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Buying aircraft- 80 % / 100 % use case ?


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this is a bit of a subjective topic. IE opinions rule here I guess. I am interested in people's comments.

 

Buying an aircraft, I am faced with the usual dilemmas.

 

(1) Do you buy an aircraft for the 90% of mission profiles.

- IE 1 POB , 10kg baggage, 4h endurance

 

(2) Or for the 10% of mission profiles ?

- 2 POB, 30kg bags, 4-6 h endurance.

 

Given that you cannot do (2) with a plane designed for (1).

and flying (2) for all those (1) missions probably has similar overall aircraft running cost for 130h flying per year + extra fuel burn (which may not be much higher because (2) aircraft is operated at way below MTOW spec weight).

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I chose # 2 for all the above reasons.

There is FAR more aircraft to choose from in the market and ownership costs are close to identical I would think. I probably would not buy one under 600kg mtow either.....

If you fly a 2 seater as a 1 seater, you can then carry a massive amount of gear, so not really "30kg bags".

I know somebody with a #1. Not my cup of tea.....

There's the odd #1 pilot that will go places but most go in circles around their ctaf or farm.

Seeing the same tree, road, fence over and over would drive me insane, but if it floats their boat, good for them.

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Hi DU. got it. In my specific case, the comparison is a J120 vs a J230.

Two ends of the spectrum. I am not really sure the 160/170 fits into the (2) profile, really needs 100 HP motor 'I reckon'. A five cylinder Jabiru...

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Given the choice between a J120 and a J230, for the minor increase in running costs, I would go the -230 any day of the week. It offers much more flexibility and those minor additional costs (plugs etc) over the 4 cylinder engine are quickly recouped if you need to hire a club plane at some exorbitant rate for that extra 20% flying you'll be doing.

 

I built an RV-9 when the KRviatrix told me to build a -10 (before kids...). I wish I'd listened to her! :ranting: Though the -9 suits 90% of the flying I currently do, I can't do the other 10% such as taking the family up together instead of 1 by 1 and I flat out refuse to hire a clapped out C172 that can barely outclimb an anaemic octogenarian.

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I test flew the 170 and the 230 and ended up choosing the 230. I fly mainly on my own but it just feels like a much better and powerful plane when I do my cross countries. I call it my station wagon.

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I built a single seater and wanted two seats, so I built a two seater. Too expensive to have two planes so one had to go. I now have the single seater, I miss the two seater, but not enough to regret my decision. I just like to fly. Not long distances and I am happy on my own. It all depends upon what you can be happy with. If you really want to take others for a flight, you are going to need two seats.

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Hi Yenn .

ahh OK to clarify.

considering only 2 seat aircraft. mission (1) 1 POB , 10kg baggage, 4h endurance , mission (2) 2 POB, 30kg bags, 4-6 h endurance.

I talked to a few on the questions of endurance. and how long is too long in one hop. it's really whatever floats your boat it seems

J120 seems a good place to start for my first plane. can always sell it and get something else bigger.... * once my views and needs are formed by actually flying a few places cross country. *

J120s are by all reports well behaved aircraft, and there are plenty of them. J230s also. actually in the J230 capability market, there are plenty of NON Jabiru options to consider. especially considering I would toss out any engine from the troubled years for a Gen4, which means I wouldnt want to spend much on a J230. I bet there are alot of Jab operators with hydraulic lifter engines saving their pennies for a gen4. ALthough I dont hear much about any Gen4 motors so far in terms of service stories.

there are also many Savannahs around... a few Brumbys600s etc

 

and KR : I would love an RV-9A. for another time. No time to build aircraft just at this moment in my life, not even a quickbuild.

-glen

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You really have to decide what your major use will be first..whether its long or short distance mainly. Then decide how many POB then of course if you want to be able to handle roughish or smoother surfaces. these choices will separate a lot of aircraft.

 

The savannah is short field and any surface typically but it travels everywhere at 85kts so long trips are a little longer. Its a great all round aircraft. My next one though is the Rans S-21...not a 600kg aircraft though it will fit the 760kg if it comes into RAAA but it is a all round machine..should do 100 to 110kts 2 POB comfortably and huge baggage space and weight also is short field..I think its going to be fantastic. The mrs and myself will be touring australia in it when we retire..and not a fuel guzzler either..Rotax big bore kit with good exhaust should give around 120hp

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Apart from the usefulness of going to visit my mum (400nm) in her last good years, If there is one thing I have realised during the pandemic, is how much it matters to be able to visit clients and friends and say hello. Counts for alot. Most of my clients and friends are non cap city ones .

and , going and visiting friends from my radio hobby, and now aviation hobby, most of which are beyond 4 hours drive. ... So most of those uses 1 POB, light luggage. ......I can forsee the plane might get used for going out to say Broken Hill (433nm fly or 10 hours drive) with one other, to do a fact finding / evaluation mission, where a bit of gear needs to be carted out there. Thats the (2) mission.

 

Good point Mark about airstrip surfaces.

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If your heart is sold on a Jabiru, then I advise you go the 230. They fly pretty straight....

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Actually the whole wing design is fantastic. It uses a chrome molly centre truss that the wing struts come from and that truss attaches to that LE extrusion and the trailing edge extrusion. The wing essentially has 2 spars the LE and the TE

 

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The later 601's are all good..just make sure its had the mods done if its a early one or the wings fall off :)

 

Mick M61A1 on the forum here has one...goes pretty good even though only a 80hp engine

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601 wings fall off eh ? OK. I'll watch for that.

 

Actually I am changing the mission profile. ha ha ! see already changing my mind.

mission (1) : 1 POB, 40kg luggage (can be in passenger seat rucksack) , 4h endurance. 100kts

mission(2) : 2 POB , 20kg luggage. touring. 6h endurance. 100kts+

 

which means can be done by quite a few planes. not just Jab.

 

For long trips, having some space around you is nice. IE knees not on the instrument panel , some headroom.

I've also done a few long trips in low wings in the middle of a hot summer and found that wasnt too pleasant. But I guess that's a matter of sun direction and having some tint on the bubble. Seems many low wings effortllessly do 10kts more than the high wings.

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6hour endurance? means you will have to have a dam good bladder or be using plastic bottle during the flight.

Your other option is also to have a 20l fuel bladder in the back to use to extend range.

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6 hours : I was thinking fuel run time. going to airfields without fuel, and having a bit left over to go to where fuel is.

 

yes seems 3h is about the most most people wants to be up without a break.

 

Fuel bladder is an option, if can satisfy changing w&b aspects (which a lad like me could)

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My S-21 will have the capability to have 157 litres on board if I want to fill it...with the Rotax that is close to 10 hrs endurance....thats nuts but hey you dont need fill it to full all the time

It has that because they didnt have the Rotax header tank in stock when they shipped out kits so I got the Titan header tank supplied which of course is much larger...I think its 18 or more litres

 

Long flights wont be a issue..just need a empty coke bottle and of course the autopilot :)

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anyone like Zenith 601s ?

I have built my own , now have 550hrs on it. Jab 3300 engine. Fantastic plane, built like a tank. Cruise 110tas and I fitted 4 fuel tanks, 200ltrs fuel for a 10hr range. Plenty of room, have glass efis and auto pilot, I fly a lot of long range flights. If you can find a 2nd hand 1 well worth a look.

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My ultimate mission is from Arkaroola to dig tree and return. Thats about 5 hours total and 400 nm. Two people and a sandwich lunch plus survival gear. My maximum flight is generally bladder limited to three hours. No more than six hours per day, then a motel.

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seems that if I want the plane I really want- it is a kit !

 

anyway, probably a small plane to start with, which will give me additional perspective to make the next decision.

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Go for an ATEC aircraft (choice of very advanced kit or factory build) Very low stall/ great low speed a handling combined with amazing high speed cruise/X country. Probably widest performance envelope in RAA. 1-2 seats. 8-18 L/hr. 300 kg payload (inc fuel)

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ATEC. nice. yeah lots of clever and modern designs coming out of Europe. lots of effort to maximize efficiency, and including the fuselage as a lift providing component.

 

I would think that since about 2005, aerodynamic modelling capabilities entry level has reduced, enabling many what-if scenarios to be examined by designers in a short time. I was impressed with the aeroprakt A32 : A22 improvements.

 

Seems that if you can spend 130-150k AUD, there are alot of cool ships available.

 

I am surprised how few 912ILS fuel injector motors there are used- seems a no brainer-15-20% fuel economy improvement, and you will get the money back after 300 hours of flying.

 

g

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I am surprised how few 912ILS fuel injector motors there are used- seems a no brainer-15-20% fuel economy improvement, and you will get the money back after 300 hours of flying.

 

 

 

 

300 hrs (if your sums are correct) is a lot of hours for the average RAA private user. Makes a lot more sense for a flying school/hire aircraft, but you still have to have the up front squilliondollar purchase price and that may result in a cash flow issue. .

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