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  #1  
Old 08-11-2013, 07:20 PM
hydroguy2's Avatar
hydroguy2 hydroguy2 is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Townsend, Montana
Posts: 3,180
Default Buyer or builder affordability

Since the Vans Booth thread has ran its course and then derailed, I thought I would continue one of the thoughts in a new thread.

I'm in the camp that really enjoyed building my plane. BUT the reason I did was.... I wanted to fly. I'm a Dam mechanic/operator with a matching paycheck and such live a frugal lifestyle. I have absolutely no business owning airplane, especially an 2010 RV-7. I have a pretty tight monthly flying budget(glad I have free hangar rent)

The thought of plopping down $50, 80 or $100K makes me shiver. But I could budget for $600 radio or $$$ prop. I was realistic when I saw Vans cost estimator....I could do it if I shopped for bargains and took my time. NO way I could ever save the money to buy the plane I own. In fact, The price of new engines were going up faster than I could save and had to get a small loan to purchase a used (overhauled) engine.

A small loan at the end of the build we could swing, but lump sum for the whole airplane...I would be sleeping in it ALONE.

So I am like Bob Collins, only way I could afford my RV is by taking the babysteps building allows.
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Retired Dam guy. Life is good.
Brian, N155BKsold but bought back.
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  #2  
Old 08-11-2013, 08:07 PM
DaAV8R DaAV8R is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Lee's Summit, MO
Posts: 749
Default Building Cheap

I am on a mission to build my RV-8 as cheap as possible. My goal is 35K for my RV-8. Many have laughed at the idea. If I don't make it, I think I will be very close. It is possible to build one of these airplanes without spending alot of money

Edit: I just caught up on the thread Brian referenced. It has been said many times in that thread that it is cheaper to buy than to build. I disagree, at least for the RV-8. I cannot speak for the other models. It depends how you go about acquiring your parts how you equip your airplane. I would encourage anyone thinking about building, but limited on funds to research the number of bargains that are available to a builder. With some effort, it is possible to build many of the RV's cheaper than they can be purchased.
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Robert Williams
Lee's Summit, MO
RV-8 - Empennage & Wings Done
Working on Fuse
O-360-A1A

1946 Cessna 120

Last edited by DaAV8R : 08-11-2013 at 10:22 PM.
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  #3  
Old 08-12-2013, 10:35 AM
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Snowflake Snowflake is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Sidney, BC, Canada
Posts: 4,276
Default

I think the point that was getting missed in the other thread is that if you have two people, one who builds over a 10 year period, paying as he goes, and another who saves money over 10 years, putting a little away every pay cheque, at the end of 10 years you have two people who didn't go into debt. One has a brand new airplane that he built himself. The other has a bank account that *in today's market* will buy a used RV which cost more to build than it can be sold for.

Whatever money a builder has spent building his RV, if the person saving has that same amount of money saved in a bank account he will be able to buy more airplane than the builder at the end of the day. No, you wont get a plane with zero time on it, but you can get one with pretty low time. Used RV's are an extremely good buy right now. Someone just posted an RV-6A with 180HP and full IFR panel, for $49k. You can't build the same aircraft for that money.
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1996 RV-6 "Tweety" C-FRBP (formerly N196RV)
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  #4  
Old 08-12-2013, 10:46 AM
6 Gun 6 Gun is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 846
Smile Buy for less

Not everone can but a few can build a better airplane for less than 49k with efis and CS prop and more HPand custom cowling with paint.
Bob
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  #5  
Old 08-12-2013, 11:01 AM
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DaleB DaleB is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Omaha, NE (KMLE)
Posts: 2,353
Default

I have seen what I could buy with the money I'll spend building. Let's just say that's why I'm building. And if I thought for one second it would take me 5 or 10 years to build, I would never have started.

Every person's priorities, motivations and financial details are different.
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Dale

Omaha, NE
RV-12 # 222 N980KM "Screamin' Canary" (bought flying)
Fisher Celebrity (under construction)
Previous RV-7 project (sold)
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  #6  
Old 08-12-2013, 11:44 AM
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dsvajda dsvajda is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Olathe, KS
Posts: 65
Default

When I told the wife that I wanted to build an airplane she was less than enthusiastic. She was insistent that I not borrow any money to fund the project. I bought my emp, wing and fuse kits from builders who started but weren't able to finish. That was back in 2001. I knew going in that it was going to be a long process. I stopped everything when the economy cratered in 2008. By 2010 I felt confident enough to spend the money on finishing the plane. Ordered the finish kit from Van's and got my engine.

I bought my engine off of Ebay from an engine shop in Phoenix. It cost me $14000 for a 0 SMOH O-320-D3G. Ordered my prop from Ed Sterba.

We're lucky in KC to have Airparts and B&B aircraft in the local area. Great places to buy hardware and aluminum at a significant discount. All in all about $38,000 in the project.

The build went slower than I wanted, but I was able to send two kids to college, build an airplane, take a few vacations, and not acquire any new debt. Like Roy said, I have a brand new 12 year old airplane.

Dave
RV-6
Flying in Phase II
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  #7  
Old 08-12-2013, 11:48 AM
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walkman walkman is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Atlanta
Posts: 894
Default Not IFR

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowflake View Post
I think the point that was getting missed in the other thread is that if you have two people, one who builds over a 10 year period, paying as he goes, and another who saves money over 10 years, putting a little away every pay cheque, at the end of 10 years you have two people who didn't go into debt. One has a brand new airplane that he built himself. The other has a bank account that *in today's market* will buy a used RV which cost more to build than it can be sold for.

Whatever money a builder has spent building his RV, if the person saving has that same amount of money saved in a bank account he will be able to buy more airplane than the builder at the end of the day. No, you wont get a plane with zero time on it, but you can get one with pretty low time. Used RV's are an extremely good buy right now. Someone just posted an RV-6A with 180HP and full IFR panel, for $49k. You can't build the same aircraft for that money.

If that is the listing I'm thinking of, it's not close to an IFR panel. Doesn't meet most people's requirements for a day VFR if you are doing more than local poking around.
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RV-8 IO-360 (Bought)
RV-6 O-360 C/S (Sold)
Walkman aka Flame Out
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  #8  
Old 08-12-2013, 11:48 AM
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Toobuilder Toobuilder is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Mojave
Posts: 4,928
Default

Glad to see this come back to life. I was going to start a poll, but now I'll just ask the question for those that think building is a cheaper way to go:

Do you keep track of build costs? (not labor, but cash money expenses like radios, sub kits, engines, etc)
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WARNING! Incorrect design and/or fabrication of aircraft and/or components may result in injury or death. Information presented in this post is based on my own experience - Reader has sole responsibility for determining accuracy or suitability for use.

Michael Robinson
______________
Harmon Rocket II -SDS EFI
1940 Taylorcraft BL-65
1984 L39C - SOLD
RV-8 - SDS CPI - SOLD

Last edited by Toobuilder : 08-12-2013 at 11:58 AM.
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  #9  
Old 08-12-2013, 12:15 PM
DaAV8R DaAV8R is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Lee's Summit, MO
Posts: 749
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Toobuilder View Post
Glad to see this come back to life. I was going to start a poll, but now I'll just ask the question for those that think building is a cheaper way to go:

Do you keep track of build costs? (not labor, but cash money expenses like radios, sub kits, engines, etc)
Of course we do. Now I can't say I haven't lost track of a few small items, but that doesn't negate the fact that it is possible to build cheap. As an example, I have most of an instrument panel, two Icom radios, good quality round gauges, transponder, color touch screen GPS (vfr) and have about $600.00 in the lot. Everything was purchased from reputable folks, here on the net.

Just because many bulders ultimately sell their planes for less than they spent building does not mean that the same airplane cannot be built for less than the asking price. Dave's RV-6 above is a great example. He could have gone with a used engine and saved even more, had he wanted.

I got my engine, an O-360-A1A for free. In fact, I'm $200.00 ahead on the engine. I have a total of $1,400.00 in an engine, nearly new Sensenich prop and polished spinner. Do not underestimate the ability of folks that are committed to building cheap.
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Robert Williams
Lee's Summit, MO
RV-8 - Empennage & Wings Done
Working on Fuse
O-360-A1A

1946 Cessna 120
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  #10  
Old 08-12-2013, 12:20 PM
PaulR PaulR is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Geneva, AL
Posts: 491
Default costs

I kept a very close track of mine, but wouldn't dare divulge it here. My better half reads it too!!!

For what it's worth though, I was very frugal and purchased some used items. I always tried to have some cash around when something came up that I wanted so I could jump on the deal at the time. I still ended up with at least 10K more in it that I had anticipated.

Wouldn't trade it though for anything. Not the plane nor the experience.
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RV-9A 91300
N417PR
SERFI 2013 Awards
Inspection Complete!!! 7/7/12
First Flight 7/22/12
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