Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.
flyingearly wrote: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.

This is something close to what I do, albeit with two different shares.

The PA17 is 10 mins drive away and works out at less than £50 an hour. It is mainly local bimbles, especially summer evenings (and the odd early morning) but it does go on some burger runs and the odd longer trip. Vintage taildragger fun.

The TB10 is an hour away and I fly it when I want to go somewhere, usually with my girlfriend in the right seat. At a minimum it is a day out, more often a night (or multiple night) stop. It being a four seater and a fairly good load carrier means that two-up with bags for a week and full fuel we don't even need to do a W&B calculation - it'll still be almost 100kg under MTOW.

My logbook for the last year would probably show 80% in the PA17. Not necessarily of hours, but number of flights.
This is such an interesting and useful thread. Thanks @flyingearly for your honest appraisal of your mission. I find myself in a really similar situation I have to admit, in terms of 'what next after the hour-long currency flights'. I've been trying to come to terms with the same question, and like many I guess, trying to find that perfect 'compromise' plane that does everything, costs very little, but doesn't exist in reality!

I have to admit that @defcribed has an excellent solution and I'm certainly jealous. Having recently completed my tailwheel conversion, I'm absolutely in love with stick-and-rudder flying in the cub, but would love the ability to tour and cruise further afield in something else.

All that being said, after a chat with the super-helpful @The Farmer about his lovely Eurofox - I find that a hugely tempting proposition too, and whilst not super-quick in the cruise, it's got enough speed to make touring really enjoyable, with all the delights of a taildragger thrown in too.

I'm definitely interested to see what you settle on!
PeteSpencer wrote:
8 man group, eh?

ISTR that's what it settled down to eventually, but @Highland Park can probably confirm. He is still a member.

Rob P
flyingearly wrote:I'd then need to maintain club currency on something expensive on top of any flex-wing bimbling

I wouldn't say 'don't do it' but just be aware that this solution creates a potential hazard. You've got enough 3-axis experience that your flying reactions will now be instinctive in that sense. Do you really want to give up the peace of mind that comes with knowing that you will reliably and instinctively apply up/down control logic correctly near the ground in a stressful situation, just to save a few quid?

I briefly considered trying flex-wing microlights but have since vowed to never go near one. My brain is a 3-axis entity and I know that I would ultimately revert to that logic under stress.
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