How much will airplane prices drop in 2020?

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by Adrien, May 1, 2020.

  1. brien23

    brien23 Cleared for Takeoff

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    I have been thinking of buying another twin as the price is about the value of the engines alone. Not sure they the twins can fall much more in value and some like the 337 not sure why they hold their value. A few seem to stay around on trade-a-plane forever with high engine times and the price to match.
     
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  2. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    LOL. Not sure how you drew that conclusion.

    Perhaps a new Cirrus jet purchase for the family would be more helpful to boost their sales and support the economy. :D

    More seriously, if you really want a safe, capable load hauler its pretty hard to beat the value proposition of a good Aztec. But few are really needing that, especially in this anti-social distancing world, which would seem to favor more solo flying in a speedster like a Mooney going forward.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2020
  3. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    Absolutely.

    For my Aztec, if I have to do the engines it would be far less expensive for me to buy another one with 1/2 time engines and swap them onto my plane. Keep the two best of the 4 props, sell the other two, sell the run out engine cores and the rest of the purchased plane. Not even close to the cost of two overhauls.
     
  4. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 En-Route

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    Wow. Totally makes sense, but still. That says more about 2020 parts and labors cost structure than anything to me. This hobby kinda jumped the shark on that one. Essentially, it's revenue airplane pricing. Hostage dynamics.

    That's why we need MOSAIC to materialize into something more than an uncooked nothingburger, and free us from these de facto "revenue airplane centric" rules. If access to recreational aviation as an ambassadorship goal is important for those of us who would like to stave off gentrification in this hobby, we have to provide an alternate cost structure to what you highlight. Otherwise it will continue to be this tone-deaf "Flying Magazine" paradigm middle class pedestrians accurately tune out. Yet the pro ranks are riddled with low-to-middle class actors. Like suburban beat cops... can't afford to live in the streets they patrol.

    Twins are beyond saving, that's noted. But I think there's hope for single pistons. EAB I think has given a blueprint of what can be possible.
     
  5. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    The piston twin might be headed the same direction the 1960s big-block pony cars have gone...they meet the definition of a car, but not the sort of car many people would actually use regularly any more.

    I do find it interesting they seem to have a following among the older professional multi-engine pilots. One of Flying Magazine's airline captain columnists (Len Morgan?) re-furbished a turbo-Aztec for himself after he retired. And I recently had a private exchange with another retired airline captain who has made a pretty serious investment of AMUs building up his Aztec, which is the same year and model as mine.
     
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  6. kayoh190

    kayoh190 Super Moderator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    Yeah, COVID has made it a lot harder for me to find open establishments around here that accept EBT.
     
  7. NealRomeoGolf

    NealRomeoGolf Pattern Altitude

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    Ok, then maybe this instead.

    https://www.trade-a-plane.com/searc...N+COMANCHE&listing_id=2380310&s-type=aircraft
     
  8. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 En-Route

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    Ah come on now, statistics are not individuals. Not everything is about you @kayoh190 ;):D
     
  9. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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  10. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 En-Route

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    Your approach has been one to shore up salvage resources in order to extend its life on an individual serial number basis; that's frankly commendable. But as you highlight, it's an outlier approach in the aggregate. And just like the non-starter premise of building as a litmus test for access to EAB savings (given the low volume and markup on the resale side of 4+ seaters), it doesn't ultimately motivate the collective of pedestrians to enter the hobby imho.

    Facilitation, both regulatory, and economic (via serviceable fleet size), will be critical for the most cursory survival of the hobby going forward. Especially in post corona where the airlines are about to chew up and spit out another generation of pork cycle losers who were never interested in dabbling in puddle jumper ownership absent a six figure turbine job at the end of it. Meaning, flight training pass-thrus won't be of help in shoring up landing counts across the country.
     
  11. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    There are some shockingly low priced twins out there.. If you have a $500K-$1M budget for a new single engine then surely you can afford $100K-$200K to buy a twin and outfit it *exactly* the way you want it and still have plenty of cash for fuel, maintenance, etc.. in what will arguably be a much more capable plane.

    The catch.. we live in a more and more turn key world. People will spend $50K-$100K more to buy an objectively lesser house simply to avoid spending $10K-$50K on paint and some R&R. That $1M Cirrus, Diamond, etc., will smell new, come with some kind of warranty or maintenance plan, and will be as plug and play as you can get. That $200K multi that someone just bought and poured another $100K into will probably have permanent quirks that never quite go away or get resolved.. plus the nagging feeling that the wing spar you're riding on is 30-60+ years old. Even if you can financially afford that maintenance, it's going to be frustrating if your plane is down for weeks of the year

    While cost is a huge driver of buying habits, it's not everything.. especially planes. These purchases are emotional and driven by whimsy.

    The DA62 (luckily) is slowly soldiering on.. but again, at $1.4-ish million new it's going to attract a very niche buyer. For that kind of money you can get into an older early 2000's TBM 700 or have a serious look at Meridians. Why go 180 knots in an unpressurized piston plane when you can go 100+ knots faster in pressurized comfort in the flight levels?
     
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  12. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    In this game we are both picking our niche and trying to play the hand we are dealt as best we can. :cool:

    For quite some years now I have been fascinated with the macro economics of what is going on in aviation, across the whole spectrum. I serve as a volunteer on the Board of a non-profit flying club that has a 15-airplane training fleet (12 x 172, 2 x Seneca II, 1 x Citabria). My kid brother is a former MD Hornet military pilot and now flies (well, used to fly) B787s. It's a really interesting time to say the least. :D

    Recreational light GA has been in a secular decline since the late 1980s. Both the population of private pilots and the output of planes targeting that cohort is steadily shrinking. Companies such as Cirrus and Daher-Socata correctly read the market shift and maintained/grew revenues from this segment by moving upscale - expensive, top-end, technology-packed piston & turboprop airplanes and even a personal jet. They sell far fewer airplanes than they did more than a decade ago, but the ones they do sell are higher margin luxury baubles for the high disposable income hordes.

    Companies such as Diamond, without the deep-pocket development capital available to Cirrus and Daher are doing their best trying to emulate the same strategy. But they are closer to the margins of this business, and precarious every time there's an economic downturn as a consequence.

    Companies with legacy products such as Mooney and the Textron-Beechcraft piston airplanes passed their best-before dates before the first iPhone was introduced. Just like GM tried to upscale a Chevy Cavalier and pass it off as a Cadillac (Cimarron), a G1000 "Garminized" 1940s or '50s vintage airframe seems a bad idea. Clearly they can't compete with Cirrus in a luxury product market no matter how much historical "romance" those manufacturers try to wrap around their product offering. I will be surprised if any of those planes, including the Bonanza and Baron, emerge from the ashes of this current economic downturn.

    The demand from commercial students wishing to make a career in aviation to supply the soon-to-be lamented "pilot shortage" breathed a bit of life into the training academies and flight schools, as well as giving a cyclical lift to the production of basic Cessnas and Pipers for that market. Like so many other things that are in oversupply (oil, cement, steel, downtown office space, automotive assembly capacity, commercial airplanes...) the flight training segment of the global economy is probably going to have to consolidate and shrink capacity as well.

    I agree with you...how to rekindle passion in recreational aviation and resurrect this pastime to at least allow this hobby to survive will be a serious challenge in this changing world.
     
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  13. WDD

    WDD Line Up and Wait

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  14. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    The niche market that has arisen here is buying pressurized Cessna twins (340s, 414's, 421s) and completely refurbishing them. They are still 100's of thousands less than a used TBM or Meridian.
    There just isn't a direct comparable ready made.
     
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  15. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    No catch, other than one you caught.
    It's a simple economic trade-off between lower initial capital investment (compared to a similarly equipped and condition high performance single) vs higher ongoing operating and maintenance costs.
    You aren't "saving money", you are just trading off the distribution of the expenditure profile.
     
  16. kayoh190

    kayoh190 Super Moderator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    I’m a pilot, of course it’s all about me! :D

    But c’mon man, I'm sure you know tons of professional pilots. Believe it or not I know a few too, and as far as I can tell I'm right in the middle of the bell curve when it comes to a pilot career. This industry can be a cruel mistress, but I think we can agree that just about all of us have averaged somewhat more than $30-40K/yr (or whatever you want to define as low to middle class) over the course of our careers. I can't figure out what drives this crusade of yours, and as a different strokes for different folks kind of guy I don't really feel an urge to push back, but I don't see the need for hyperbole either.
     
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  17. NealRomeoGolf

    NealRomeoGolf Pattern Altitude

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  18. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 En-Route

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    No crusade. That wasn't the point of my post. It wasn't meant as a jab against anyone, certainly not you. Sorry you took it that way.Cheers.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2020
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  19. kayoh190

    kayoh190 Super Moderator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    I'm generally an optimist, but I think we're well past the point of no return for hobbyist GA, as least as we know it today.
     
  20. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    Oh man.. what a depressing thought! The realist in me says you're right, the hopeful in me (ha!) prays you're wrong

    There's plenty of wealth out there still.. they guy with the G Wagon and Tesla X downstairs surely has some money he could put towards GA!
     
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  21. kayoh190

    kayoh190 Super Moderator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    I think GA in general will be fine. As you said there's plenty of wealth out there, and it's increasing. But that's on the high end, and I think most of those cats are using their airplanes for travel. Hobbyist GA - the mostly upper middle class folks that enjoy their hamburger runs and breakfast fly-ins - that's the group I'm worried about. :(
     
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  22. NealRomeoGolf

    NealRomeoGolf Pattern Altitude

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    If I don’t quit my job out of frustration, you’ll at least have one. :)
     
  23. kayoh190

    kayoh190 Super Moderator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    Fantastic! I'm actually really impressed with the number of younger folks on PoA with an active interest in recreational GA. Maybe I'm just never in the right places, but I don't see it too much out in the wild. :)
     
  24. NealRomeoGolf

    NealRomeoGolf Pattern Altitude

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    Thanks for calling me young. I guess in flying, under 50 is young. :)
     
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  25. kayoh190

    kayoh190 Super Moderator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    It absolutely is! :D
     
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  26. JOhnH

    JOhnH Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    From my vantage point, yes; 50 is young(ish).
     
  27. Jumpmaster

    Jumpmaster Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Me too. It wasn’t until my late 50’s when all of my kids were off my payroll did I realize dan - I had some money! So I got my PPL and bought my 91 Tiger. Been through the upgrade woes and the annual from hell stuff, and thought more than once about trading up to a 310 or a 337. But there is a limit on what I will spend to be a hobbiest GA pilot and a twin is well beyond that.
     
  28. Kynadog

    Kynadog Filing Flight Plan

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    I don’t know how much prices will drop but there are already signs of weakness. One of the well known airplane brokers is offering $20k off any plane they own as well as 2.9% financing for 25 years (previous terms were 3.9% for 20 years).

    That tells me they are either seeing sales numbers weaken or they are worried they will weaken soon.
     
  29. wheaties

    wheaties Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I know who you're talking about; their adds are all over Barnstormers. It could also just be risk mitigation as I imagine they're eyeing what could happen to their credit line.
     
  30. bflynn

    bflynn Final Approach

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    is it forbidden to mention the name, in case someone might like 20k off an airplane?
     
  31. WDD

    WDD Line Up and Wait

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    Chicken or Egg question. I don't think it's a coincidence that GA pilot training dropped the same time when GA aircraft had to stop being built because of liability. Nor do I think it's a coincidence that the GA pilots training is much lower now that a new Skyhawk is 7.5 times the median HH income in 2020, vs 2 times in 1977.

    Combine that with the fact that is essentially a hobby, basic marketing kicks in. This is very expensive now vs what is used to be, and harder for the average middle / upper middle class Joe. You want to bring people into a category you make it more appealing, not less LOL.

    Light sport was supposed to do that, but IMHO it is too restrictive with weight capacity, etc. Bring in MOSAIC and make any plane under 6000 lbs a "Light Sport" and get rid of the seat, HP, speed, etc. restrictions and we might have a chance. Will it happen? Eh.... probably not.
     
  32. wheaties

    wheaties Pre-takeoff checklist

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    @bflynn Van Bortel, often derided as Van Cartel due to their buyers scooping up any listing that was below their own listing prices in restart Cessna.

    Regarding the disappearing middle class and the price of GA, that's not something aviation regulators can solve. It's a fundamental problem of the labor market and labor market share of productivity gains. I look to innovators like Van's to help bridge the gap in capable 4 seaters.
     
  33. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 En-Route

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    I don't think that's the point though. I'm not asking them to solve the gross income inequality and associated wage/productivity theft in this country, I'm asking them to get the hell out of the way when it comes to the regulatory burdens of non-revenue equipment and operations. Van's couldn't take a p--- without being told how and when, if EAB allowances didn't exist in the first place. Their pricing structure is also no panacea.

    I don't hear people justifying having to build your own car, RV, ATV, golf cart, or boat in order to afford access as any kind of par-for-the-course popular position. Only in beaten puppy syndrome GA is that anywhere a position of consequence.

    There's a lot of untapped affordability in store for already-built and existing legacy aircraft, if you release them from the shackles of parts custody chain overkill and inspection authority rules of revenue airplanes. If that was the case, one could take the "innovation" angle seriously. And I agree, there would be space for that. But as it stands, it's a non-starter if the market is expected to assemble their own wagon.

    MOSAIC has the potential for attaining such an environment, but it can't be the millimouthed and ultimately astroturfed execution that part 23 re-write was. They gotta give the LSA category definition real teeth, and that essentially means expanding it to include the current legacy fleet of sub-2500# EW airplanes, to include complex and supra-200HP. Ditto for the expansion of inspection authority allowances, and the parts and mx authority allowances of EAB. Otherwise, this thing is dead in the water since as you've pointed out, there will never be such economics to manufacture these things new for anywhere near what most of us are willing and able to afford CAPEX wise.
     
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  34. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Cleared for Takeoff

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  35. MIFlyer

    MIFlyer Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    Honestly, why not just go for experimental rules for everything that fits basic med airplanes. ie, 6 seats, under 18k feet, under 6k lbs

    I'd even be fine if it was a "one way" trip for an airplane. Ie, you get an owner maintained airworthiness certificate and you can't go back to standard (which would be required for commercial ops) without going through a DER or similar process. So flight training planes might still require the inspections/parts of today, but owner driven planes wouldn't.
     
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  36. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 En-Route

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    100% agreed. I'm fully on board with that option; it's essentially what we were describing in the primary noncommercial category proposal in the first place.
     
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  37. tspear

    tspear Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    GA is a low volume business, low volume means high prices. If you make it extremely low volume, than part prices will go to the stratosphere. That will kill flight training. You kill flight training, you kill GA.

    Avionics have already seen benefits in rules clean up. But as has been shown by the LSA market, when the FAA goes the route of prescribing the result, not the how the issue is resolved, the prices are still very high.

    There are from a practical standpoint only a few possible real solutions to lower the costs for GA that I see on the horizon:
    1. 3d printing technology advances enough to drive down low volume production prices.
    2. Battery tech prices and energy density come down enough to solve hamburger run flying.
    3. Some form of hybrid, where system is setup in series with battery covering some required FAA reserve and the genset is a cheap mass produced item (e.g. Honda 22K one).


    Tim
     
  38. MIFlyer

    MIFlyer Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    what about being able to change an alternator with the proper Chrysler part from Napa on your plane.

    Today, you must pay a mechanic $95/hr plus buy a $400 part. Let's call it $600 plus a lot of hubbub to arrange things with your A&P, be someplace with a mechanic/etc.
    vs
    Look up part number, drive to NAPA and buy it for $100, install it, make logbook entry, done in one afternoon without having to coordinate with anybody else?


    Why again is the avionics stuff a different price for certified? (especially autopilots) and we have created a oligopoly where they get to say which airframes they can be used in?

    Why can't I run 93 Octane non ethanol lead free gas legally in the aux tanks for taxi and cruise and 100LL in the mains for takeoff and landing?

    Why does an LED landing light need to be certified? It puts out more light and causes less load on the electrical system...

    Why do door seals need to be "airplane" door gaskets?

    That's all the stuff I'm talking about. Even an engine swap is something a good portion of people could do, but it becomes a much higher burden if I have to pay an A&P to do it.

    PS, none of this is a dig on mechanics, I just hate that the regs require that things be done this way with only a few thousand people being allowed to do the work and you have to buy a special part from a special place, vs it being up to the owner. I would also put enhanced liability protection in for the mechanics so they'd be better off overall, even with less busy work to do.
     
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  39. brien23

    brien23 Cleared for Takeoff

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    If a A&P can sign off a 100hr the Annual is the same, it requires a IA to sign it off do away with the IA required annual and let any A&P sign it off. Might keep the IA around to do 337 and STC.
     
  40. brien23

    brien23 Cleared for Takeoff

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    Their are a lot of great old airplanes flying around, they are kept in top condition and their owners keep them that way. Their are also some not kept so nice the owners either don't care can't afford to keep them up and they fly on a wing and prayer. After this is all over most of those will end up as scrap as to bring them back from the grave would cost more than a good one. Not sure how some who are selling their C-172 with engine times over TBO and old avionics still think their planes are worth top $$$. If it were their car they had for several years they would sell it or trade it in at large loss but their airplane price is mega $$$ the used market is changing and some sellers are in for a wild ride.