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Luton Minor

Old 24th May 2017, 17:45
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A couple of misleading bits on costings,
Rusty Sparrow quotes his D9 at 10/hr, the add he links to says 10 litres an hour so already over 10/hr on fuel alone, I am not sure how they manage to operate at 5/hr dry either, this may cover day to day maintenance but I suspect the engine fund is a bit dry so watch out for big cash calls.

On the other side, Dan D quotes
Airfield/flying club membership up to 500.
, whilst I am sure there are clubs around that charge this I would say the MOST you would need is an associate membership and most airfields you don't have to be in a club so you probably will not have to fork out for this anyway.
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Old 24th May 2017, 23:02
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Dunno about the Luton or the Jodel, but you can throttle the Turbulent back and pootle happily on 6-7 litres an hour - which will come in under gbp10.
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Old 25th May 2017, 06:07
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Originally Posted by button push ignored View Post
I think the idea of a fifty or sixty year old home built is a terrible idea.
These structures are simply no longer safe.
The wood and glues have deteriorated to the point that their C of As should be pulled.
What pish! I know you wrote "I think the idea of..." so it's an opinion. Fine, but it's still pish.
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Old 25th May 2017, 08:17
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I know this aircraft. G-AZHU isnt a 50 or 60 year old aircraft. It was rebuilt to a very high standard by an ex RAF aircraft mechanic who very reluctantly sold it on; it was his pride and joy for many years. As far as the starting problem is concerned, it used to start first swing for him. I suspect it's a problem of technique rather than with the aircraft itself.
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Old 25th May 2017, 09:16
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The wood and glues have deteriorated to the point that their C of As should be pulled.
Boll""s
A looked after wooden airframe will long outlast an often corroded Aluminium one and doesn`t suffer from fatigue cycles.
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Old 25th May 2017, 09:53
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I too suspect the sometime difficulty with starting is with technique rather than mechanical/electrical/fuel fault.

My own VW with 'armstrong' starter isn't usually a problem when cold or hot, though when warm it can be a little difficult.
Cold, open throttle, full choke, ignition OFF and suck in through 8 to 12 blades, depending on how cold, summer cold or winter cold, then allow to sit for about 30 seconds or so, set throttle and it will normally fire in a blade or two.
Hot, switch on and swing the prop pretty much does it.
Warm, meh, it often likes 2 maybe 4 blades with choke, open throttle, magneto OFF , then a couple of blades with no choke and open throttle, magneto OFF. You can do those last couple of 'clearing' blades backwards if you're nervous. A short pause before going for a start usually is beneficial too.
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Old 25th May 2017, 10:03
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Thank you everyone for all the thoughts, anecdotes and suggestions etc... I really appreciate it. Sorry I haven't been faster at responding - I have been drowning under a ton of work which was unexpected.

Thank you Capn Bug Smasher, GTE and RustySparrow for the heads up about the inertia, I have flown more than just a PA28 and a PA28RT - so hopefully this won't be too much of a surprise! It could be fun to get an hour or two in a microlight, so I may well do this too!

chevvron, that wingspan is HUGE! Interesting design, reminds me a little of the glider fitted with a jet engine... https://goo.gl/D6cjv1 (there are some more elegant ones designed as "pop-up" that I've seen)

Dan D & Foxmoth - Any airfield requiring you to pay a few hundred pounds on top of a few hundred pounds a month on hangarage I find criminal. I only know one place which does this near London (WLAC) but as you do not pay any landing fees by being based there, I've been told that the membership is equivalent to 22 landings / circuits. So I guess that if you're purchasing a plane, and basing it there, you probably ought to be doing more than 22 landings a year. (You also get access to the club house, a nice pub, etc...)

ABGD - that's good to know, I recently joined The Tiger Club and I absolutely love it. Are you also a member? Or do you just love the turbs?

Colibri49 - thank you for the advert, but this is far too far for me. If I owned a share there, it would be upwards of 2 hours drive to fly, which would be somewhat counter-productive.

Arclite01 - this is very interesting indeed! Thank you very much for your input.

button push ignored -->

I think there is a mis-understanding here.... This is not a cost-saving exercise, I am not after "the cheapest per hour that I can find". I am not hour-building either, (I have more hours than would be required for any licence I could possibly want) and these machines do not run on CofA - they are permit aeroplanes.

If someone is looking at purchasing one of these stunning old machines for "cheap flying" then you are absolutely right, and you should recommend they look at a modern microlight, or even another hobby. However, here, I am looking for an open-cockpit, tailwheel, single (or double) seater to have a bit of fun in without a proper "mission profile" as I have access to other machines for such purposes.

Will I fly all over the UK and (most of) Europe in one of these "old vintage" as you put it? Most certainly! But this isn't about "the mission", it isn't about the cost, it is about the fun, the small strips flying, the meeting of farmers and other aviators on their strips, the air in your hair, this complete freedom of where and when to go and simply put - just an incredible adventure ahead of anything else. With regards to your safety concerns, most of these planes will be re-covered every 10 (ish) years, when glue, structural damage etc will be assessed fully by a licensed engineer. So I am not 100% sure where this lack of safety idea comes from. I would of course make my own independent assessment with another licensed LAA inspector prior to any purchase.



Now about this particular purchase that I was very interested in, it turns out that the hangar I had phoned, which DID have a space, no longer has enough space to fit in the Luton Minor, so I am looking at other options around London area but this hasn't been too fruitful yet! Might have to wait until I find space which the current seller won't be keen on...

Thank you again for all your help!
Alex
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Old 25th May 2017, 11:00
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I can't help wondering if @BPI, indicating to be located "nowhere in particular", might perhaps be "nobody in particular"
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Old 25th May 2017, 12:13
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Dunno about the Luton or the Jodel, but you can throttle the Turbulent back and pootle happily on 6-7 litres an hour - which will come in under gbp10.
For fuel,maybe, but add in other costs such as maintenance, insurance etc and that will probably at least double your running costs, still pretty inexpensive flying though!
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Old 25th May 2017, 19:33
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Our 50+ year old factory built Jodel has its wing stripped for recovering at present. Only small repairs were needed. Mainspar solid.
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Old 25th May 2017, 22:54
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I take offence to your comment about me.
I think more than one person may have taken offence to your comment about old homebuilts, think you deserved what you got there!
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Old 26th May 2017, 00:22
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Setting aside offence, there's the question of whether what you say is true.

The US publishes the NTSB database of aircraft accidents which is freely searchable. I had the bright idea that I could look through lists of accidents affecting wooden homebuilts and see whether structural failure was more common in older aircraft. I failed, as it doesn't seem to be common enough to draw conclusions from.

The Luton Minor must clearly be a very safe aircraft as there have been no accidents involving them in the US, ever. So I chose to look at accidents involving the Volksplane which is a popular wooden homebuilt in the US and which like the Luton has been knocking around for a few years.

Of 41 accidents, only one involved a glued joint coming loose in a rudder attachment. One involved a crankshaft bearing. There were I think three which were put down to engine failure of unknown cause - one tends to suspect icing. One was due to propeller failure. One to dodgy Magneto timing. One to debris in the carburettor. A few to fuel system misassembly and one to leaving the choke open and flooding the engine. One involved a throttle cable detachment. Two involved unfitted pulley guards. But most were put down to good old pilot error and inexperience. I haven't counted gear failure due to heavy landings as structural failure.

The other thing that stood out was that there were 5 fatalities, which compares favourably with many more modern hot-ships and even the Cessna 172 (38 accidents involved fatalities out of the first 200 on the page). On an hourly basis, who knows..?

All very crude and unworthy of publication in a scholarly journal, but I find no obvious evidence that these aircraft are falling out of the skies in significant numbers. Some of the accidents were due to poor maintenance or design and might not have happened to a certified aircraft, but for the most part they were unrelated to the aircraft's age - except insofar as you might argue that an older aircraft would be less likely to have a missing pulley guard as it would already have crashed.

Generally speaking, an aircraft with a slower stall speed is a safer aircraft as it lets you crash more slowly. As such it seems to me that an old and slow wooden homebuilt should be acceptably safe. Anyway Button Push Noted, you might have lots of qualifications but I think the ball's in your court to provide some evidence.
However, here, I am looking for an open-cockpit, tailwheel, single (or double) seater to have a bit of fun in without a proper "mission profile" as I have access to other machines for such purposes.

Will I fly all over the UK and (most of) Europe in one of these "old vintage" as you put it? Most certainly! But this isn't about "the mission", it isn't about the cost, it is about the fun, the small strips flying, the meeting of farmers and other aviators on their strips, the air in your hair, this complete freedom of where and when to go and simply put - just an incredible adventure ahead of anything else.
Well, you sound like the perfect owner for such an aircraft so I hope you manage to find somewhere to hangar her.

I'm not a member of the Tiger club, but I did my tailwheel training with Glyn and hope to make it to one of the barbecues. So hopefully see you there one day.
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Old 26th May 2017, 00:37
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Foxmoth: what you say regarding running costs is true. For me the big one is hangarage at about 1200 per year.

I am cost-conscious and never really got my head round spending two or three pounds a minute on renting a Cessna or Piper. My current flying may not be an order of magnitude cheaper on an hourly basis (though I think it could be if I formed a group), but psychologically the cost of flying an additional hour being so low is that it makes it much more enjoyable to actually fly one.
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Old 26th May 2017, 10:55
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Engine failures and coming unglued were never the problem with the Flying Flea, as I'm sure you well know. Perhaps you fly a more modern BD5J?
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Old 26th May 2017, 16:01
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Originally Posted by button push ignored View Post
Here's your dream plane.

It for sale on e-Bay.co.uk with a 'buy it now' of GBP 6.950.oo.
And it even has a 'make offer', so you may be able to buy it for less.

1939 Mignet Pou Du Ciel (Flying Flea)
G-ADRG.
With early Citroen 425cc car engine.
Available in Warwickshire.

Perfect for European touring.
Enjoy.

I think a D registration is earlier than 1939. The aircraft were banned because it was unable to recover from an extreme nose down situation and resulted in fatalities. A later corrected version was flying on a PFA permit to fly, and a lot of French aircraft of similar concept flew well.
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Old 26th May 2017, 17:28
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Statistically the aircraft probably has more reason to be scared of you than you of it.
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Old 26th May 2017, 18:12
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Originally Posted by creweite View Post
I think a D registration is earlier than 1939. The aircraft were banned because it was unable to recover from an extreme nose down situation and resulted in fatalities. A later corrected version was flying on a PFA permit to fly, and a lot of French aircraft of similar concept flew well.

This Flea is a relatively modern replica. It is more accurately BAPC 77. G-ADRG has as far as I know never been issued. Thus it is a "dress" registration. Agree the "D" series would have been before 1939, I think 37 but not checked it.
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Old 27th May 2017, 19:36
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A Luton Minor was the first aeroplane I had a share in (G-BBCY back in the early 1990's). Lovely aeroplane, very easy to fly, forgiving and not that bad performance. It's a perfect first tail wheel aeroplane and cheap to operate ... Go for it!

SS
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Old 27th May 2017, 20:23
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@BPI: I regret you took offence, none was meant. I am afraid you did not take the full meaning of the emoticon. Which you duly copied in your reply.

I regret much more that your offended reply seems to have disappeared, leaving some reactions to it meaningless.
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