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What to look for and costs...?


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Hi there,

 

I've been looking around and have decided I'm after something two seat, enclosed or at least semi enclosed within reasonable price range for purchase. So far I've thought about the X-Air, and the Thruster. I like what I see with the Thruster and there is alot of info on the net performance wise etc, but just after some information from owners/current pilots in the aircraft on ongoing running cost's, hourly costs etc and prices to register and insure something like a T500? I've done a bit of a search but thought it might be easier to address it this way, thanks all.

 

 

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Guest TOSGcentral

Hi CD.

 

 

To answer some of your questions.

 

 

If you want a T500 then you need a R582 engine. This will give you between 16 to 20 lph of two stroke mix so you can work out your hourly fuel cost from that.

 

 

Write the engine off over 700 hours for a $4000 replacement.

 

 

Allow about $6 per hour for maintenance (i.e.new plugs and casual repairs etc)

 

 

Skins are the other big ticket item. New skins should definitely last around 7 years or much more if the aircraft is sensibly hangared. Having said that the Thruster Prototype still has its original skins from 1982. For a T500 you are looking at a total skin replacement cost of around $3500.

 

 

By the time you have finished adding up and crystal ball gazing you will be looking in the region of $45 p/h. I operated Thrusters intensively in a flying school for 12 years and that is about what it cost me.

 

 

I doubt you will get insurance anywhere and it a waste of money anyway. You would have to have an extremely major crash each year to equal the annual insurance premium required – and that was a few years ago before insurance became virtually unobtainable.

 

 

Registration and membership costs may be obtained from the RAAus web site.

 

 

Before you take on a Thruster you should think carefully about your tailwheel experience as they are quite demanding on the ground. If you have not flown one before then get a ride in one with an instructor.

 

 

If you are short on tailwheel experience, or have only flown benign types such as Drifters or Lightwings then get a few hours of instruction in one. There are not many schools operating Thrusters. Wally Rudin at Narrandera would be your best bet to spend a few days with. I took him right through to CFI on Thrusters and he knows them inside out.

 

 

If you are around SE Q’ld then certainly I could give you some type orientation in a T300 – but I no longer instruct – I reckoned 40 years was enough and there were some other issues that got up my nose a bit!

 

 

A T500 would cost you normally around $14,000 to $20,000. TOSG has two screaming bargains going at the moment though and both have been re-built. One is $7,500 and needs little work to finish it. The second is a total benchmark rebuild with mostly new parts, zero hour engine etc for around $18,000. Email me at [email protected] and I will send you some pics and details.

 

 

Any other questions then fire away and I will do what I can.

 

 

Aye

 

 

Tony

 

 

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Hello,

 

Just to back up what Tony says I bargain on about $40 an hour for a running cost add to that hagared and all the little things that you like to do to make it your aircraft (gps + comfort things)

 

They are a great little aircraft perfect for local flying or short nav's just wish I could live closer to mine!

 

Tony could you e-mail me info on the $7500 one (probably dreaming but always looking for a bargin!!!

 

Adam.

 

 

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Guest TOSGcentral

Odd is it not Chris?

 

Yup 700 hrs on a properly maintained 582 is quite on - I was getting 1000 hrs out of my school aircraft that worked like drovers dogs - but were treated like pets.

 

700 is a good benchmark and there you are up against reality. Rotax do not seem to want their engines rebuilt and it is only a few hundred dollars to get a new motor than pay for just the parts alone.

 

Bear in mind with a 582 change over you are looking at keeping most of the peripheral systems (radiators, starter etc) which saves a heap of dollars.

 

The whole situation is a bloody tragedy and we cannot really blame Rotax. To many 'experts' were rebuilding motors that too often failed. They were 'good enough' but did not have the factory/specialist equipment to do the rebuilds correctly or did not even realise what was required. It is after all just an engine - or is it?

 

So I think Rotax were attempting to establish a new reliability reputatiion after what happened so many years ago to the early engines - that has become part of ultralighting mythos.

 

Bear in mind that Rotax only life their motors at 300 hours still! They also reduced their agents in Australia to just one and 'sacked' the rest - despite all the factory courses the guys had paid to go on!

 

Sure, I am spitting chips. A few years ago I could get a 582 professionally rebuit by Richard Eacott for $2500. Now a few more dollars makes a new engine more practical than a rebuild!

 

So we deal with practicalities - and I do not retreat from the comments I have written above. Equally I see Rotax's point of view - why should their reputation be dinged by idiots? So they have costed the idiots out of the equation! Bit of that going on at the moment!

 

Aye

 

Tony

 

 

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Guest TOSGcentral

Sorry Chris I really do not know about the other engines!

 

I have only limited experience with them via test flying and type evaluation.

 

I am only really game to comment on the R582 which I do know very well - and it is now a damn fine engine!

 

Tony

 

 

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