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A time now sadly gone,


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With todays turn key mentality and off the shelf aviators,an art to me, seems to be being lost. The days of sitting around a shed and dreaming and designing and BUILDING an aircraft.

 

 

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How many are being encouraged to build?How much RAA effort is being made to introduce young people to this sector?

The answer to that would be a big NO support at all from RAA because they do not want people building those pesky dangerous machines, and they will lose advertising for all the new off the shelf death machines they like now
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How many have built and how many are building now I wonder.

Not sure about numbers Yenn, but most of the flying set with the skills and imagination are sadly all dying out now as the world has turned to a throw away /out of the box world now.......here,s some photos of my old sportair ..Very similar contruction to your lovely bird.............IMG_5225.JPG.f6da80ac63e56188198f2d3dfe77e896.JPG

 

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"How many are being encouraged to build?"

 

The HummelBird builder's list was 16, sadly I don't think any are currently active. (I am included).

 

RAA certainly discourages the 95_10 bullder.

 

Some like to build, but even old sods like me give it away if there's NO Chance to fly a circuit in my (our) dream machine.

 

As for getting all the compliance papers & photographs, I gave up Photography to build my dream. now I need photo's of said build.

 

Camera in one hand rivet-gun in another hand & dolly-block in the third hand, typical bureaucrats want more them I can give.ClearProp5.jpg.31117789dda54af1a2bb20672be5e829.jpg AND even when I go to pains to make Good flush riveting, they say Not as good as lumpy rivets!.

 

spacesailor

 

flushrivet2.jpg.f5c94bf68dbc8ef95450a4f3a83e07f1.jpg The 3/32" rivets are well hidden, in the reverse photo rivet!.

 

flushrivet1.jpg.22b1887c581c6732367904e9e5ae78fa.jpg

 

 

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The answer to that would be a big NO support at all from RAA because they do not want people building those pesky dangerous machines, and they will lose advertising for all the new off the shelf death machines they like now

I can’t speak for RAAus but I can speak for SAAA/GA homebuild scene and I would guess the general gist is the same.

That gist is young people are not interested.

 

And that is both not interested in aviation and definitely not interested in building.

 

Have just spent some time chewing the fat with a mate who lamented the days when the aero club was a rocking social as well as flying place. Lamented how the club used to own a dozen aircraft and employed ten full time instructors etc.

 

but that just doesn’t exist anymore because there is no demand.

 

We (FNQ chapter of SAAA) have put in a huge effort over the last few years trying to increase interest and encourage particularly young people to get interested. We spent heaps of money, expended huge effort about 3 years back on newspaper articles with photos, local radio segments with interviews and then an information night with BBQ talks and presentations by builders, technical counsellors etc.

 

We got a good roll up to the info night, about 30 people. How many under about 60? 3!

 

How many under 35? 1 and that was a teenager who came with his father.

 

How many ended up continuing on and undertaking a build? None.

 

The basic problem is that young people have endless other options to occupy their time. And most of them involve technology which is bought off the shelf and does not require the time input. The general mindset these days is “I want it, and I want it now! And if I can’t have it now, I don’t want it! “

 

The age group who maintain an interest is the same for RAAus as well as GA and that’s the older male. Younger adults have families and costs and can’t get involved, kids aren’t interested. So all that’s left is the old guys.

 

I’d like to say there are ways to attract other groups into aviation but it won’t happen here in Oz. The whole recreational aviation scene here is stagnating. But the place to see some positive progress is the USA. They have a vibrant Young Eagles program and a viable supported and encouraged aviation sector. That’s the big difference compared to here.

 

Our aviation sector is strangling in regulation, rules and excessive cost. None of that is enough to offer any enticement to the very few who do have an interest.

 

 

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Not sure about numbers Yenn, but most of the flying set with the skills and imagination are sadly all dying out now as the world has turned to a throw away /out of the box world now.......here,s some photos of my old sportair ..Very similar contruction to your lovely bird.............

Ha ha, I know that hangar and that guy in it.....we Drifter together sometimes.
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I can’t speak for RAAus but I can speak for SAAA/GA homebuild scene and I would guess the general gist is the same.That gist is young people are not interested.And that is both not interested in aviation and definitely not interested in building.

 

Have just spent some time chewing the fat with a mate who lamented the days when the aero club was a rocking social as well as flying place. Lamented how the club used to own a dozen aircraft and employed ten full time instructors etc.

 

but that just doesn’t exist anymore because there is no demand.

 

We (FNQ chapter of SAAA) have put in a huge effort over the last few years trying to increase interest and encourage particularly young people to get interested. We spent heaps of money, expended huge effort about 3 years back on newspaper articles with photos, local radio segments with interviews and then an information night with BBQ talks and presentations by builders, technical counsellors etc.

 

We got a good roll up to the info night, about 30 people. How many under about 60? 3!

 

How many under 35? 1 and that was a teenager who came with his father.

 

How many ended up continuing on and undertaking a build? None.

 

The basic problem is that young people have endless other options to occupy their time. And most of them involve technology which is bought off the shelf and does not require the time input. The general mindset these days is “I want it, and I want it now! And if I can’t have it now, I don’t want it! “

 

The age group who maintain an interest is the same for RAAus as well as GA and that’s the older male. Younger adults have families and costs and can’t get involved, kids aren’t interested. So all that’s left is the old guys.

 

I’d like to say there are ways to attract other groups into aviation but it won’t happen here in Oz. The whole recreational aviation scene here is stagnating. But the place to see some positive progress is the USA. They have a vibrant Young Eagles program and a viable supported and encouraged aviation sector. That’s the big difference compared to here.

 

Our aviation sector is strangling in regulation, rules and excessive cost. None of that is enough to offer any enticement to the very few who do have an interest.

Well that all sounds exciting for a teenager; how many would want to come in and mix with a bunch old negatives, who've done it all. A number of sports are starting with four year olds, and working with them through their teenage years.
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Well that all sounds exciting for a teenager; how many would want to come in and mix with a bunch old negatives, who've done it all. A number of sports are starting with four year olds, and working with them through their teenage years.

It’s not all roses there either.Had my kids in the 90s and recently married again and wife has two kids in early teens.

 

Something Ive seen is that there are now so many sports that they all have a difficult time from low numbers. When I was a kid in the 60s and early 70s there were a few sports and many were seasonal and everyone played em all. Then my kids had choices of more. Now there’s dozens of sports and each has multiple subtypes ( J ball, T ball, baseball, softball. Etc) and runs all year round. Then they all require costly memberships (with insurance making up a bit slice).

 

As result they all struggle.

 

 

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"to increase interest and encourage particularly young people to get interested"

 

Maybe that's the problem, shift away from chasing YOUNG & FEMALE prospects, and try to gain a following in the early retirement groups, that has all the money, no mortgage, kids, and some don't even have the ex-spouse to nag them.

 

The first two groups are the opposite of, wealthy, unencumbered, They're without PATIENCE and short of ability too boot.

 

Of the 16 HummelBird builder's maybe One was below the OLD type, looking for the next challenge,

 

How many YOUNG or FEMALE go out & buy a "open top sports car" (Ferrari type), event the new millionaires (from the mobile contract area) don't bother chasing their "Bucket List", after all they have it now.

 

spacesailor

 

 

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With todays turn key mentality and off the shelf aviators,an art to me, seems to be being lost. The days of sitting around a shed and dreaming and designing and BUILDING an aircraft.

"to increase interest and encourage particularly young people to get interested"Maybe that's the problem, shift away from chasing YOUNG & FEMALE prospects, and try to gain a following in the early retirement groups, that has all the money, no mortgage, kids, and some don't even have the ex-spouse to nag them.The first two groups are the opposite of, wealthy, unencumbered, They're without PATIENCE and short of ability too boot.

 

Of the 16 HummelBird builder's maybe One was below the OLD type, looking for the next challenge,

 

How many YOUNG or FEMALE go out & buy a "open top sports car" (Ferrari type), event the new millionaires (from the mobile contract area) don't bother chasing their "Bucket List", after all they have it now.

 

spacesailor

I think there’s probably a lot of activity out there, it’s just done quietly with not that much fanfare.I’m aware of quite a few projects atm around SE Qld.

 

I’m presently on my 4th and a half project after a long hiatus and all my aircraft have been plansbuilt.86A1BAB1-E819-40EF-B36D-62C0E1E12B7A.jpeg.46021194ebec5a63de150a435bf31172.jpeg

 

 

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I can’t speak for RAAus but I can speak for SAAA/GA homebuild scene and I would guess the general gist is the same.That gist is young people are not interested.And that is both not interested in aviation and definitely not interested in building.

 

Have just spent some time chewing the fat with a mate who lamented the days when the aero club was a rocking social as well as flying place. Lamented how the club used to own a dozen aircraft and employed ten full time instructors etc.

 

but that just doesn’t exist anymore because there is no demand.

 

We (FNQ chapter of SAAA) have put in a huge effort over the last few years trying to increase interest and encourage particularly young people to get interested. We spent heaps of money, expended huge effort about 3 years back on newspaper articles with photos, local radio segments with interviews and then an information night with BBQ talks and presentations by builders, technical counsellors etc.

 

We got a good roll up to the info night, about 30 people. How many under about 60? 3!

 

How many under 35? 1 and that was a teenager who came with his father.

 

How many ended up continuing on and undertaking a build? None.

 

The basic problem is that young people have endless other options to occupy their time. And most of them involve technology which is bought off the shelf and does not require the time input. The general mindset these days is “I want it, and I want it now! And if I can’t have it now, I don’t want it! “

 

The age group who maintain an interest is the same for RAAus as well as GA and that’s the older male. Younger adults have families and costs and can’t get involved, kids aren’t interested. So all that’s left is the old guys.

 

I’d like to say there are ways to attract other groups into aviation but it won’t happen here in Oz. The whole recreational aviation scene here is stagnating. But the place to see some positive progress is the USA. They have a vibrant Young Eagles program and a viable supported and encouraged aviation sector. That’s the big difference compared to here.

 

Our aviation sector is strangling in regulation, rules and excessive cost. None of that is enough to offer any enticement to the very few who do have an interest.

We have noticed a similar trend in NZ, with an ageing recreational pilot population, but at least the recreational scene is growing - both the major Part 149 organisations (RAANZ & SAC) have growing memberships. Our club has 240 members, up from 150 3 years ago, and the major factor has been the acquisition of a couple of Tecnam P92 Echoes, coupled with the very sensible level of regulation for microlights (ultralights). We strive to keep regulations at a minimum for safe flying, and the costs at a reasonable level, and the result has been a massive migration of general aviation pilots across to microlights. There is also a good amount of building going on, but to be fair, generally the builders have grey hair (whats left of it) and are retired. Long may it continue!
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Perhaps another aspect is the issue of mortality. Those (grey haired old gits) who played with Grasshoppers and such in their adventurous youth, are now only interested in building nice solid, safe aircraft that they dreamed of when they were young and invincible. Not many of the 'simple, cheap, easy to build' aircraft are being built now.

 

So when a younger person sees an old bugger building a complex, years-to-finish work of art, they understandably turn away.

 

Add to that our current risk averse nanny state, and is it any wonder that the old fashioned kind of adventure from when we were young has died out?

 

 

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For sure it would be great to lure the young away from their virtual world and into aviation. Preferably into the 'seat of the pants' minimal planes many of my generation grew up with.

 

But the problem is money. I built my MiniMax as cheaply as possible, and it is one of the simplest homebuilt designs available. It still cost me more than $20,000. Plus 2 years of 20+ hours per week building. How many youngsters have that sort of time & money available? Incidentally, I had no problems with the support from RAA. I would regard it rather as lack of interference: I just built the plane, registered it, & went flying - no problem.

 

The group of people I believe should be targeted are the 'empty nesters', i.e. those 50 somethings whose children have left home; whose mortgage is small or largely repaid, and whose earning power is close to maximum. Many of these also realise time is running out, & would wish to embark on an adventure before they're too old: travel; motorbike; sportscar; (mistress?): something to mange their midlife crisis. These are the people we should be aiming to attract to our fold. There may also be some amongst them who are in positions of influence, who could make useful allies when needed.

 

But I don't think many of them will be interested in building. Those skills really do seem to be diminishing, since people now largely just seem to pay tradies to do what we used to do ourselves. Thus craft skills, confidence, and the pride of achievement in manual work well done are never achieved.

 

But we could, and should, be doing all we can to attract the 50+ age group into aviation. I don't know how - marketing is not my thing. Maybe organize a flying day at our local clubs? Just a quick circuit or two, with a tiny bit of hands-on for the pax, no money involved?

 

We surely need to, otherwise councils across the country will reclaim airfields for building sites, and what little voice we have now will be lost forever.

 

Bruce

 

 

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For sure it would be great to lure the young away from their virtual world and into aviation. Preferably into the 'seat of the pants' minimal planes many of my generation grew up with.But the problem is money. I built my MiniMax as cheaply as possible, and it is one of the simplest homebuilt designs available. It still cost me more than $20,000. Plus 2 years of 20+ hours per week building. How many youngsters have that sort of time & money available? Incidentally, I had no problems with the support from RAA. I would regard it rather as lack of interference: I just built the plane, registered it, & went flying - no problem.

The group of people I believe should be targeted are the 'empty nesters', i.e. those 50 somethings whose children have left home; whose mortgage is small or largely repaid, and whose earning power is close to maximum. Many of these also realise time is running out, & would wish to embark on an adventure before they're too old: travel; motorbike; sportscar; (mistress?): something to mange their midlife crisis. These are the people we should be aiming to attract to our fold. There may also be some amongst them who are in positions of influence, who could make useful allies when needed.

 

But I don't think many of them will be interested in building. Those skills really do seem to be diminishing, since people now largely just seem to pay tradies to do what we used to do ourselves. Thus craft skills, confidence, and the pride of achievement in manual work well done are never achieved.

 

But we could, and should, be doing all we can to attract the 50+ age group into aviation. I don't know how - marketing is not my thing. Maybe organize a flying day at our local clubs? Just a quick circuit or two, with a tiny bit of hands-on for the pax, no money involved?

 

We surely need to, otherwise councils across the country will reclaim airfields for building sites, and what little voice we have now will be lost forever.

 

Bruce

Yep. My experience has been that whether it’s a broad target approach or as specific age target group approach the 50-ish plus age group are the only ones you’ll get.But There is a high attrition rate in this group that further whittles down the remaining population.

 

We have seen high attrition at all stages. The greatest though is at the very beginning. We get/got lots of people ask about it but when they hear about cost, time needed, the ongoing maintenance etc not to mention the added issue of getting a licence as well. (It surprises me how many people approached us over the years with no prior aviation experience at all and who hadn’t taken into account the need to get the licence as well. )

 

And you, and a few others, are right - plenty of people these days who have no building experience of any sort, even basic repair skills, who ask about it but then feel it will be beyond them. Often the first thing they have to consider is building a workshop before building a plane and they stop at that.

 

But the other attrition rate is age related illness. We have had a number of projects come to a halt when the older builders get sick and either die or remain unfit to continue on flying or building.

 

It’s this short tenure aspect of the aged group that really says we need younger people in the sport. But for all the mentioned reasons they ain’t fronting up.

 

 

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The only thing rec aviation has an advantage in ............. compared to other flying ....... is simplicity and ease of regulation (some might scoff at all that)

 

If you got a car license you are medically OK to do some cheap ? Flying

 

Gliding maybe also ..........

 

I can't think of anything better to promote the sport than that

 

Maybe we are in a doldrum cycle - we just need another good old fashioned economic boom (theres always one of those just around the corner !)

 

 

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Just have a look at the Air Force cadets gliding in the school holidays to find youngsters interested in flying. The trick would be to get them interested in our side of aviation. A lot (surprisingly!) of people aren’t even aware that it is possible to build ones own aeroplane.

 

 

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Just have a look at the Air Force cadets gliding in the school holidays to find youngsters interested in flying. The trick would be to get them interested in our side of aviation. A lot (surprisingly!) of people aren’t even aware that it is possible to build ones own aeroplane.

The AirForce Cadets also do Powered Flying, and at Amberley, they were able to get involved in Radio Control aircraft (perfect for keeping the aviation bug biting at a low cost, whilst building the foundations of airmanship).

 

 

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