What are the realistics with these?? how much are kit planes and how much wold it cost to build, and how much to run. Want a cheap 2 seater Might look into a part bulit one and what are the problems with doing this and costs?? Im lookin to invest with a friend then do a groupshare from Manston.
There is nothing wrong with asking questions, but your question as posed admits only of the answer "it depends". There is no generic kitplane or generic set of costs. The kitplane spectrum includes glossy aluminium/composite speedbirds and wood and string float-abouters, with lots of variations in between. If you ask here or on the PFA forum "I am thinking or building/buying a [type x]", people with experience of the type may be able to give an estimate of the cost and complexity involved.
Please do not think about building a kit-plane as a short-cut to cheap flying. There are many many stories about people who do this, and fail to complete their project.
The only reason for building a kit-plane is if you want to build a plane - flying it at the end of the project should be a bonus, but not the aim. If building is your aim, then go for it! But if you want cheap flying, then you should look into buying a pre-built aircraft, or buying a share in one.
FFF I agree, Im just interested in another project once I complete my PPL. My friend and I was talking about it and I love buliding model A/C and have done many. I just wanted to know costs to see if it would be possible.
As has already been said there are too many factors to take into account, but if you want my very broad general view, then:
Lots of kits are sold after being built for around the price of the hardware, ie nothing for the blood sweat and tears. ( RVís possible exception) You are probably looking at 4 years (min) to build most kits, unless you can do it full time.
Most of the costs are the same for a C of A and a Permit aircraft.
Cost per hour, is mainly down to the engine:- Volky or Rotax or Lycoming etc.
PFA aircraft can be serviced (to a certain extent) by you and the yearly permit is cheaper than a Cof A
Hangarage is a big outlay:Wood, Rag and Tube, Metal some need hangars some might be OK out side,
If you want cheap flying, group fly a PFA aircraft already flying.
But first join the PFA
PS is anyone else having problems getting onto the PFA web site ?? (www.pfa.org.uk)
The amount of work involved in a Kit is as varied as the cost. The early Europa aircraft were taking 1500 to 2500 hours to build, which as FFF says, is too much if you do not enjoy the process. On the other hand some of the micro 3 axis aircraft such as the C42 can be put together very quickly and are really just an assembly job. C42ís are generally flying in less than a year from purchase.
I am at the beginning of building an MCR01, which I expect to take 2.5 to 3 years to build. Total cost will be 40,000 to 45,000 but the running costs will be much less than my AA5B. I hope to keep it for a long time!
There are no stupid questions - only stupid answers.
I was considering kit aircraft last year and decided against it by applying the thinking in FFF's post. I would rather be flying in my spare time than working away in the garage.
If you look at the classifieds on the PFA site (and the BMAA's) you will get an idea of what's available and by doing Google searches you will find the manufacturer's websites and very often owners' sites as well. BTW all the UK type approved home builts are two seat only.
In answer to your question about costs, a basic three axis microlight like the X'Air can be built for around £12,000, something more conventional looking like a Skyranger will cost between £14,000 and £19,000 depending on engine and equipment.
There are loads of considerations: budget; aircraft construction (composite vs. frame and fabric); your mechanical/electrical skills; the complexity of build; support and financial stability of the manufacturer; and there are compromises depending on whether you want speed or STOL, and whether you will be operating from tarmac or farm strips.
If you want any further elaboration or suggestions of web links then email me off list.
Perhaps a couple of comments from one who has recently completed a kit plane ( and got 26 hrs on it,) and then the advice.
Yes, suiting the chacterisitcs, both flying and building, to your needs are crucial. So is a great deal of realism about what you really need and can use in a plane. Recently there was a question on another forum about using a gas turbine replacement engine in a 1:1 scale Spitfire by a first time builder. If you want to fly, not just build for the rest of your life, then be realistic.
A kit plane can be a reasonable way into ownership, mine cost me $ 70,000 Cdn ( about 28,000 GPB) for a zero time brand new amphibian and I save a simply vast amount of bread by being able to do my own maintenance,) however it is a gamble, there is not much that is worth less than an uncompleted project of almost any stripe.
IF I reckon only 4,000 hrs life of plane and disregard the lost interest, ( what lost interest at 1/2% these days?) and fly about 200 hrs per year then my hourly cost comes out around $40CDN/hr ( about 16GBP) inc engine fund, depn, hanger, gas, ins, small maintenance, about 1/2 the cost of renting a solo C152.
There are a couple of other advantages, though I don't think some of them apply in the UK: I choose when I fly (subject weather,) I can keep the plane where it is most convenient, I can go away and time on ground rental does not mount up, in Canada if I can get a CPL with a water license to fly with me I can do the Water License myself for just the cost of flying my plane and same for ratings, just the actual instruction cost of an instructor.
Now the advice:
1. Prepare while waiting for your kit. Make your working conditions as easy and pleasant as possible. Set up mobile workbench and tool trays, Use peg board and bins for parts, label everything. Lay everything out in order. Learn to put back every tool or box of nuts in its set place when you put it down. I reckon about 15% of all working time is spent looking for things.
2. Work mentally when you are not in the shop, when you get into to the workshop spend all your time doing things, not thinking about them.
3. Set a routine, say two hours four evenings a week, and stick to it religiously. I slipped and three unnecessary months were lost before I turned another bolt.
4. Learn to work while being visited by interested parties. Tell them you are glad they've come and you'll talk all they like but you are going to continue working. Get THEM to make the tea.
5. Engage as many people as you can to help, especailly those who will on a regular basis, and then learn to manage them so they they are productive. Lots of my visitors wanted to help on a regular basis but I did not accept, by the time I was nine months through ( of a year building) I really wished I had people around both as help and as company. Loneliness in the workshop is a killer. Building a plane can be a great social thing, make sure it is.
6. Budget carefully and exhaustively, and then add 20%. You should get away with 10% extra but you don't want to be compromising on instruments etc near the end.
7. If the kit says 400 man hours budget 800. On the second one of type you may do it in 500 but first time round it is going to take double the recommended time.
8. Use the Internet forum for your type builders, ours was an invaluable and constant source of both information and encouragement. ( In fact I don't think I'd build a plane of any type that did not have a thriving Internet forum, that's flat out a requirement learned by experience.) For the majority of people flying, not building, is the point. If that is you, go buy a Cub or Auster or whatever else you can and enjoy it for what it is. If it is your dream to build a plane, then for God's sake get on with it, life is going by, either you watch it or you live it.