View Full Version : Most economical light aircraft to own

10th Mar 2008, 22:57
Since one day I intend to finish my PPL course, I thought that it would be worth looking at the ownership options.

I have a certain amount of money earmarked to purchase an old aircraft or a share in a newer one. I have been looking at fuel consumption since this would appear to be a major factor.

I would be looking at a two or four seater able to cruise at at least 100 knots. I am not really fussed about wing arrangement, brand etc. I would be interested to know what the most economic is.

Your thoughts are very welcome.

10th Mar 2008, 23:08
Why 100 kts ?

Plenty of LAA aircraft on permits ( Luscombes, Cubs, Aeroncas etc ) which are slightly slower than 100 kts , and can prove to be very reasonable to run and have the benefit of getting into all those delightful grass strips ..........

10th Mar 2008, 23:21
Why 100 kts ?

Plenty of LAA aircraft on permits ( Pioneer 300, MCR01 etc ) which are a lot faster than 100 kts , and can prove to be very reasonable to run (~15 litres/hour) and have the benefit of getting into all those delightful grass strips ..........:ok:

10th Mar 2008, 23:29
Touche !

We talking about 15-20 K with the slow 'uns as opposed to 35-50 K for those shiney hot ships ...:D

Mike Cross
10th Mar 2008, 23:36
He said economic, which one assumes means economic to buy as well as run.

An MCR01 would go a hell of a lot faster and is quite economic to run but you could buy 3 Luscombes/Aeroncas/Taylorcraft for the same money.

Ooops I forgot........

My Luscombe's faster than an MCR01 at the moment as they're all grounded by an AD:E (sorry Rod)

11th Mar 2008, 00:27
.. a Jodel is the perfect answer for you...

Flying Binghi
11th Mar 2008, 00:39
Probably best to rent for a while yet until you get a bit more experience.
Rent a few different types and get a feel for what best suits your needs.
Many think they need four seats but find most of the time two will do.

11th Mar 2008, 01:02
..but of course you can't rent a Permit aircraft

11th Mar 2008, 09:52
Well do you want an economics student to do a definitive report on on all the types, costs of ownership and hours utilisation type answer with fancy graphs and evidence..? or you could just settle for a "quite economical" solution like I have, and buy a Cherokee that others can use as well and get the hours up to off- set the fixed costs.
For me with just 5 hours flying time the insurance was £1500, the parking was £1500 and the annual is £2250. with 150 hours between us thats £35 per hour, then fuel it up .....

Perhaps its not the absolutely cheapest option but it will get you and the family flying for a few hours at the weekend and if anyone around Barton wants to encourage younsters to fly it will be available on a cost sharing basis,

11th Mar 2008, 10:16
“My Luscombe's faster than an MCR01 at the moment as they're all grounded by an AD (sorry Rod)”

I Hate you.

Answering the question I think you should have asked;

An MCR / P300 will cost (for 100 hours a year)

Price £40 – 50k
Insurance £1250
Hanger (in east mids) £1000
Maintenance £250
Fuel £1600
You get 138kn and STOL

An AA5B (180hp) would cost;

Price £35 – 45k
Insurance £1700
Hanger £1500
Maintenance £4500
Fuel £6000
You get 4 seats and IFR/Night at 120kn

A Jodel or similar

Price £12 – 16k
Insurance £600
Hanger £1000
Maintenance £1250
Fuel £2000
You get 85kn and STOL

Obviously an infinite number of options but this gives you an idea.


Mike Cross
11th Mar 2008, 10:45
OK, in an effort to get back in your good books:-

Rod took me for a ride in his MCR01 last year. Neither he nor I are featherweights and it was a nice warm August day. The climb angle was like being on an escalator, if you wanted to see the ground it was necessary to look back over your shoulder. 1,450 feet per minute with a pair of pie-eaters on board from 100 hp is mightily impressive.

Rans Flyer
11th Mar 2008, 11:06
What about a Jabiru?
Various models in the range A & Micro licence 2 and 4 seats.

Price £18 – 50k
Insurance £800
Hanger £1000
Maintenance £250
Fuel £1200 ;)
You get 132kn and STOL

(Hopefully picking up his Jabiru :ok: this weekend weather permitting)

11th Mar 2008, 11:15
I want one! ; - ) Any suggested reading would be good also...


PPRuNe Towers
11th Mar 2008, 11:26
Let google be your friend BF,

Reams of info out there to be found.

Good, experienced support, airworthiness body know it inside out. Only thing in the last year I struggled to get was affordable inner tubes for mine. The saintly Smoothy suggested making do as they might be enough pressure from Chipmunk owners to make a production run viable at less than 70 quid:{

It bimbles locally, it tours enthusiastically, it loves grass runways but it really should live indoors. Perhaps more of a concern to PPRuNers in S.E. England when they look at the economics compared to the good old Cherokee mentioned above.

You won't get Mike's delightful view over the shoulder but you do get a 'sit' in the cruise that enthralls passengers. The nose down attitude is really something very special yet rarely gets a mention from Jodel folks.

There'll be someone along shortly to enthuse about a completely different aircraft but don't worry. The research, cadging rides to compare contrast and deliberate isn't a chore. It gets you right out there into light aviation away from the club and school setup making it a fantastic experience in itself.


11th Mar 2008, 11:34
Thanks for this - particularly Rod1 and Rans Flyer. Def some food for thought.

I would be interested in costs for C152/C172 since this is what I have been training in. What about Archer 111 etc? Are these not popular choice for owner flyers?

Genghis the Engineer
11th Mar 2008, 13:31
You are looking at expensive aeroplanes to run there - unless you want to rent it out or fly IMC, frankly look hard at permit aircraft. Just because you don't train in them doesn't mean they'll be hard to fly or there's anything else wrong with them.


11th Mar 2008, 13:54
Consider breaking down costs.

Initial outlay - This is the same as considering whether you want a BMW or a Ford Focus.

Maintenance - Permit (ie LAA/PFA) aircraft will cost less to get serviced.

Insurance - ordinarily linked to outlay.

Hangarage etc - again, the cost will be pretty much the same regardless of aircraft.

Consumables - fuel is expensive. Think about consumption and type of fuel.

My only bit of direct advice - Find something with a Rotax engine as it will half your fuel bill.

11th Mar 2008, 14:04
An Archer 111 has the same engine as the AA5B above. It will be worth a bit more so insurance will be more, it will probably cost a small amount less to maintain, but you are looking at 3 times the cost of operation of a modern permit type of similar purchase cost.

Traditionally the Archer and the AA5B have been very popular owner aircraft but times are changing. The group that bought my AA5B had a lot of trouble selling it as the cost of operation of a C of A machine with a 180 hp engine has gone up a lot and they are becoming unattractive. Still a good bet if you HAVE to have IFR or Night capability. Both aircraft are only really 3 seaters, which may or may not be important.


Genghis the Engineer
11th Mar 2008, 14:15
Just adding to what Rod has said - not only if you HAVE to have night/imc capability, but need it most of the time. If you're only likely to want it for a couple of trips per year - stick with a permit aircraft the rest of the time and rent something when you really need the capability. It's cheaper, and you get to fly something else occasionally, which is always fun.


11th Mar 2008, 23:27


100kts (full throttle) - 90 at cruise.


Good strip aeroplane

Looks good

Easy to fly


Great visibility

I have one for sale :ok:

13th Mar 2008, 00:02

Pick two, you can't have all three :}

Genghis the Engineer
13th Mar 2008, 09:28
Personally I'd compromise on "fast", you get more hours with slow, cheap and reliable!

Best of luck with your choice,


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