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Purchase speculation...

Guest extralite

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Guest extralite

Was just doing some figures on possible options for aircraft purchase. I was looking at "fuel economy"..basicaly dollars per km. I assumed that something like an RV 6 would be much more expensive for those cross country trips than rotax/jab engined fibreglass aircraft. But on the surface appears to be only about 22% more fuel/km and a lot more speed. I am also thinking it may hold its value a bit better?


Can anyone see where i might have gone wrong on the figures?


This aircraft will be mainly used for cross country trips. Important factors are speed and economy of cruise and maintenance, resale value in about 2 years. Safety


Option 1.


A faily well known, foreign, fibreglass homebuilt. Low wing tricycle. VH registerd but can be RAA registered. 150 hours on it.


Puchase Price $65 000


Engine Rotax 914


Fuel Consumption Cruise 16 litres an hour


Cruise 120kts 220 kph.


Fuel Cost/ hour $35.


Fuel Cost per 100km $16.


Option 2.


RV 6


Build: all metal home built. About 300-500 hours.


Puchase Price $85 000


Lycoming 0-320


Fuel Cost Hour $55


Fuel 150 knots. 275 kph Burns 30 litres/hour


Fuel Cost per 100km = $20


Can anyone give me an idea of the extra maintenance cost of the RV6? Just really approx would be fine.


And lastly, there is one type in which i dream of in the future, but the only second hand ones i have seen are in the USA. HAs anyone had experience of "crateing" an aircraft over? Would the total cost of the operation be more than $10k?


Thanks for anyone that takes the time to offer their 2 cents.



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I would suggest from experience that the costs of importing an aircraft will be alot more than $10k.


Don't forget on top of dissasembly, reassembly, shipping and whatever inspections are required ( depending on how you want to register said aircraft ) you will also pay 10% GST on whatever the Aussie dollar amount the aircraft costs.


I know of one person who did this recently and ended up horrified at the all up cost, for not much more he could have bought a brand new aircraft from the Australian dealer and had a lot less hassle.


The aircraft I am reffering to arrived in Aus about Easter 08 and is still not permitted to fly here in Aus.





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Guest Flyer40

Mate I'll wade in cos I've been doing some similar comparisons myself.


First though, I think you have the wrong consumption figure for the 914. Most of the sources I looked at quoted 21.4 l/hr @ 75%. Even at 65% it was over 18 l/hr. Perhaps a 914 operator could clarify?


I do this comparison using cruise values and it has to be done over distance to be comparative since higher consumption may be offset by higher speed on an efficient airframe.


The results I got for your option 1 (at 21.4 l/hr) was 9.63 l/100km, and 10.8 l/100km for option 2. Not a huge difference.


Like me you're looking at cross country flying and at this point I find myself questioning the value of my time because over a 500nm trip the RV will get me there almost one hour earlier for an extra $20 of fuel.


Of course this does not incorporate other operating costs such as TBO vs overhaul costs which could mean that an engine with a lower purchase price might have higher operating costs that ultimately make it more expensive than the engine with the higher purchase price. But I'm not saying that applies here because I haven't done that analysis.


If you can afford the higher cost of entry I think the RV makes a better choice for touring.


Good luck with it.



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Calculation of costs.


I reckon your engine costs with the RV will be less than rotax because of the higher TBO on the Lycoming motor. Nearly all RV's are built with a brand new motor as they have an arrangement with Lycoming to supply the engines at a very good price. You would have the option of a CS prop too with more money and extra weight in the nose, but it would give the engine an easier time and save some fuel as well, at the speed the RV goes at. Nev



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Guest airsick

I am struggling with the basic inputs used here. For the Rotax you have suggested 16lph is about $35 per hour which implies a fuel price of $2.19 per litre. For the RV you have used 30lph and $55 per hour which is about $1.83 per litre. Given that Avgas is generally more expensive than unleaded I don't follow the logic here.


Using the same fuel consumption figures but $1.50 for unleaded and $1.85 for Avgas I get $10.80 and $17.72 per 100km for the Rotax and RV respectively.


And building an RV in 500 hours? Good luck!



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RV6 is already 'old' technology and if you're looking for a better cross country machine, smoother flying, lower landing speeds,and much, much easier to handle -go 9A. Reckon on more like 3000 hrs to build it. Average ones were selling recently in the US for around US80k - 100k. Allow A$20k to get one here in a box and rebuild it to Aus rego.


With my J160c - a 'block' speed of 90 kts compares to the RV-9A's 'block' of 150 kts. Fuel consumption is about 16 v's 32 LPH..R-O-P. ( I have been trialling my Superior IO-360 with EI, at 'lean-of-peak' settings, and it's doing 140 KTAS at 23LPH....not bad!) But ogainst average R-O-P settings for the RV, the Jab is better value provided that you are not worried about journey time. Age and weakened bladder control tends to 'dampen' enthusiasm for using up the J160's 8hrs endurance!! But, there are other considerations:


The RV is going to get you up into clear air very fast, (we climb 1000fpm @ 120 IAS), give you a smooth ride at higher levels, (usually cruise 8-10k if VFR). and usually has an A/P. You can lug a much heavier load as well without it making much difference - (test flew mine @ 100kg o/w and it made next to no difference to stalling or cruise.). I think there's no comparison between them in getting out of shorter strips and clearing obstacles either.


On the other hand, if you are the original builder, then you can DYO maintenance - although most owners seem to use their local LAME for the more complex parts of their 100 hrly's. But, the Jab isn't any cheaper if you need an L2 to do most of the work on it.


In short - much depends on your mission profile and pocket depth...with the A$ creating havoc with importation plans. But, don't rule out the US market - my opinion is that prices will fall dramatically...read 20-25% as US owners have to sell up. So the relativity to the A$ at 98c US might soon return.


happy days,



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Guest extralite

Thanks to everyone so far for the inputs..interesting reading.


Just to clarify..i was talking about an RV6 with 500 hours approx on the clock..not building one. Apologies for the confusion.


The Rotax 914 fuel consumption i got from a couple of websites of the aircraft concerned, and the potential seller. Good to know its actually more like 20 litres per hour.


Shame about the cost of bringing an american homebuilt to Australia. I guess a more economical way to do it would be to find other people with an eye on an american aircraft and share a container, as i know a container price is not that expensive.


I wonder are the regulatory problems? Surely a second-hand american designed homebuilt, built by an american, is little different from an american home built, built by an Australian?


Buying an RV 6 over the RV 9 simply because the cost of the second hand ones is more affordable.



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Guest Cloudsuck

G'day Extralite (ex Hangie perhapse?),


I have done all the same sums as you with regard to the RV. If I could get one in the RAA register, I would have one. After I sold my Yak last year, I was dead keen on an RV. I made a few offers on a couple here but then had a reality check and remembered the cost of playing in the GA world (100 hourly etc). I ended up buying a brand new Tecnam and couldn't be happier, but there is still an RV pilot in me. Maybe a 4 when we get the 750kg's.


With regard to importing. I imported my Yak from the US in 2006. It cost about 10k but I managed to share the container with a mate so that got it down to 5k.


The economy sums you are doing are only good for a trip. If you are just going to your local strip for a fly on the weekend, an hour in the RV will always be more than an hour in a Tecnam, Jabiru, CT etc. But hell, it's only money and flying is flying.



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G'day Extralite (and others!),


Your last post said you got 914 fuel consumption "from a couple of websites...."


While researching what aircraft I wanted I was forever finding the published, and especially the verbal "real Truth" often had little relationship to the real world.


Dont know how to beat it, the saying "Buyer Beware" has been around for a long time!.


Just out of interest, the operators Manual for Rotax Engine Type 914 Series (May 01/2006 page 8-2) states fuel consumption at 75% continuous (5000rpm) is 20.4L/hr.


I find 20L/hr a good average. A bit over on 3-5hr flights, a bit under if landing more often.



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Guest extralite

hi cloudsuck..correct assumption on the ex hangie thing. still take it for a fly sometimes.


How much extra per hour do you factor in for the RV6 to cover the 100 hourly and any extra cocts incurred over the VH registed rotax?



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Guest Cloudsuck

G'day extralite,


These days it seems that the going price for a 100 hourly / annual is a bit over $2000 providing there is nothng wrong or needing replacing. My last Yak one was $5500. the same service on my Tecnam is less than $100 as I do them myself.


For me the issues were.


1. Hangarage at Archerfield was $400 per month ($100 per month at my airfield).


2. Landing fees at Archerfield was $27.50 ($0 at my airfield).


3. No avgas at my airfield.


4. Annuals $2000 -v- $100.


The issue of 35 lph (lycon) -v- 20 lph (Rotax) did not worry me too much.


If I could have an RV at my airfield, do my own servicing and have ready access to an avgas bowser, I would do it. They are an awesome machine.


With regards to importing, RV's are so cheap in the states as compared to here that you could import one and have it assembled and C or A'd here and you would still be way in front.


If you need the name of a place here in Queensland that can assemble it and get the C of A, I can point you in the right direction. You simply just get the shipping company to deliver it to their hanger.


I paid $2000 USD to have the plane broken down and packed. $5000 for shipping. $3000 AUD to have it assembled. C of A was about $1000 - $1500. Weight and Balance was $450. One of he biggest costs is GST on the plane. I got it all back because it was a busienss but if it is for private use, you wont.


The plane has to be cleaned spotlessly before leaving the US as if there is one speck of dirt, blade of grass etc Quarantine will have it cleaned (by an approved Quarantine cleaning agent) and charge you around $5000. I heard of a Nanchang owner who had this happen. They used a high pressure water blaster and screwed up half the systems in the plane.


Oh! and the ship my plane sailed through a country which has ‘Giant African Snails’. As a result, the container sat on our docks for another four weeks in the queue to be checked by Quarantine (more $$$$). From the time I purchased the plane to the time I flew it was about six months. It was a very stressful time.



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My guess is that you'll buy a good RV6 in the US for USD50k upwards, maybe less if the stockmarket keeps heading south!


I had an RV6 with 180HP + C/S and it had awesome performance....175 KTAS @ 10kft. It was also the best balanced RV6 that I've flown, in that the extra weight forward allowed for a big load in back - yet W&B remained well within CG. It allowed for the -6 to be wheeled on without any need to push forward on touchdown. The 150 and 160 Lycoming powered RV6's tend to be a bit tail heavy. This will really be noticeable with a 150HP + wooden prop build - have to be very careful about load in back.


For the money - an RV6 with a carburetted Lycoming 160HP, and a 'cruise' pitch Sensenich metal propellor, will give you best value, and allow you to fly in rain too. Fuel injection means you'll have some anxious 'hot start' moments. Electronic ignition is good, but some of the older stuff has been going u/s recently. Be wary of some US builders having registered their RV'6 with higher than 'factory' weights - it's not allowed here, unless you are prepared to undertake extensive and accurate flight testing to prove up the handling. You'll probably have to reweigh for the Aus CofA anyway, so don't pay extra for something of no value to you here in Aus.


You'll have to use a LAME after importing an 'experimental' for GA rego here - the rules say only the original builder can do their own maintenance. Mine used to cost me about $500-700 for a 100hrly/annual, provided that I did all the uncowling, dropped the oil, popped all the inspection panels, pulled the plugs, and then put it all back together. That assumes nothing untoward is found.


happy days,



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Own a C150, J160C,& a just registered RV-9A...but fly anything that arrives on the school door. In the last month, that's included a J5G Auster, a Cessna 180,a Gazelle,the 150 and the Jab. The -9A is totally 'glass'....not an analog inst in it....so am learning IF all over again!


happy days,



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