Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.
#1802696
Two further points:
- @cockney steve means the Rotax 582 when he talks about blue top and grey top. The 582 is still in production and spares are available. The 503 is no longer made and spares are a bit harder to get but they are out there.
- the C42 is a boring aeroplane (there, I've said it) flying schools use them for lots of good economic and business reasons and quite a few people buy them because it's what they trained on. But they are boring.
cockney steve liked this
#1802697
flyingearly wrote:Must be capable of carrying a stocky 95kg pilot and want to be able to take another grown-adult as my passenger (without chopping off both legs to get under MTOW)
Hourly costs must be as cheap as possible - as in, how low can you go? FWIW, currently paying £110ph rental for a C42 and interested in understanding what options exist if my budget is half of this, 25% of this etc...can you get flying costs down to £25 an hour?
Say I've got £5k to 'invest' - all options considered for that.


The X’Air meets all of those except the weight carrying, I’d say you need to be looking at those aircraft that sit borderline between microlight and aeroplane. Your Skyrangers amd Rans S6 and things of thag ilk.

As a share probably if the capital outlay is 5K

Are you near a farm strip wher you can pitch up and mooch about and see what might be available?
#1802699
A number of microlights if the OP goes down that route have a an individual seat weight limit of 90kg .

Also further thoughts on costs...
The requirement of £25 per hour is virtually impossible if you take in to account hangarage, insurance, fuel + maintence (even if self carried out).
Perhaps £50 per hour might be possible for some sort of share in a basic microlight.
#1802708
Firstly a C42 is boring for the same reason a C172 is boring. They are reliable training machines, easy to manage, with little personality.

£25/hr isn't achievable in any 2-seater I can think of. £50 certainly is. £5k will buy you one of a number of good, second hand , 503 or 582 engined microlights. Thrusters, AX3s, AX2000s, X'Air Mk.1s, MW6s, Pegasus XL-Q, Quaser or early Quantum, Mid range Ravens, Early Mainair Blades, will all tick the box.

All will carry two large adults, a few hours fuel, and a toothbrush- slowly, but with a big fun factor.

Going joint with other people will allow a better aeroplane or less cash outlay, but the hourlies will stay similar.

G
#1802709
Shoestring Flyer wrote:A number of microlights if the OP goes down that route have a an individual seat weight limit of 90kg .

Also further thoughts on costs...
The requirement of £25 per hour is virtually impossible if you take in to account hangarage, insurance, fuel + maintence (even if self carried out).
Perhaps £50 per hour might be possible for some sort of share in a basic microlight.


Just to clarify, I never said £25 per hour is a requirement - I was more asking what's the lowest things can go? If I could get things under £50 per hour I'd be pretty happy, any less would be amazing!

Equally, I wouldn't necessarily expect to cover the hangarage in that. In other words, if I had a monthly spend of, say £300, it would be great to get 5+ hours of flying from that as a minimum if I can...the more the better.

I could probably squeeze under 95kg with a bit of effort...I'm not fat, just into lifting weights and so pretty stocky build...I could quite readily drop 5kg in a couple of months if that opened up many more options!

Perhaps a better analogy here would be to say that I'm finding the C42 is really the 'best of no worlds'; it's cheaper than a Group A, of course, but pricy for a microlight. It's relatively quite slow, but it behaves like a proper aircraft and is very very benign. Now that's a great thing for a beginner like me, but it covers up bad flying and means no matter how badly I fly it (not that I try to), it forgives everything I do. It's like driving a Toyota Prius - I feel pretty disconnected from the air outside and everything moves very slowly. An RV7 would be more fun, but equally, so might taking off the doors and stripping away most of the fuselage, exposing me to the elements, is my thinking.

What I'm asking here is: for a lower budget, can I have more fun? I've never actually tried a weight-shift microlight, but I'd be happy to consider them and book a lesson to see. My point being: maybe I'll have more fun with a go-kart most of the time, taking the Prius when I need to drive long distances.

Currently, my budget limits me to 2 - 3 hours a month of flying based on existing rates. Which means I can't really go anywhere meaningful, or explore. So if we rule out 'exploring' for my mission and replace it with 'have lots of fun' then I'm interested in having as many hours of fun for as little money as possible, if that makes sense.
Last edited by flyingearly on Tue Oct 13, 2020 7:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
#1802711
Genghis the Engineer wrote:Firstly a C42 is boring for the same reason a C172 is boring. They are reliable training machines, easy to manage, with little personality.

£25/hr isn't achievable in any 2-seater I can think of. £50 certainly is. £5k will buy you one of a number of good, second hand , 503 or 582 engined microlights. Thrusters, AX3s, AX2000s, X'Air Mk.1s, MW6s, Pegasus XL-Q, Quaser or early Quantum, Mid range Ravens, Early Mainair Blades, will all tick the box.

All will carry two large adults, a few hours fuel, and a toothbrush- slowly, but with a big fun factor.


^^ This is great, exactly the sort of recommendations I was after. Some of these had appeared in my searches, but a lot of these are new to me so will start reading up. Any other recommendations very gratefully received.
#1802714
I have a Letov Sluka - a single seater, now SSDR, and it’s the cheapest flying you’ll ever get. But as it’s for two up, get an X’Air - you can almost buy two of them for some of the examples stated above. Even better, get a fold wing flying frame tent.
There is an AX 2000 with a brand new unflown Rotax 582 in it, a Thruster Sprint sitting in the corner of our hangar, neither flown in years just waiting for you to pick up, repermit them and have the time of your life.
#1802744
flyingearly wrote:My point being: maybe I'll have more fun with a go-kart most of the time, taking the Prius when I need to drive long distances.


A little flying gokart is actually how I regularly describe the X’Air to peoole.

You can take the doors off in ten minutes (though it’s drafty enough anyway), can land anywhere, it’s sturdy, turns on a wingtip and is cheap as chips especially if you go for a 582.

They’re a delight.

They do have the aforementioned 90kg seat limit and zero luaggage capacity to speak of but there’s half a dozen on AFORS at any given time for that sort of capital and REALLY nice ones if you can pitch in that much and find a partner to match it.
#1802766
If you can devote the time gliding can be very cheap per hour. Time is critical - it's a full day each time to make it work.

If so, you can buy an early glass single seater for around £5k. Insurance, maintenance and club membership should be around £2k pa. Each launch is somewhere in the £10-30 region. How many hours flying you get depends on how good you are, but when I owned my own glider I averaged 2 hours per launch. So if you flew 30 days a year on that basis you'd fly 60 hours for around £2,500, around £40 per hour. Sharing a glider with one other might get you 50 hours for £1,500. But it would be a couple of years learning to reach that standard of flying unless you turned out to be a natural.

You're only down the road from Kent Gliding Club at Challock if you fancied looking in to see how the place feels.

I sold my glider 18 months ago because age caught up with me - I had one ambition to meet, a flight from Suffolk to the Welsh border and back, but once I realised 8 hours in the cockpit was beyond me (my glider could do it, but slowly) I gave up serious XC and now just potter about in club gliders, usually dragging some newer pilot around.

It's a totally different kind of flying, so might not be for you. If it is, it can be very cheap per hour in the air if you click. But as I said, it costs in time at the airfield, which to me was no hardship.
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#1802828
Don't be fooled into thinking that all you can do in a slow or even very slow type is local flying. Think outside the box, to go somewhere you do not need to go in straight lines. I often plan a route that takes in a stop or so along the way. That way the legs you fly are of a length that you choose and you get to visit several airfields and meet a good number of other folks and refuel if you need. I find this kind of flying anything but boring, even the planing is fun.
My favoured mount has a cruise speed of 50kts a supurb view and delightful handling. So bimbling or going places are all a delight, the main drawback from your point of view may well be the seat loading. If you want to check limitations you can visit the BMAA website and look at the TADS or HADS and you will find the information you need set out for you.
I agee with you about the C42 though, it is the most boring microlight that I have flown. That is to say that although it suits some folks it does not suit me at all, horses for courses as they say.
#1802843
Rob P wrote:I spent nine very happy years in a PA22-108 group.

OK, it was a 1960s certificated aircraft, but even with the usual hefty annual the 8-person group managed to keep the costs at around £60/month and £60/Tacho hour. It will undoubtedly be more now.

It carried two people and luggage to Italy on three occasions and spent a lot of time wandering around France. And it was a hoot to fly.

A permit aircraft coud probably better the 24litres/hour fuel burn and might keep the monthlies a bit lower, but then you have to consider the load-lugging capacity also.

Not a recommendation, but definitely a 'don't write something like it off' suggestion

Rob P

£65 + £65 now, so not that much more and a healthy engine fund. Just about to have the seats refurbished...

Ian
Rob P liked this
#1802884
The requirement of £25 per hour is virtually impossible if you take in to account hangarage, insurance, fuel + maintence (even if self carried out).

Shhh! don't say that. Mrs CH could read this. :roll: :lol:

Have you applied the 80/20 rule?

Work out what 80% of your flying comprises and leave the wish list in the 20%. Some people on here over the years looking at 4 seaters have come to realise they fly solo most of the time or with 1 pax.

I wanted an interesting aeroplane I could spanner and have day trips to fly ins in, hence my choice. Speed and frugal fuel consumption were not high on my list.

How does your 80/20 look?
#1802891
CloudHound wrote:How does your 80/20 look?


It's a little bit chicken and egg, but...

I would say 80% of my time would be grabbing 1 - 2 hour slots - mostly weekday evenings in Summer, or a Sunday morning at the weekend - and just stretching the legs without a particularly purpose. 1 - 2 hours doesn't really get me very far from where I am (as in, if I'm flying somewhere, landing and returning, it's not a big range), but my point is: I would feel a lot happier bimbling with no specific purpose if it wasn't costing me £150 - £200 each time.

At the moment, the other 20% is choosing somewhere specific to fly in and visit - and trying to make that a much longer trip. At the moment, for me in the C42, that 'longer trip' isn't actually that long - from Deanland to Sandown a couple of weeks back is an example - but if I had access to something faster, I'd go further. For this, I typically book a morning or full day off work.

My 80% would be split so that it's 40% 'just me' and 40% 'with a passenger', with the passenger typically one of my young kids.

My 20% would almost always be 'with a passenger'; the bit to question on this is that actually, I'd love to have 'with 3 passengers' and take my whole family on the longer trips, which a microlight obviously prohibits.

So, in summary:

    40% bimbling on my own locally
    40% bimbling with a passenger locally
    20% longer day trips with my family (ideally)

Therefore, back to what I am thinking based on these responses; my 20% would be better served by something faster and bigger that I can hire - so upgrading NPPL(M) to SSEA and then hiring a 4-seater when needed, but for the 80% I'm happy with pretty much anything....in my head, I'm definitely interested in exploring flex-wings as a budget way of bimbling without breaking the bank.

Being serious though, I don't really know how those two things would combine in reality: presumably, I'd just be creating a rod for my own back as I'd then need to maintain club currency on something expensive on top of any flex-wing bimbling. But, I've got plenty of food for thought from this thread to digest...

Thanks all once again. :thumleft:
#1802894
Highland Park wrote:
Rob P wrote:I spent nine very happy years in a PA22-108 group.

OK, it was a 1960s certificated aircraft, but even with the usual hefty annual the 8-person group managed to keep the costs at around £60/month and £60/Tacho hour. It will undoubtedly be more now.

It carried two people and luggage to Italy on three occasions and spent a lot of time wandering around France. And it was a hoot to fly.

A permit aircraft coud probably better the 24litres/hour fuel burn and might keep the monthlies a bit lower, but then you have to consider the load-lugging capacity also.

Not a recommendation, but definitely a 'don't write something like it off' suggestion

Rob P

£65 + £65 now, so not that much more and a healthy engine fund. Just about to have the seats refurbished...

Ian


8 man group, eh?:

Truth out at last :lol:

Peter :wink: