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Thread: Speaking of roadable aircraft....

  1. #11
    Auburntsts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steveinindy View Post
    Yeah, but then again, I wonder what the market really is for a high priced vehicle like that. That seems to be one of the major issues on the business side of the equation: those who are true believers in the concept (any concept for that matter) tend to overestimate its appeal to a broader audience or the price that audience is willing to pay.
    I concur. For me, this roadable aircraft stuff is just a novelty. IMO, the design compromises results in a mediocre car and a mediocre airplane. I do see the value of something like the Maverick which is a is a road-legal powered parachute (basically a dune buggy under a chute) for use in austere environments with limited infrastructure, but until they come up with technology like the flying cars in the movie Blade Runner I’m not buying.
    Todd Stovall
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  2. #12
    rosiejerryrosie's Avatar
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    I don't really know how many people fit into this category, but I know a guy who, for years, communted from South Central Pennsylvania to Southern Virginia in his Cessna 190. He says the many's the time during all those years, he would have loved to be able to convert his airplane into a car, so he could drive home in bad weather. It would also be very handy when flying to those small, interesting airports that are not served by Hertz, Enterprise or Avis..... I'm in the market once the price comes down to around $2000 for a used one (if I live that long)
    Cheers,
    Jerry

    NC22375
    65LA out of 07N Pennsylvania

  3. #13
    Jim Hann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rosiejerryrosie View Post
    I don't really know how many people fit into this category, but I know a guy who, for years, communted from South Central Pennsylvania to Southern Virginia in his Cessna 190. He says the many's the time during all those years, he would have loved to be able to convert his airplane into a car, so he could drive home in bad weather. It would also be very handy when flying to those small, interesting airports that are not served by Hertz, Enterprise or Avis..... I'm in the market once the price comes down to around $2000 for a used one (if I live that long)
    Jerry, are you talking about Tom H?
    Jim Hann
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  4. #14

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    There seems to be this big push for aircraft you can keep at home. Who pays to keep the airport open? Seems like the end result of this craze is going to be marina-like launch fees, wide spread landing fees, and/or the loss of a lot of the small local airports. Hope everyone likes driving these vehicles, because the airports are going to get further and further away.

  5. #15
    Auburntsts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rawheels View Post
    There seems to be this big push for aircraft you can keep at home. ....

    IMO, this is a made-up issue by the manufacturer's marketing departments and media wanks pandering to the non-pilot masses. I don't know of a single Kitfox (folding wing) or RV-12 (removeable wing) owner who trailers their planes home, even though they could. I'm sure there's some out there that do, but I think that it's the exception rather than the rule. My 2 cents is roadable aircraft are a solution in search of a problem--the perfect gift for the person who has everything and money to burn.
    Last edited by Auburntsts; 04-04-2012 at 11:23 AM.
    Todd Stovall
    Aka tsts4 on POA & Matronics, and Auburntsts on VAF, RV Airspace, AOPA, & Purple Pilots
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    My builder's log (which is woefully out of date): www.mykitlog.com/auburntsts
    WAR DAMN EAGLE!

  6. #16

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    Todd you hit the nail on the head! I remember seeing a short film back in the 50's of this home development in northern Cal. where all the houses had hangers built around a runway with multiple taxi-ways. This was the "promise" of the future. A nice fantasy that was further promoted by the "Jetsons". We still have "air-parks" around the country with most of the homes costing millions, even if a guy wanted to do this on the cheap it would be expensive. How much would it cost you to buy a Robinson copter and maintain it? Assuming you live in "uncontrolled" airspace you maybe able to fly it from your home to someplace. Jerry's friend is the exception not the rule.

    Joe

  7. #17

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    If a person had a route that they regularly flew to commute to work or perhaps to a vacation house; rather than spending a huge amount on this kind of dual purpose plane, they could easily buy an older used car in good shape, for under $10K, like my 91 Mercedes 300 E, to leave at the destination airport, and have far more useful and reliable road transportation than any plane.
    If I recall correctly the price of a Terrafiuga is about $280 k and I know tastes differ, but really that thing is a combination of weird and ugly, as well as slow, cruise is listed as 93knots, and 65 mph max as a car.. For half that price one can buy a nice Mooney or Bonanza and have a real 4 place airplane, that goes almost twice as fast, if you don't try to have it double as a car.
    Now although I am not one, I know there are people who wants the lastest, even if it is not the greatest, and they may even sell a few. But I think it will be like a Delorean, and 10 years down the road it will have little resale value.
    Last edited by Bill Greenwood; 04-04-2012 at 11:05 AM.

  8. #18
    EAA Staff / Moderator Zack Baughman's Avatar
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    Interesting how the conversation has turned to whether or not a roadable aircraft makes economic sense, rather than the merits of the design as a flyer/driver. Frankly, I think the same debate could be applied to most of the GA fleet. I mean really, unless you are using your airplane, helicopter, gyro, ornithopter or whatever on a regular basis as daily or weekly transportation to and from, when does it truly make sense to own any kind of flying machine? Most aircraft aren't cheap to begin with, then you have the maintenance, insurance, hangar space, etc. to pay on top of that. Why bother owning something like that when you could just use an automobile for 80-90% of the traveling you would be doing? Same could be said for my 1976 Honda Goldwing. Why own an old motorcycle? Can't really use it for hauling the kids to soccer, baseball, or football. Can't use it for hauling groceries. Not very useful in a Wisconsin winter. But then again, it brings me tremendous joy to hit the back roads and twisties for an hour on a nice day after work burning up old dinosaur bones. Doesn't make much economic sense, but it it sure is fun! I think the same could be said for 75% or more of the GA fleet. Flying is fun. Doesn't make much economic sense most of the time, but it sure can bring a smile to one's face. Seems to me the same would probably apply to these roadable aircraft being developed.

  9. #19
    rosiejerryrosie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Hann View Post
    Jerry, are you talking about Tom H?
    Nope - John S.
    Cheers,
    Jerry

    NC22375
    65LA out of 07N Pennsylvania

  10. #20
    rosiejerryrosie's Avatar
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    There you go, Zack, introducing logic into an otherwise perfectly good emotional discussion. When I want to go somewhere for fun - I fly. If I need to get there in a hurry, I drive.....
    After all, rationally considered, it is a 45 minute drive to the airport, 30 minutes minimum to pull the airplane out of the hangar and preflight it (community hangar requires moving two airplanes before I get to mine). That's an hour and fifteen minutes not counting checking the wx, fueling the airplane if I hadn't done it the last time I used it, filing a flight plan if I decide to, and all the other things needed before I get into the air to travel at 85MPH indicated. Factor in a reasonable headwind and I can make much better time driving at 65MPH on an interstate.... Just saying....
    Cheers,
    Jerry

    NC22375
    65LA out of 07N Pennsylvania

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