufus, People CAN still do it ,but will they? Nobody is stopping anyone but you will be a bit lonely. From a personal perspective, I feel that the "rag and tube" means different things depending where you come from. As an example, I tend to think of the term meaning steel tube and aircraft like the Gazelle and superpup (Mini Auster or Cub) where as I have found most who have been long associated with this movement see Wheeler scouts and thruster types as corresponding to that category. These use a larger section of Aluminium tube as a "spine" and are quite distinctive.

 

People who are confident with it (and competant) have no fear of sheet metal, and will build in this medium. I don't know what the skills base is like amongst our members. I would like to get communication with others who are interested and capable in a practical way. Life's too short to learn it all the hard way, and most of the techniques that I am referring to have been well established in the past. So, Any takers? Nev...

 

 

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Late response, Flyer

 

Hi Flyer,

 

The Sapphire is a great 'plane. An icon!

 

Yes, 2 stroke 447. You worry, but get used to it.

 

Distance you can fly in a day is limited by fuel tank size. The standard wing tanks are not quite enough. You really need the seat tank.

 

Cruise easily at 83 knots without wheel spats. 5200 rpm.

 

If you want a tent and all the gear - you really have to try. Just not enough room. Day trips, great. Just you and a credit card! Brisbane - Sydney inland in a day, no worries.

 

On one trip I flew half way around Australia. Really enjoyed it. I wrote the story up for the mags - will PM story to you if I can work the system.

 

Jack. :):)

 

 

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It seems even what we would all call rag and tube aircraft are getting pretty expensive, just get a quote on a bantam or similar in recent times. I hang out at a field with a KR2 that does well over double my airspeed yet we have a great time. He takes me for a spin, I take him for photo flights and I just leave well before him to meet at other strips. They are completly different machines but we both have aircraft that suit us (our experience, ability and expectations) so we are each very happy with our machines. Though another 25kts wouldnt hurt the drifter.....

 

As a thought as to what can be done to increase the cheaper and more moderate performance end of the spectrum you might want to look at the Texas Parasole. The design is interesting and the full plans are available for free. The story is the most interesting bit to me. These groups had identified an need for a simple, cheap aircraft for their members to build and fly together. So the experienced ones got together and put in the effort to design what looks to be a great little plane. They then went and gave it to the world for free; as long as 'the plans are not sold or used in anyway to make a profit'.

 

I think it's a great success story...and I find myself looking over those plans and buiding instructions and thinking even I could put one together! 006_laugh.gif.0f7b82c13a0ec29502c5fb56c616f069.gif

 

 

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Aircraft Rego.

 

Talking about cheep flying,can anyone tell me why it costs $55 to register a single place and $110 for a two place aircraft question.gif.c2f6860684cbd9834a97934921df4bcb.gif.

 

It appears to me that both aircraft occupy roughly the same amount of runway and air space and require the same amount of computer space and administration time.

 

Are we simply,Golden Geese. 087_sorry.gif.8f9ce404ad3aa941b2729edb25b7c714.gif

 

farri.

 

 

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Guest TOSGcentral

Probably the same reason Farri why we had to pay additional for our CFI and Pilot Examiner approvals when it was ourselves doing it in the field so this movement could prosper - and probably should have had a member discount for so doing!

 

Tony

 

 

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Additional fees for CFI.

 

Tony,

 

Boy am I glad someone else has said that,there`s no probably about it, of course we should have received some assistance but that`s in the past, what about the present,arn`t things still the same.

 

That has always been a pet hate of mine,from way back and still is,simply, if for no other reason,than principal.

 

Those of us who obtained CFI ratings and provided the membership by running the schools have always been discriminated against with higher fees and we were told and schools are still being told that they are independent operators and need to take care of themselves.

 

In all,I paid over $40,000.00 insurance for my school.When I couldn`t afford the insurance premium any longer,no insurance, no school.How many small grass roots schools have we lost, question.gif.c2f6860684cbd9834a97934921df4bcb.gif I think it`s quite a lot.

 

As the small schools are forced out,of course the cost of recreational flying will increase and if something isn`t done to assist the small schools then there`s a real chance that all the training will revert to GA schools,what will be the cost then. question.gif.c2f6860684cbd9834a97934921df4bcb.gif

 

What is being done by the RAA to protect the small schools question.gif.c2f6860684cbd9834a97934921df4bcb.gif Nothing as I see it.

 

Still no answer to why aircraft rego fees are so different,however.

 

farri.

 

 

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Guest TOSGcentral

I really do believe people need to take pause and consider what the hell they are talking about!

 

 

Cheap flying? Damn! You can get a reliable machine (with a bit of circumspect caution) for $4-5000 dollars and it will cost you the fuel that you put in it, very small maintenance costs, and it will take you 100 nm without an overnight stop! Or a pleasant few hours just flying around your local area and it is really FLYING!

 

 

Did that this morning – just a pleasant jaunt around the early morning and clear sky of a Queensland autumn. With a lady who thoroughly enjoyed herself (especially as she had the controls most of the time) and you could see for ever!

 

 

That is FLYING and just that is something magic! But – if you want to load it up for personal preferences then things change.

 

 

From there the price starts going up – two people (really want four people or a heap of baggage), speed, avionics, weight carrying capacity and all the rest of it.

 

 

I had a turkey like that a few years ago. He wanted to spend no more than $10,000 for an aircraft (because ultralights were so cheap) but wanted to take himself, family and baggage to Sydney from Brisbane in four hours or it was not worth it to him. I told him to get a PPL and buy a Bonanza!

 

 

Those turkeys are exactly the ones that press on and fly into high ground in lowering cloud base! Aviation is no longer a thrill and pleasure of just flying, it is a means of transport. The Ultralighting movement was founded upon the former, in simple aircraft. It has now been prostituted into something else – so forget cheap flying – you will get what you pay for! But you can still get very affordable flying.

 

 

On my side I have been working on this area. With the Thruster Swift project people will be able to buy, or build themselves, a totally refurbished rag and tube aircraft capable of cruising at 70 knots at real good economy, have flaps and manual rudder and elevator trimmers, ventilation system on an equal sized cockpit to the latest ‘plastic fantastics and enhanced to 450 kg MTOW.

 

 

Indications are that you should be able to get this for $25-30,000 and all done on a reliable and time proven airframe that is not fatigue lived.

 

 

In addition we are developing two versions – one with the R582 motor and another with the BMW R100 four stroke (the latter being at about half the price of the price of an R912 and will be inclusive of an engine mounting kit and ‘how to do it notes’ to make the beast).

 

 

For the original rag and tube guys the Swift will be expensive. For a lot of you planning on $100,000 plus it is a more basic alternative – so I guess could be termed ‘cheapâ€

 

 

Aye

 

 

Tony

 

 

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Cheep,Cheep,Cheep.

 

The bottom line is that there is no such thing as cheap, cheap is relative, relative to what??? :hittinghead:

 

Frank.

 

 

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Bang for your buck? What you fly is your own choice.

 

My parameters are simple. Cost per hour. I want to fly as much as I can. The skillset gets rusty if not used regularly. The skillset cannot tell if I am flying a 172 or a Jabiru.

 

When you wish to own your beast then you need to take a long hard look at what you intend to do and look long and hard at what type of flying you have done previously. I like to go places, I rarely take more than one passenger and the average length of trip is about 200nm out at about 105kts TAS. I would love to see this wide brown land from the air so that dictates a reasonable fuel range. That hard bit is carrying capacity. I liken it to motorcycle touring. A couple of changes of clothes each and the survival equipment and a very empty credit card. These are the problems I see if I try to make my flying fit into an aeroplane with AUW of 544kg. (I hope I can convince my wife what 15kg for two really looks like.)

 

If it doesn't fit then I have to go Experimental and stay with my GA licence. Simple!

 

It matters not who was here first and what aeroplane should be catered for. What matters is looking after the people who keep the activity alive and to keep them coming and happy to stay and feel welcome. Like the motorcycle fraternity, it always appears that the only ones with an attitude problem are those who buy a yank tractor for the image. Everyone else I ever come across were only interested in the journey not what was between your legs. RAA appears to me to be more like the journey rather than the image. I hope it is like that in reality.

 

I agree with what Farri said about school costs. My fear in GA is the amount of people who take 20hrs plus to go solo. Flying hasn't changed. When I learnt to fly in the seventies, it took about 10hrs to get kicked out on your own. A lot of RPPL and PPL licences were done right on the minimum stipulated requirments. AND WERE PASSED BY DCA/DOT EXAMINERS! (Very hard to please with no vested interest if you passed or failed) Now, things have changed considerably. What has changed to make flying so difficult to master.

 

 

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These are the problems I see if I try to make my flying fit into an aeroplane with AUW of 544kg. (I hope I can convince my wife what 15kg for two really looks like.)

Skybum

 

buy your wife her own motorcycle and take her on a 2 week tour (with you riding your own motorcycle of course). She will understand what 15kgs looks like....trust me....;)006_laugh.gif.0f7b82c13a0ec29502c5fb56c616f069.gif:thumb_up:\

 

regards

 

Phil

 

 

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