Author Topic: Any ideas on expected build cost and time?  (Read 785 times)

Offline TimS

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Any ideas on expected build cost and time?
« on: February 02, 2022, 09:07:33 PM »
Hi all, I’ve been a pilot for several years and recently have decided to build my own airplane. I’m still very much in the research phase but I n terms of expected missions, I think the cabin eagle would suit my needs.

But since this is my first time building an airplane, I’d like it to be both affordable and something more beginner friendly when it comes to building it. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be much information out there on how much Cabin Eagle projects are expected to cost or how long they take to build. Does anyone have this information or know where I can find it?

Offline DA Miller

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Re: Any ideas on expected build cost and time?
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2022, 06:20:59 PM »
TimS, Here are my two cents worth: First my creds. I've rebuilt two Aeronca 7AC Champs, Built an RV-4 and a Ridge Runner (sort of a Kitfox).  Both the RV and the Ridge Runner were kit airplanes.  I wanted to weld a chrome-moly fuselage and build a non kit Plane.  I picked the LE-XL and I'm glad I did.  I can't comment definitively on the cost, but my guess is it will be at least twice what you think it will be. The only thing that comes with the LE's is a set of sketch drawn plans that require a lot( and I mean a lot) of study and some imaginative interpretation to figure out how to proceed.  There are no materials provided you'll have to study the plans and decide how much and what thickness the steel tubing, sitka spruce , plywoood, hardware, Al tubing and etc you will need. There is a mat'l kit sold by one individual   but even that has some errors and needs to be studied. If you would rather fly than build then buy a used plane you'll be much happier. If you love to build and are reasonably handy with tools and if your willing to commit to the mental effort it takes to build an LE,  then buy the plans and get started.  There are videos put out by the designer and much you tube videos on LE construction.  Look at some of those and read through the forum posts to get a flavor of problems faced by builders.  Like I said "my two cents worth" 

Offline DA Miller

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Re: Any ideas on expected build cost and time?
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2022, 06:29:54 PM »
one other thing.  If you are a competent builder and work (say 8to 12 hrs per week) you might get flying in 3 years. 5 years is probably more like it.

Offline TimS

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Re: Any ideas on expected build cost and time?
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2022, 08:37:40 PM »
Hmmm, that’s all good advice. Whenever I’ve read about build times, articles always make airplane projects sound like they’ll be done in a matter of months so I appreciate your honesty.

I really want to build my own aircraft but maybe my first one should be a kit. Thanks!

Offline Tom H

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Re: Any ideas on expected build cost and time?
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2022, 07:28:09 AM »
Tim S, you ask about time to build a CE.  I don't know about that one, but five of us built a DE together.  We set a goal to taxi it in one year, and just missed that by a couple weeks.  I believe we flew it within a few months later.  Two guys, with occasional help from others, built the wing structure.  One guy built the fuselage.  I built the engine (Great Plains 2100cc kit), tail feathers, landing gear and many detail things.  We all got together to cover/rib stitch the wings, spray the final color and assemble/test.

If one person did all the work, it would have taken more than a year to taxi.  I would suggest one dedicated person, but with other typical life responsibilities, would require a few years to built it, at least.
Tom H
Stubby, a BDE
Treehugger, LEU

Offline Chuck in Indiana

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Re: Any ideas on expected build cost and time?
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2022, 01:07:46 PM »
Agree with the above. This is about as far from a "kit" as is gets.  :)

Offline TimS

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Re: Any ideas on expected build cost and time?
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2022, 01:32:09 PM »
You guys are crushing my dreams! 😂 But better to do that now than after I’ve spent thousands on it. I think I better start with a kit and save the eagles for when I have more experience.

Thanks for all the advice!

Offline DA Miller

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Re: Any ideas on expected build cost and time?
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2022, 02:59:35 PM »
It all depends on what your dream is. I think your original post said you wanted to build your own plane.  Well building a kit plane is definitely satisfying your dream.. If it's building an ultra lite I'm sure there are ultra lite kits. A kit gives the novice a much better chance of success than a scratch build. Building a kit plane is still a huge accomplishment and if you finish and fly you will be in rare company.  Once again I will caution: if you are a flyer not a builder, buy a used plane.
possom

Offline Chuck in Indiana

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Re: Any ideas on expected build cost and time?
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2022, 04:52:03 PM »
No matter what the manufacturers say.. there is no such thing as an "easy to build" airplane. Even a kit is a major undertaking that takes more perseverance than most have. Building from scratch from plans that need a little "interpretation" is an other league, though.

Offline 914pete

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Re: Any ideas on expected build cost and time?
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2022, 07:21:42 AM »
The thing I've really enjoyed about this project is working with all the different build materials. Wood, steel, aluminum. If your a tool guy you will acquire a lot of tools and learning how to use them all is a blast! And it doesn't have to be expensive tools. I've done well purchasing from FB marketplace, Craigslist, Ebay and of course Harbor Freight.

Offline Chuck in Indiana

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Re: Any ideas on expected build cost and time?
« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2022, 10:36:35 AM »
The thing I've really enjoyed about this project is working with all the different build materials. Wood, steel, aluminum. If your a tool guy you will acquire a lot of tools and learning how to use them all is a blast! And it doesn't have to be expensive tools. I've done well purchasing from FB marketplace, Craigslist, Ebay and of course Harbor Freight.

Yeah, me, too.  I've used this project to force myself to learn TIG.. and I've gone from clueless to tolerable.  ;)  The reason the FAA allows us to do this stuff is for "education and recreation."  :) Building an airplane is certainly educational. 
And, yes, Pete.. you are right. The tools don't have to be expensive, and when the total price of an  airplane is considered, they are a minimal part of it.

 

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