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Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by genna, Apr 14, 2021.
Lol I fail reading on that one. I read it as not one retract. Not a single engine retract.
Damn. I mean I think I knew all that but not without having my memory jogged by you there.
Well I learned it from following her on Instagram. It's all pretty recent. lol.
Yes, however they dumped this philosphy decades ago, back before they completely stopped making piston singles for a long time... especially as they learned they make a lot more money selling business jets to corpororations then they do selling a 172 to 'average joe blows' who learned in C150s.
The once a Cessna Pilot always a Cessna Pilot doesn't have much sway in the business jet world where the board of directors and the CFO/CEO non pilots have the last say on what jet is purchased. Corporate pilots will get what ever type ratings they need for the job, very few are going to refuse to fly jets from other manufacturers.
The industry is different now.
The two-seat trainers of the 1960s and 1970s (think Cessna 150/152, Piper Colt, Cherokee 140, Beech Sport) were loss leaders, sacrificing per unit profit in order to instill brand loyalty.
In 1967 a C-150G was priced more than a third less than a bare-bones C-172H, though the difference in the actual cost to build them was much less. The 1967 Cherokee 140 trainer was virtually identical to the 1967 Cherokee 150 family airplane (aside from some interior details, a different cowl and no baggage door), but was priced 23% less. The intent was to make the profit back when those newly-licensed pilots bought their new Centurions or Comanches, at a higher markup.
Today, however, Cessna and Piper do not build and sell trainers (C-172S and PA-28-181 "Pilot 100") with the hope that the students flying them will buy larger Cessnas or Pipers for themselves. Most of those students hope to graduate to a CRJ or A320 simulator when they leave the basic trainers behind, and couldn't care less about brand loyalty.
Indeed. I'd bet more than 99% of students learning in a PA-28 today have zero interest in buying a Malibu/Meridian (or whatever it is called now) after they get their license
This is a complete mischaracterization. They didn't suddenly "learn" this. And there wasn't any "dumping of philosophy" - it was unemotional, hard nosed, demand driven and deliberate business decisions.
The economy and the market is dynamic, ever changing. Any company that wants to survive has to figure out where the economy and tomorrow's consumer might be going and get out ahead of it with its product mix and marketing. The first Citation was certified in 1971. The all time industry peak of piston engine production was only 7 years later. If Cessna had not done what they did and stuck with shoving out piston airplanes to Cessna Pilot Centers like they were on some sort of Soviet 5-year plan, they'd be another basket case Mooney today.
I hear no equivalent level of whining about Daher/Socata. But it was smart enough to see where things were going and completely exited piston engine production to replace it with the very successful TBM turboprop. That's where the market was/is going. I see it all around my home airport.
Woo hoo.... I'm finally part of the 1%
In all seriousness, given that there are people willing to pay almost $400K for a Husky, there would probably be a decent market for a new production run of the 185.
I guess it again comes down to whether or not Textron serves general aviation or shareholders.
Is there any doubt.
They serve shareholders.
As they should. Why else, and how else would they be in business?
noun: a question asked in order to make a point rather than to get an answer.
Yeah, but you didn't even ask a question. You made a statement. I then expressed my thoughts.
You have to realize that anything you post here, someone is going to comment on it. Otherwise, the board would just die.
A new 185 would cost as much as a 206 now, which is what? about US$700K or more? That's nearly as much as the Corvalis was, and they dropped it. Wasn't selling. I do understand that the 185 has a different market, the bush guys and bush operators, but bush operators have largely gone to trikes because they can't find competent taildragger pilots and because the 185's aft cabin is so tiny and loading that sloped floor, through a small baggage door, is a pain. The 206 fixes both of those problems. The 206's disadvantages now include the inability to quickly evacuate the second and third-row pax when the floatplane flips over on the water and the right flap prevents properly opening that big utility door; Canada restricts the floatplane versions to five seats because of that. And the T206H is so heavy that it lost a bunch of useful load, with all the goodies and structural beefups in it. A restart 185 would suffer the same fate. The 172 did, too: 300 pounds more empty weight.
If it does, consider me one too! I follow her as well...
Both of you are right. BUT.. this has been my issue from Cessna/Textron all along. Hear me out.. this is NOT a rant.
There's a spectrum to be had somewhere, almost to a philosophical sense, of passion to your mission and demographic vs shareholders
You look at a small companies like Ariel, Caterham, Ducati.. or custom yacht builders like Hinckley.. doesn't even have to be super high end.. you see tons of small business out there. Everyone wants to make money, sure.. but I'd like to see some more balance between "we build this because it's an awesome produce" vs "we build this because it's the highest margin, screw everyone else". When you see a small company (under ~1,500 employees) you generally find that all the employees really believe in their mission and their product. They don't need to take over the world or strictly maximize shareholder value. They're happy building a couple units a year of something that they know their market would love. Boreal yachts is a small French boat builder making all metal world exploring boats. Not a big market. But they're not "selling out" and doing what everyone else does (I'm looking at you Catalina, Hunter, Jeanneau, Beneteau) and catering to the high volume proletariat filled charter market. Not everyone has to be the next "Camry" ..
Piper doesn't sell anywhere as many products as Cessna/Textron.. but they didn't sell out. Beech and Mooney (unfortunately to their detriment) also stayed focused on their product. Cessna survived, but to what end..? They make extremely expensive and less capable versions of planes you can buy used and crappy trainers. I know the 172S was the highest selling piston single last year.. but so what? I'd still rather drive a Caterham or Ariel than a Camry.. and would much rather sail a 50 year old C&C (or new Boreal) then some Jeanneau charter..
At the price it takes to buy a new airplane, risking it on buying anything from a new company seems foolish.
This has been the case over and over again.
The cookie jar is freaking tiny and way too many hands want in it. I suspect there will be some big names disappearing in the corporate jet market soon, heck Lear was just dropped recently. There will be more to come.
Line up all the piston personal aircraft by engine horsepower and what do you get? If the airplanes are fairly balanced in speed vs useful load they all do about the same thing if the horsepower is nearly the same.
I feel you. I really do. This is easy with cars. Market is massive. You can make it as a boutique company that sells even a few dozen desirable toys. And still, many do not make it. Similar with boats. Piston planes - it is really, really hard. Market is microscopical, yet stakes are huge. Mooney is your best example of this. Moving a couple units a year just does not give you any room for an off year and those come often. And it's just hard to differentiate one piston from another in the same class. Performances are too close. Safety, reliability, and certification concerns make it really hard to introduce anything new.
Just curious how many Vans RV kits sold in the same time frame.
A surviving, profit making company that serves its owners/stockholders / Boeing. They are not obligated to make a product that I want at a price I want to pay. They are not obligated to product I would call not borring. They are obligated to maximize long term profits and enable / produce growth. To that end, they produce a product that provides growth and profit to a market that will pay more than the average Joe wanting to buy a 172. While I wish they'd make a 182 that I could afford, it's none of my business if they do not - its up to them, and it appears they made the correct business choice in not doing so.
Sure that's fine. And Gwen Stefani had the best music when she was still part of No Doubt, but I'm sure she makes more money now in a week than she did all those years
The endless pursuit of profit is soul crushing. I shared a video here a few weeks back of a small outfit in Europe building unique cars and engines simply because they are passionate about it. If one is successful in the market they'll sell and make more, if not they'll think of another idea and build it. As much as Peter irritates me at least he's trying to build something unique.. and we've got Vans, Velocity, Dark Aero (? maybe)
Aviation used to be driven by romance, a desire to fly, explore, awaken a spirit. Cessna's version of that is soul crushing. Crappy (se piston) planes that most pilots will forget about once they go get their airline job
I'm not saying they're wrong, it's just sad. Maybe that makes me unique..
Pipers are no better. Most spam cans are bland airplanes. The real fun flying happens in E-AB, with many airplanes that are peppier but are also less forgiving. That's why spam cans are bland: they let mediocre pilots fly more safely, which means fewer lawsuits. Cessna builds the stuff they do for good reasons, and you would too if you were in their shoes.
FWIW I have interest in buying a Meridian/M500/600...
My bank account however has no interest in buying one.
Yes! I keep leaning towards that. I've recently fallen in love with the Aztec but the Velocity siren song is an alluring one.. especially the under development six seat and turbine versions!
hahaha! that's a true story. I cringe when I hear people porpoise a 182 or claim that the Tiger is a "hard and squirrely" plane to fly.. they're spoon fed by how docile the 172 is
A really cool plane.. the TBM is the trophy but the M500/M600 are fantastic, and far lower price, alternatives
I don't do any crypto trading, but I was lamenting this morning.. if I had thrown $50K into dogecoin on Jan 1 I'd be in a position to buy a couple TBM and Meridian. I'd probably also have an ulcer from the anxiety.
I can't even fathom throwing 50k at something that was started by 4chan as a troll.
Worse, some of those denizens are now rocking a few TBMs and Meridia. Boggles the mind a bit.
To be honest, I wonder if any of these companies make any money at all selling GA aircraft. I know Cirrus doesn't, they've gone from owner to owner, each injecting ca$h. Piper too, they're now owned by the Sultan of Brunei, who I imagine doesn't know whether his airplane company bleeds cash and probably doesn't care. Cessna and Beech are part of the gigantic multinational Textron, and I wonder of Mr. Textron keeps them around hoping to cash in on the technological know how and for no other reason. The salad days of GA manufacturing are long past and will not likely be seen again.
What we need is a new "Henry Ford" who can figure out how to build planes cheap enough to re ignite things. Some uber new cheap manufacturing technology, new way to look at planes. Someone get rocket man to take a minute from his Falcon / Space X work and start that up as a side hobby LOL. I have no idea why he would be interested in doing that unfortunately.
Interesting, I know Cirrus is financed by someone else and the jet is (hopefully) going to put them in the green. I did not know that Piper was owned by the Sultan of Brunei..!
I've always wondered what it would take to buy tooling from some defunct boat building plant, or even just hire a boat yard, to make the composite molds. They're well experienced in it. A 20'-40' boat hull weighing 2K to 4K lbs can be built for $15K to $60K.. I believe the raw hulls for the 26' center console boats we had built (based on the Duffy design) were around $30K
I'd love to try and do this someday.. build a full soup to nuts plane, non EAB, and offer it at a profit for under $100K. Doesn't have to be market "disrupting" or any of those buzzwords. Just a simple, honest, but new plane. Something Tiger-esq. Offer it with a FADEC rotax and a steam gauge and glass version. Hell, build 50 of them and offer them at break even prices to get some recognition out there. Simple, but new, with some modern accoutrements that don't actually cost much (better air vents, two doors, cup holders, car like dash, etc.)
I'm dreaming. But some of these companies seemed too mired in beaurocracy and pencil pushing. Costs have gone crazy everywhere
It took Boeing 16 months to build the first 747, sure they had 50K people and Pan Am behind them. But how long did it take them to create the Max, the 787? It seems everything takes longer now and is more expensive. The 757 and 767 were produced in tandem in record time
Everything today has to go through a committee
Then Mr. Henry Ford would have the opportunity to convince FAA that the "uber new cheap manufacturing technology" is safe. You not only need Henry Ford for the tangible stuff, you also need Mandrake the Magician to get it past FAA.
I had the pleasure of getting to know some of the folks at CubCrafters in Yakima, and owned one of the early Sport Cubs for a while. The passion for general aviation and the adventure of fun flying runs deep in that company. They started with an iconic design, and though still tube-and-fabric, they just did it better.
I think the Vashon Ranger did exactly this, though it's a two seater.
Interesting, I know very little about Vashon but a quick browse through their site is pretty cool
Am I the only one shocked not to see the 182 on the list or the 206?
3D printing, maybe. Engine and radios and all. Not in my lifetime, unfortunately, but with the technology going the way it is, it might not be so far-fetched.
IIRC Cessna puts aside about 1/3 of the selling price of a new piston single into liability insurance for them against that airplane for the 18-year liability period. That's close to $150K for the insurance alone on a 172. So how does one build and sell a 150-hp airplane for $150K?
Like the hard limitations of physics, there are some really inconvenient legal and financial factors involved in building and selling machines that can kill their careless owners or renters so easily.
That’s a good story.
I'm thinking that transforming a Vashon Ranger into a 150hp 4 seater would not be too different from transforming a Tecnam P2008 into a Tecnam P2010. What's the price delta between a P2008 and a P2010?
It should be noted that the actual Henry Ford did exactly what you're proposing. And when it came to pass that people were killed in a crash, the actual Henry Ford called the airplane production factory which bore his name and asked 'where are you in the production run?' The answer was 'we have x number of units partially completed' His response was 'finish those partially completed units, don't start any additional units.' And that was the end of the Ford Tri-Motor and the Ford Motor Company's foray into trying to apply Ford manufacturing principals to building airplanes. IOW Even Henry Ford knew better. I'm just sayin'.
I got a tour of the Wichita plant a couple of years ago. It was Cessnas to the right of me and Beechcraft to the left. Even got to go see the gianourmous autoclave and and humongous vertical wing jigs for the Citation jets. Pretty cool!