View Poll Results: Do you feel that a low-end airplane could be sold for twice that of a low-end car?

Voters
24. You may not vote on this poll
  • Yes

    12 50.00%
  • No

    12 50.00%
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 17

Thread: The good 'ole days

  1. #1

    The good 'ole days

    Mainly because I'm not doing much over summer break, and I do love the piper cub, I couldn't help but research how prices have changed drastically over the years. Even if you consider inflation the price of aircraft have gone up drastically. So while looking for the price tag of a J-3, I came across it in an old brochure: $2,195 (price effective July 1, 1946).

    So after snooping I found that in 1946, a car could be purchased for $1,400. However, after further snooping, I found that a good Chevy could be bought for $1,200. So with a little rounding we can conclude that a cub was very loosely twice the cost of a low-end automobile. So therefore a basic, good airplane should cost twice that of a low-end car, or the equivalent to a low end luxury car.

    How does this compare to modern day standards? Glad you asked. My dad has been looking into purchasing a new low-end vehicle, his two favorites being the VW Jetta and the Chevy Cruze. Both are good, reliable cars that range in price from about $15k to $20k. So if we follow our estimates from the last paragraph, we can conclude that a good, reliable, low-end airplane SHOULD cost $30k to $40k. What went wrong? The new trainers such as the Skycatcher and Legend Cub can cut a good $120k out of your wallet (why yes, that is a large wallet!). That is 3-4 times what it SHOULD cost. I understand that part of the problem is the lack of large-scale production, but this is crazy!

    It appears we have a Catch-22: Nobody wants to fly until the price comes down, but the price won't come down until more people fly.

    I personally feel that this problem is going to continue to haunt the aviation world and will only gets worse as the amount of pilots decreases more and more over the coming years.

    I understand that this a completely ludicrous conclusion, but it's supposed to be, merely to show the absurd rise in the prices of commercial goods in America, most largely based on the debt crises. I posted this mainly as food for thought, and for the fact that I'm jealous of 21 cents/ gallon fuel prices in 1949 That's saddening.

    I am no economics expert by any means, but I thought it was rather interesting.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Sidney, OH
    Posts
    444
    I think you may have missed one important factor in your analysis, mainly the impact on inflation. How does the 2012 dollar compare to the 1946 dollar? The assumption that twice the cost of a low end car in 1946 would be valid in 2012 is a false assumption. Just think of the state of the world in 1946. We had a population of about 125 million, vs 315 million today. We were the only major country to come out of WWII undamaged, and we had a great surplus of natural resources like oil. I was born in 1943 and can remember my Dad buying and selling a bunch of old cars, pre-war vintage, and even not owning a car for a short while.

    My parents only owned one car, today I own 3. I think we may want to actually ask an economics expert to provide a real comparison of the buying power of the 1946 dollar in 2012, b/4 we jump to any conclusions.
    There are a lot of factors or variables that impact currency valuation, I would like to see more than one valuation method before making any comparisons. I noticed that there is an opportunity to vote on this subject, which is an invitation to ask people to join together in wishful thinking. Today's Global economy is not based on wishes, but markets, while I'm not of fan of all the speculation in commodities it is part of the real world.

    Joe

  3. #3
    Inspector Fenwick's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Springfield, MO
    Posts
    59
    Quote Originally Posted by Joe LaMantia View Post
    I think you may have missed one important factor in your analysis, mainly the impact on inflation. How does the 2012 dollar compare to the 1946 dollar? The assumption that twice the cost of a low end car in 1946 would be valid in 2012 is a false assumption. Just think of the state of the world in 1946. We had a population of about 125 million, vs 315 million today. We were the only major country to come out of WWII undamaged, and we had a great surplus of natural resources like oil. I was born in 1943 and can remember my Dad buying and selling a bunch of old cars, pre-war vintage, and even not owning a car for a short while.

    My parents only owned one car, today I own 3. I think we may want to actually ask an economics expert to provide a real comparison of the buying power of the 1946 dollar in 2012, b/4 we jump to any conclusions.
    There are a lot of factors or variables that impact currency valuation, I would like to see more than one valuation method before making any comparisons. I noticed that there is an opportunity to vote on this subject, which is an invitation to ask people to join together in wishful thinking. Today's Global economy is not based on wishes, but markets, while I'm not of fan of all the speculation in commodities it is part of the real world.

    Joe
    At the time of Pearl Harbor, the average American family income was about $2,000 per year. In 1946 it was $2,500 per year and if the WORLD needed anything built, it had to be built here, every other manufacturing center was a bombed out ruin. That is not the case today. We also did not have the additional soft costs of a litigious society, OSHA, and other helpful components of our commerce engine. I don't think Henry Ford would even consider building another CUB in today's world. (Hey, that was a JOKE, I know it was Marconi that built the CUB.).
    Larry Nelson EAA 35011
    President Intl Cessna 195 Club
    President EAA Chapter 821
    Springfield, MO
    PA 30 / Cessna 195

  4. #4
    Mike Switzer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Central Illinois
    Posts
    735
    Quote Originally Posted by Notsoez891 View Post
    I found that a good Chevy could be bought for $1,200.
    Here is the flaw in you argument. There is no such thing as a good Chevy.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    RVS - Riverside Tulsa, OK
    Posts
    38
    You can buy a good used plane for 20-40K. However it's not the buy-in costs that get you, it's the costs required to keep the plane in the air.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    60
    Exactly. How many people would be willing to buy a $20,000 car if you told them that each year a mechanich would have to tear it half apart to inspect it, fix anything that is even remotely starting to wear, and that you would have a $2000 to $5000 non negotiable bill depending on what they might find. If you didn't pay then you couldn't drive the car anymore.

    I would love to and could afford to go buy a nice little used cessna 150 to fly while building my Sonex. It is the unknown maintence cost that keeps me from doing so.

    Keith

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    RVS - Riverside Tulsa, OK
    Posts
    38
    Keith:

    Spot on!

    I have a C172 that I've owned for 20 plus years. Since moving to Tulsa OK last year from Northern New Jersey, I now have a hanger for the first time in many years, which allows me to work on the plane. I just finished an owner assisted annual last weekend. It took me a solid two weeks working whenever I had a spare hour to two. This is the only way to help cut down the costs, saved a bucket of $$. In past years I had to bring the plane into a shop for the annual and anything else but for the most basic stuff. At labor rates of $90-$100 hour, bills quickly add up.

    And lets not forget about the cost of parts! $25 for a sparkplug, $20 for an oil filter?! Even with doing most of the labor, parts will add up to big $$ over time.

  8. #8
    rosiejerryrosie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Carlisle, PA
    Posts
    392
    You folks are just flying the wrong kind of airplane. An annual on my Aeronca takes about three hours and costs me $350.00 (including travel time). Simple is better!
    Cheers,
    Jerry

    NC22375
    65LA out of 07N Pennsylvania

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    60
    Thats just because you haven't found anything wrong. How much do you think that annual is going to cost you when your mechanic tells you the plane needs to be recovered or that you have low compression in one or more of those engine cylinders. I bet it will be alot more than that $350 you just paid.

    Annuals can be inexpensive when everything goes right. It isn't the cost of the annual itself that is the problem. It is what can be found during the annual that scares me off from buying a certified plane. It is just a huge unknown expense each year.

    Keith

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    5
    As an A&P I cant comprehend a 3 hour annual on *any* airplane. A day minimum assuming normal servicing and nothing wrong.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •