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Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by Morgan3820, Jan 9, 2021.
My 2 seat fun machine:
You said fun and XC, so that pretty much means an RV. Get a 6 or 7 and enjoy some acro along those otherwise bland XC fights!
Citabrias are great fun!
Going Light Sport makes going to EXPERIMENTAL Light Sport an option. That enables the owner to do their own maintenance and modifications and to do their own Annual Condition Inspections with a 2-day course.
For me and quite a few others that’s a huge advantage.
XC, wife, and 30 lb dog, <$100k, economical? Easy, Grumman AA5x. Pull the seat back cushions, fold seats forward. Tons of room for bags and dog. 120-130 ktas on 8-9 GPH. Plenty of payload for 2 and more range than bladder control.
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I went from a 172M, to a 182P model. Sucked the fun out of flying. Cost, fuel burn, heavy controls, age of plane, lack of modern avionics, eventual cost of engine overhaul, plane just wanted to fly straight and level, etc. Sold it and downsized to my CTSW. Please check out the CT Flier forum or PM me. For around $65K you can get a heck of a plane. Not for everyone, but really ticks all the boxes for me.
I just insured my new RV9A, I'll be test flying it mid Feb. I have 1200 tt, 40 hrs in my brother's RV9A. For $100,000.00 hull, I paid $1098.00. That covers my brother & me.
Vans RV’s insure at costs comparable to certified aircraft. RV6A/7A figure 1000 to 1400 a year on a 90k hull value if you have decent hours.
I flew as a passenger in a 7A last night only for about 1/2 hour... I am still grinning from the experience. Amazing aircraft. Fast, nimble. And comfortable. I could see doing some pretty long XCs in that. Seats were more comfortable than the ones in our Arrow.... But super fun. Now I want one...
it kinda sounds like you just want something fun while you still can. Maybe consider keeping the arrow and buying something else for a few years. Maybe get a partner for something that is a pure toy (that’s what I want to do - own my own plane by myself, own a second one just for fun with 2 or 3 partners). Could go cheap and taildragger like a champ. Could go fast and aerobatic like an RV-6. Could blow it out and go for pure thrills like a Nanchang CJ-6. Could go backcountry and aerobatic like a Citabria. If you really want to travel and carry passengers, you still have the Arrow.
Sure, maybe this blows out the budget. But buying and selling, fixing and re-equipping can also get pretty expensive. Might be better to keep the devil that you know and add something on that you sell in a few years. Yes, you might lose some money between now and then, but the reality is that you’lllikely pull most of your investment back out, or even make a few bucks like in the last few years. Food for thought.
Would a 250 pound, 6’3” person fit?
meh....it's gonna fit like a glove. My buddy has a 7 and I shoe horned into it. It was fun....but my Bonanza fits me better. Shoulder space is lacking....As a passenger, I found myself putting my arm behind his back for more room. Leg room was OK. I'm 5' 10" so head room was fine.
That is a thought. I am going get serious about finding a local partner. That would free up some resources. Always liked the idea of a biplane.
I'm 5'7, 160. My best friend went to Oshkosh with me in the -6 several years ago. He's that big and fit just fine.
Hard to beat a Grumman with an o320 in the price per fun category. They have 85% of the RV experience at 25% of the cost. Neither will drop much in value and Grumman annuals are super cheap.
I'm 6'4" & 240lbs. The RV-6 and RV-7 are "cosy" compared to a Piper Cherokee of any kind (I've owned 4 of them, including an Arrow). But I fit better into the RVs than I do in a Bonanza.
The -8, -10 and -14 are roomier for the pilot, but a lot more $ (the -8 is the perfect RV for me; if only life had conspired to allow me the time to rivet one together ).
Where are you buying your Grummans these days at that dramatic discount?
I would also push back on the fun factor. The RV's are aerobatic, and (I think) significantly faster than even the O-320 powered AA-1X's.
I think that might be a pretty tight fit...probably close to the upper limits of what a side-by-side RV can do...but probably depends a lot on how that 250 lbs is distributed. My son is 6' 5" and he has head room (my plane has an Anti-Splat "Almost-a-14 mod") but he's a bit more mesomorphic than a 250 lb guy would usually be. You're going to have to actually sit in a 7, 9, or 14 to make that decision.
But also consider that at that pilot weight, useful load is going to start becoming an issue. An RV-7A has a max gross weight of about 1800 lbs and therefore about a 670 lb useful load depending on what the plane weighs empty. With full fuel, a 250 lb pilot in an RV7 would have about 160 lbs to divide up between passenger and baggage and still be in the W/B envelope. Also, aerobatic gross weight for an RV-7A is 1600 lbs, so in that instance useful load would be about 470 lbs.
This is what I did. The Aztec is a fabulous travelling plane, but I found unless I had a specific reason to go somewhere at some distance I just didn't pull it out of the hangar.
So I decided to learn how to fly a tailwheel late in life and return to "flying for the pure unadulterated pleasure of it". Bought a 2-seat tandem taildragger in partnership with my kid brother. These two airplanes are a perfect combo for me.
And when I eventually return to owning a single airplane again, it won't be the taildragger that gets sold.
I’ve seen several on the usual aircraft for sale sites coming and going for around 30k or less. Considering a nice RV7 is approaching 100k there is a lot of value still. I guess 25% is a little extreme. Let’s call it 40% I suppose.
It's not exactly a buyer's market these days...It appears to me that $100K for a reasonably-equipped RV7 or -7A might be a tad optimistic. Most of the 7s and 9s I see these days are in the $120k - $140k private sale.
With the most modern avionics and an IFR gps yea. There are still some with older but serviceable panels that dip bellow that.
Most of the RV-6s that were built light and simple for VFR flying go for well under that.
I think the basic, light tailwheel RV-4s and RV-6s are the best value in the used RV market.
I've seen a few RV-6s retrofitted with the counterbalanced rudder from the -7.
And one of the nice things about most of the older RVs is you can still get any airframe part you need.
Or make the part. The plans allow you to scratch build one if you want.
Yes. The old 4's and 6's are definitely cheaper. The ones I looked at, however, did tend to have higher TT and relatively rudimentary panels. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but I was looking for a little more sophistication in instrumentation that would match my mission...going places. I didn't spend much time looking at that end of the market.
Unless you are going places IFR, I don't see the need for all the things many builders of the later, bigger-engine RVs (-7,-8,-10) seem compelled to stuff into their panels.
The two-place RVs don't have generous payload capacity in the first place. There's real merit in keeping the plane light and simple. One can go a long way VFR with a portable GPS, or ForeFlight with ADS-B In weather. A backup battery powered radio is preferable, to me, than a Comm 2, and I wouldn't be putting in any gyros.
I'm seriously thinking of lightening up my Husky A1 by removing all the factory junk the original owner purchased, including the GPS and the gyros/vacuum system.
People on this forum complain about the cost of airplanes, and how the market needs a $50k airplane. At our airport we have an RV guru that specializes in picking up RVs (mostly -6s and -8s) from discouraged owners that have pranged them, or builders that gave up completing their project. He buys them cheap, repairs or completes them, and sells them on at affordable prices. He will even have folks on a budget "earn" part of the plane by coming in and banging rivets, etc. I like his mantra - keep it light, keep it simple, keep it affordable, keep it fun.
The AA-1 series is a ton of fun, but just not much useful load or endurance for taking trips with 2 aboard. A 4-seater has better margins for loading and XC flying. But it's hard to beat the AA-1X series and its bubble canopy for pure flying fun.
This. I see so many RV's that are used day-VFR only loaded down with dual electrical systems, multi-screen glass panels, IFR navigators, etc. Those things cost money to buy and install, but they also add weight, which is a huge negative on what are supposed to be sporty airplanes. Weight is always the enemy.
The RV-9/9A is a good choice. Even with fixed gear, speed is very comparable to the older Mooneys but with better efficiency. My "going somewhere" performance cruise is 155 KTAS burning about 8 gph.
Insurance is dirt cheap. I just renewed for $295/year. No hull but it's hangared, and if I break my toy I'll happily spend the money to fix it. My biggest worry is hail damage somewhere on the way to (or at!) Oshkosh, but you pay yer money and you take yer chances...
As for size, I'm 6'2", 200 lb. and can put my fist between the top of my headset and the canopy. My heaviest passenger to date has been 265 lb.--he's a a record-holding shot-putter in the senior olympics! A word on the RV-14: its fuselage is certainly wider, but for me, the linkage/lever for the tip-up canopy (the only configuration offered) intruded quite a bit on my elbow room, effectively negating much of the width advantage. Mine's a slider canopy which has none of those concerns. Also, the -14 has a center tunnel, which prevents you from spreading out "Keep on Truckin' " style (for those of you old enough to get that reference!) across the passenger footwell when flying solo.
It's also quite scary when the builder tries to re-invent the fuel system. The per-plans combo of the electric boost pump and engine-driven pump always seemed like a great idea to me. I know from personal experience that the engine will run solely on the boost pump.
I like the o-320 Citabria idea. Metal spar ones can be had for under 100k. Good cheap fun.
I get all that. An appropriate set of concepts for some people I’m sure, but you and I are on completely different pages when it comes to “missions” and the airplanes that we want to own. Fortunately, there are airplanes on the market that can suit a variety of needs - your’s, mine, and the OP’s. I love the Huskys. My buddy/CFI has one on floats...it’s a wonderful airplane and meets his needs pretty well. I have ZERO desire to own one as it doesn’t even come close to being the airplane that I want to own to do the kind of flying that I want to do. Vive la différence.
I had lunch with my AI today. I told him what I was thinking. Long story, short; He said that if I could find another partner, he would buy in as a third. This would work really well, because it would allow me the financial resources to go get a second fun plane (Starduster II/Skybolt )and have the Arrow for trips. If that doesn't work out, he said that he would help with building an RV. Plan A would be the best but plan B would be a good second.
I dont think that Grumman price point is realistic, at least not aa5x, maybe aa1x. The 5s are double.
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2 seats? Too bad these aren't made anymore...
Since we are talking 2 seaters I wasn’t referring to the aa5
The Symphony was a certified version of the GlaStar homebuilt. There's Glastars for sale, but they really seem to be an expensive airplane.
im with Tom, get a true classic. There’s just romance about em. If you aren’t in a hurry they all will cross country. I’ve flown my ol c140 from MI to ID and back last two summers, flew a 150 from TX to MI.
a classic ol taildragger is typically economical as there’s some real buys (if one does a good prebuy) in that area. Then they are doggedly simple machines often... With an iPad and ForeFlight ya don’t need 50k in avionics... and if ya aren’t worried about avionics ya hit every grass strip known to man and sometimes bring a tent... it brings fun outside of flying knowing you are the curator of a flying museum and a caretaker for the moment of aviation history.
Show me a 170 in good condition under $50K
They increase in value every day.
And it was a while ago. I took that picture at Sun n Fun in 2005.