Utility - aircrafts

Why to own an old utility-aircraft? Text (geringfügig geändert) aus der sehr interessanten Site http://www.utility-aircraft.com/

There is not one answer because the STOL/Utility planes can be very different and the needs of pilots too.

We have the desire to fly and we want to do this in our own aircraft.

Flying is not all and one other aspect is preserving history. Having a unique or rare bird is different and you will find this out when looking for new friends at the airport.

Utility stands for practical, usable, multi-functional.

To answer our question lets look at some phenomena in automobiles.
Why people own minivans? …
sport trucks, 4 wheel-d.? …
And finally why people own oldtimers ?

The answers are obvious. Now think aircraft, combine all three above and you will come to the same conclusion.

A utility aircraft let you enjoy a spacious cabin, you and your passengers feel much better not being cramped in. The view is an important factor both for pleasure and for safety.

Most of the utility-aircraft were designed to land off airport, the STOL performance and gear configuration let you go to places inaccessible to others.

When it comes to quality nothing can match the military standards under which most of these utility-aircraft were build. Now remember some flight-school aircraft, the old dogs with lots of hours, there is nothing working anymore the way when they were new. These aircraft were build with the commercial interest to sell. Building them in high numbers and minimising construction cost was the driving force. The opposite is true for the militaries. When they order equipment cost is not considered a major factor.

After all this positive points there is an exception: Pilots looking for pure speed. This an ex-military light transport plane can not offer.
But do you appreciate sardine-can like flying, always calculating each pound of load and each feet of take-off or landing distance? Not seeing something around and hoping that the little landing gear wheels will make it on the grass strip. By the way, ask your wife, kids and your dog where they feel more comfortable in.

Another advantage is the slow stall speed. It gives you time to think during slow flight and approaches. In case of emergency the best planes to be in, is one with a strong structure and the slowest possible speed during a crash-landing. Hopefully this never happens, the crew and passengers of this utility aircraft will mostly walk away, but we can not call this preserving history anymore.

We do not want to forget the newer utility-aircraft like the Cessna Caravan C208 or the ultimate performer the Pilatus PC XII (or now 12) but with a price tag in the millions .......  (lets focus on something else!)

Now we cover the operation with maintenance and flying cost
On the first look the costs are higher than for a small Wichita build plane and definitely the fuel consumption is higher.
A utility aircraft let you transport more passengers with baggage and equipment and this makes the use more economic. Flying is fun, but sharing it with family and friends gives it a greater dimension.
You like air-shows and fly-ins? The right kind of plane can haul people or gets a free fuel fill-up only to be present.
The investment to purchase a utility aircraft is similar to those of normal little plane.
The resale value is fluctuating a little bit more, this can be good or bad depending of the moment. Statistics show that pilots own special planes much longer because they build a relationship and selling to get a different aircraft is mostly not considered.
Spare-parts are available, cheap to buy in a lot or coming with the aircraft. Large numbers of surplus parts are around and it takes only some time to make the contacts. Automatically you will run into some nice people.
On the other hand, for normal aircraft new standard parts are very expensive, but easier to order. A flat-four engine for example is one third more to overhaul than a much bigger radial.
Most of these special planes will fly with a special CofA giving the possibility to reduce cost by a choice of parts and more own maintenance. (and sometimes to avoid stupid AD’s)

You will love to be on the airport working on your special plane. And think about the consequences, all the gadgets pilots buy to play with, there is no need, you will have a big toy. When talking about "owning a plane" partnership is one form. This shares the cost and the work but not subsequently cuts the fun. In percentage there are more partnerships with special planes than with standard aircraft. Even though you might think special planes are more for individualists.

We believe that most pilots owning our kind of aircraft share this view. Maybe not in all aspect but the basic reasons for them to do it you will find in this text.

Piper saw the trend and use this for their publicity in magazines. They consider the SARATOGA as the sport utility vehicle of the sky.

 Lets look on the aircraft that are available:

If by now you dream about aircraft like a Cessna 185 or maybe a Beaver. Than keep dreaming!
These aircraft are way to expensive for most of us. They are not really overpriced because the market regulates the value. But commercial operators have to use them due to shortage of adequate certified aircraft and skyrocketing prices for new ones.

Instead we recommend something a little more exotic and by far less expensive. Check out a Dornier Do27 substituting a C185, a Max Holste Broussard similar to a Beaver, a Antonov An2 matches up to an Otter and for the military trainer aircraft a Yak 52 is very competitive in a dog-fight with a T34.

All aircraft are available for roughly one third (in number 1/3 or 33%) of the price of their colleges.

This difference in price is easy to understand. The reason is the planes origin. They are European aircraft based in Europe. They are for sale for a relatively low purchase prices.
The cost of flying in Europe is very high. This leads to a declining use of airplanes.

Finally prices will rise like with all the other aircraft, but for now European utility-aircraft are a great opportunity

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