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Thread: Homebuilt Fleet Sizes - 2017

  1. #21
    rwanttaja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Berson View Post
    Bill, that picture is teeny tiny and doesn't, apparently enlarge. But is it from the FAA GA Survey?
    Yes. From here : https://www.faa.gov/data_research/av...eral_aviation/
    OK...here's a version of that page that isn't so small.


    As can be seen, the 2015 GA survey assumes that, out of 31,765 registered homebuilt aircraft, that 21,195 are active.

    But let's look at a little history. The 2010 GA Survey produced an almost identical number of active homebuilts....21270. But the 2013 GA Survey showed only 17,503 active homebuilts. So, according to the GA survey, almost three thousand homebuilts quit flying in the 2010-2014 timeframe.

    What ELSE happened during the 2010-2013 timeframe? The FAA re-registration effort. Where, if you owned an airplane and didn't renew the registration, the FAA removed your plane from the rolls.

    OVER TWENTY PERCENT of the homebuilt fleet was removed from the registry in this process....about 7800 planes.

    My guess is that is the vast majority of those 7800 aircraft were already inactive. Yet by the official FAA survey, roughly 2700 of them were planes that were active and flying?

    What happened? Simple: The GA Survey was incompatible with the administrative changes to the registry.

    The GA survey works by sending out hundreds of surveys to registered aircraft owners. Part of the survey includes recording how many hours your plane flies each year. If six out of ten returned surveys state that the airplane flew in the previous year, that means that 60% of the fleet is active. If there are 30,000 registered airplanes, the survey multiplies that number by 60% and announces that 18,000 of the registered aircraft are active.

    However...not all surveys are returned. In some cases, it's just people who don't like replying to the government. In others, of course, the plane or its registered owner no longer exists. Non-returned surveys aren't factored in.

    And, of course, the vast majority of the planes removed from the FAA rolls DID not return a survey. So these weren't counted either as active or inactive.

    But what happened, of course, is that the NUMBER of airplanes decreased. So the total registered aircraft drops from 30,000 to 25,000... and 60% of that 15,000. So the number of active airplanes takes a hit.

    I'm not arguing with the process the GA survey people use. I think it's about the only way to do it, and in normal circumstances, it's fine.

    We *know* that the GA Survey people recognized what the re-registration effort did to the quality of their results. You'll note they didn't publish their results the first year of the re-registration effort ("The 2011 GA Survey is not available and data will not be published. ") So they know the results were ****ed.

    Sadly, no one else does. And there are people making decisions on that bad data.

    Take, for instance, the homebuilt accident rate. In 2010, there were 188 accidents for 21,270 active aircraft. About 0.88%. There were almost an identical number of accidents in 2014... 184. But the number of active aircraft had dropped to 18,873. So the rate shot up to 0.97%. That's an apparent 10% increase in the accident rate. And people did get upset, even though in reality, the number of active aircraft had actually increased (4,000 new homebuilts added between 2010 and 2014).

    Ron "I told you not to get me started" Wanttaja
    Last edited by rwanttaja; 01-02-2018 at 10:56 PM.

  2. #22

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    What about the Van's 10,000th aircraft number that was recently announced? Is that number worldwide?

  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Berson View Post
    What about the Van's 10,000th aircraft number that was recently announced? Is that number worldwide?
    Yep.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by rwanttaja View Post
    Pretty simple, really: People are more willing to pay money to reduce construction time.
    Yes, but I suspect it's not just that. I'll speak purely from my own experience, and that of a few others I know. I think a lot of people are building now not because they have a lifelong dream to build an airplane on their own. They want to fly, they want to travel, and they don't want to be saddled with a 30-40-50 year old airplane that will eat them out of house and home. Mama doesn't want to climb into something that looks and smells like it's been parked on the ramp since the 70s. If you want a fast, efficient cross country traveling machine and don't want it to be a decades-long project, well, now there are very nice kits for that, and an average person can build one.

    I'm building something now from plans - all wood, slow, totally unsuited for anything but short-range fun. That came after the RV. It may or may not ever get finished.
    Measure twice, cut once...
    scratch head, shrug, shim to fit.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Berson View Post
    What about the Van's 10,000th aircraft number that was recently announced? Is that number worldwide?
    Yep. My list is based on the US registry. In addition:

    1. My list only covers those airplanes recorded as being licensed in the Experimental Amateur-Built category. Over 1200 RVs are not.

    2. My list covers only those airplanes on the FAA registry as of 29 December 2017. Over a thousand RVs have been removed from the registry.

    3. My list covers only those RVs where the builder used a common term as the aircraft make or model.... some variation of "RV" and a number.

    Ron Wanttaja

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by rwanttaja View Post
    My list only covers those airplanes recorded as being licensed in the Experimental Amateur-Built category. Over 1200 RVs are not.
    While I'm thinking about it, here's my list of probable Phantom Homebuilts from the 2016 registry.

    "Phantom Homebuilts" is my term for common Experimental Amateur-Built aircraft that do not have a certification category entry in the FAA registration database. These are not officially counted in the tally of homebuilt aircraft, though are counted as a homebuilt if they crash.

    This list starts out as a list of every aircraft that doesn't show a certification category (26,000+), of which I try to weed out the obvious production companies. There will be some cases that use modified manufacturer names that didn't get caught.

    Ron Wanttaja
    Last edited by rwanttaja; 01-03-2018 at 10:12 AM.

  7. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kyle Boatright View Post
    You won't see a huge Hatz booth at Oshkosh. Fly Baby or Piet either. So those designs don't even register with today's 30 year old who becomes interested in building an airplane.
    Funny you should say that in response to the 30 year old who just started a Junior Ace.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tench745 View Post
    Funny you should say that in response to the 30 year old who just started a Junior Ace.
    Yeah, but he's an outlier... of course we ALL are, to some degree.
    Measure twice, cut once...
    scratch head, shrug, shim to fit.

  9. #29

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    Back in the 1950's , the community of aviation enthusiasts who labored in their garages were constructing generally simple aircraft with inexpensive materials. You could be a "working Joe" and build and fly an airplane. The prosperous years that followed, including the bubble of baby boomers with plenty of expendable cash (or at least who were able to get a second mortgage on their house) allowed the airplane kit industry to blossom.

    But, folks, those days are ending. What this does to the kit industry over the next several years will likely be gruesome. But, as long as we can still weld up fuselages and plane spruce boards, we can keep flying.

  10. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by conodeuce View Post
    Back in the 1950's , the community of aviation enthusiasts who labored in their garages were constructing generally simple aircraft with inexpensive materials. You could be a "working Joe" and build and fly an airplane. The prosperous years that followed, including the bubble of baby boomers with plenty of expendable cash (or at least who were able to get a second mortgage on their house) allowed the airplane kit industry to blossom.

    But, folks, those days are ending. What this does to the kit industry over the next several years will likely be gruesome. But, as long as we can still weld up fuselages and plane spruce boards, we can keep flying.
    My long standing prediction that in 30 years the General Aviation population will look very different, with a lot of high end production stuff and a lot of lower end homebuilts....kind of how it was in the early days of aviation.
    The opinions and statements of this poster are largely based on facts and portray a possible version of the actual events.

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