Getting an Aerobatic Plane?

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by Matthew K, Sep 30, 2018.

  1. Matthew K

    Matthew K Line Up and Wait

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    The more I think about what I want my first plane to be, the more I think about aerobatic planes...

    Being able to perform aerobatics is one of the things on my "bucket list" of things to do with my PPL. So I figure why not the first plane I buy be the stepping stone that gets me to aerobatic training.

    I'm fortunate enough to know a few pilots that have a lot of experience with aerobatics, so they could help with training. However, I've also been looking at schools that specifically teach aerobatics.

    I'm no where as familiar with the different aerobatic plane models as I am with the "normal" category of GA planes, i.e. Cessnas, pipers, beachcraft, etc. Really the only aerobatic plane I can think of off the top of my head is the Extra 300, which is way out of my price range.

    That's why I'm here, I want to see what you guys suggest, the pros/cons of different models, and to hear your experience with aerobatic planes.

    Even though this is quite some time off, lets make a theoretical max acquisition cost of $100k or less.

    Ideally the plane would be a two seater, that way I could use it for my aerobatic training. Two seaters don't seem very common though, so that's not a requirement.
     
  2. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 En-Route

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    wut? Dude the entire RV line of 2 seater is acro except the -9. Bunch of Pitts lying around, Acrodusters, Stardusters, Citabrias, decathlon, C-150 Aerobat, even F33C Bonanza is acro too if you can find one and under 100k (unlikely). Plenty o aerobatic 2 seaters.

    For me, one the reasons I'm glad I'm sticking with my day job is that way I don't have to buy two airplanes. There's not much in the way of metal trike light aerobatic airplanes out there, and otherwise they don't fit my mission. RV-4 would be the cheapest I could get into that's metal, but it's a tail dragger. I rather have a trike and no rag wing. RV-6 and 7 would work but they're not 4 seaters. So I do my upside down stuff in the work plane, and fly the Arrow on my off time.
     
  3. nauga

    nauga Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    RV-6 maybe, and probably in the price range. Most RV-4s (and pilots) are really single-seat at aerobatic weight.

    Nauga,
    trying to get back in the game
     
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  4. Ryanb

    Ryanb Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Super Decathlon.

    So you’re getting closer to ownership eh? Last I heard you were a broke college student...

    :D
     
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  5. Warlock

    Warlock Cleared for Takeoff

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    Regular Decathlon...plenty for 40-50K and will teach you energy management and stick and rudder skills...then upgrade from there...will never sell mine...makes me smile every time I get it out of the hanger
     
  6. falconkidding

    falconkidding Line Up and Wait

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    I wish there was something in between a decathalon and extra. I get bored quick so i dont think a decathlon would keep my interest.
     
  7. Matthew K

    Matthew K Line Up and Wait

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    Things may be closer than you'd expect...although I'll admit I'm farther than I want to be. Nothing wrong with setting goals ;)
    Looking for more performance than the c-150. An older friend has a Pitts (bought it as a two seater and converted to a 1 seater I believe), he's at the age where he's not really interested in doing aerobatics anymore... so he might be interested in selling it in the future, not sure how long that will be till he is. Rv's completely escaped me when I was writing the post, those are definitely high on my list. Never flown in one but know a few people that have one, need to see about flying with them sometime.
     
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  8. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Glasair II. Personally, I’d stretch that budget a little and get a III though.
     
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  9. texasclouds

    texasclouds Cleared for Takeoff

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    i too am interested in trying aerobatics and also working on ppl. I am a high wing guy though. There is something amazing about a high quality decathlon performance.
     
  10. wilkersk

    wilkersk Cleared for Takeoff

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    Nice RV-4 can be had for under $60k. That’d be my recommendation. Just get the tailwheel endorsement and some RV specific transition training.
     
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  11. Matthew K

    Matthew K Line Up and Wait

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    I don't really have a preference on wing placement. I do like the aesthetic of bi-wings though.
     
  12. Brad Smith

    Brad Smith Line Up and Wait

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    I'd have to say go with a Decathlon. It would be a long time before you would outgrow it. You could compete in the Sportsman category with it and have a blast and make a lot of new friends along the way, also.
     
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  13. eman1200

    eman1200 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Have you done any aerobatics yet?
     
  14. Mtns2Skies

    Mtns2Skies Super Moderator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    Citabria 7GCBC. Really the best all-round plane there is. Two seats, aerobatics, cheap to own/operate, STOL capable, just a bit slow. Otherwise it's perfect.
     
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  15. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 En-Route

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    ...other than the shooting how was the play Mrs. Lincoln? :D
     
  16. Mtns2Skies

    Mtns2Skies Super Moderator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    Aviation's not all about speed. ;)
    34512507_10215785635782176_2431309479355088896_o.jpg
     
  17. Matthew K

    Matthew K Line Up and Wait

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    Short answer, no
     
  18. eman1200

    eman1200 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Me neither.
     
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  19. CC268

    CC268 Final Approach

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    Yea I mean what’s better than cruising at a blistering 100 knots in a beautiful Cherokee 140?!

    :p
     
  20. nauga

    nauga Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    Doing it inverted.

    Nauga,
    pushing up
     
  21. Matthew K

    Matthew K Line Up and Wait

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    Have their been any plans for another east coast December meet up yet?
     
  22. eman1200

    eman1200 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I’ll try one or two more times but then I think it’s time for me to retire from trying to organize anything.
     
  23. Ryanb

    Ryanb Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    GMU again in December fellas...
     
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  24. Matthew K

    Matthew K Line Up and Wait

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    Cool! Can I get a ride? :D

    Has a thread been made yet?
     
  25. unsafervguy

    unsafervguy Pattern Altitude

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    America is all about speed, bad ass speed.

    Elinor Roosevelt
     
  26. Ryanb

    Ryanb Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Too premature. I think Frank mentioned it a few weeks back. Standby
     
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  27. Dana

    Dana Line Up and Wait

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    You gotta define what "aerobatics" means to you. It runs the gamut from loop/spin/roll "gentleman aerobatics" (which you can do to a limited extent even in a J-3 Cub or similar, legally or not depending on how/when it was certificated) to low level competition or advanced enthusiast, up to hardcore top level competition / airshow acro. One thing for certain, there are a lot more (and more affordable) options in the experimental category.
     
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  28. texasclouds

    texasclouds Cleared for Takeoff

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    Matt sounds like he is ready for the Edge 540 Cobra in a Basket maneuver.
     
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  29. Lachlan

    Lachlan En-Route

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    Followed rapidly by the Dirty Shorts in the Hamper maneuver.
     
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  30. FormerHangie

    FormerHangie En-Route

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    You may want to get some aerobatic instruction before you go airplane shopping. Me, even departure stalls make me queasy, if I went inverted my lunch would wind up on the headliner.
     
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  31. Ryanb

    Ryanb Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I thought I’d see my cheeseburger again before I did basic acro, but I was pleasantly surprised. It was a blast! Probably just one of those things that you have to get accustomed with.

    The spin and upset recovery training helps you master stall recovery and overcome your fear.
     
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  32. Matthew K

    Matthew K Line Up and Wait

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    Fair point. The purpose of the OP was for planes for what you probably classify as the "advanced enthusiast". Before I commit to any particular plane I first need to do some lessons with an aerobatic school to make sure I can actually handle what I'm wanting to do.
     
  33. Grum.Man

    Grum.Man En-Route

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    If you want aerobatics on a budget you can't beat a biplane. Just about any experimental biplane will out perform a Super Decathlon for 1/2 the cost or less. Most of them will cruise faster and take off and land shorter than a SD but it will cost you a little more in fuel per hour. The only real downside to a biplane is they are usually a little snug and you don't get much for baggage space. You can get a nice Acrosport II for 30k or less. Step up to a Skybolt and you will get Pitts S2A and Eagle performance for the mid 30's to low 40's.

    The thing is when most people talk aerobatics they are talking gentle loops and rolls where an RV makes much more sense as they have speed as well.
     
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  34. alfadog

    alfadog En-Route

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    The Luscombe 8A is approved for "gentlemen aerobatics" And it's super cheap.
     
  35. Ravioli

    Ravioli Final Approach

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    If you go with RV 6 or 7 you'll have a comfortable xc machine that also does aerobatics. Many will say the 8 is equally comfortable but many prefer side by side seating when not hot-doggin' it.

    Of course, comfortable is another value judgement. I'm 6'0" and 150lbs. The 6 fits me well, but I do have to be careful with my knees when getting in and out. Once I'm strapped in it is very comfortable for as long as my bladder allows :)
     
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  36. Bill Jennings

    Bill Jennings Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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  37. Paul Schulten

    Paul Schulten Filing Flight Plan

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    Ciabria..great trainer, good for a loop and a roll, not sure I’d really think of it as an “aerobatic” plane far as competition, moving to more advanced maneuvers...after flying a Pitts you would be bored to tears in a citaría...but that’s just me, i want a hot rod.
     
  38. Paul Schulten

    Paul Schulten Filing Flight Plan

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    No way a skybolt even comes close to a Pitts or Eagle, sorry! Skybolt is nothing but an old mans pancake getter!
     
  39. Grum.Man

    Grum.Man En-Route

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    A big bore Skybolt is every bit a match for a 4 banger 2 place Pitts or Eagle.
     
  40. Paul Schulten

    Paul Schulten Filing Flight Plan

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    It will climb as good or better but that’s it. CG is crap, not enough control throw, moments too long...not even in the same league. Ones a truck and the other a sports car!