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Thread: Homebuilt Aircraft Fleet Sizes

  1. #1
    rwanttaja's Avatar
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    Homebuilt Aircraft Fleet Sizes

    Per my usual practice, I downloaded the FAA Aircraft Registration database on 31 December. Here are the sizes of the number of aircraft that are registered as Experimental Amateur-Built. Note this does not include examples that are registered as Light Sport, or have a blank in the column where the type of registration is normally listed.

    For each year, the fleet size shown is on the last day OF that year.

    The last row has the overall fleet sizes.
    Type
    2010
    2011
    2012
    2013
    2014
    2015
    2016
    2017
    2018
    2019
    Air Command
    56
    56
    54
    36
    35
    31
    31
    25
    19
    18
    Aventura
    81
    79
    77
    71
    68
    63
    65
    57
    50
    49
    Avid
    477
    474
    453
    359
    359
    343
    352
    342
    296
    289
    Baby/Junior Ace
    281
    279
    275
    230
    228
    228
    230
    225
    204
    201
    Bede BD-4
    153
    151
    134
    98
    91
    93
    92
    90
    78
    82
    Bede BD-5
    77
    78
    70
    49
    43
    40
    41
    38
    34
    35
    Benson Gyro
    717
    689
    518
    271
    218
    200
    198
    158
    105
    79
    Bowers Fly Baby
    272
    270
    244
    183
    168
    167
    167
    160
    140
    139
    Challenger
    659
    670
    657
    584
    594
    586
    593
    578
    491
    480
    Christen Eagle
    240
    238
    238
    214
    207
    206
    205
    204
    194
    192
    Cozy
    164
    165
    164
    158
    160
    164
    165
    163
    151
    151
    Glasair
    651
    650
    651
    601
    606
    596
    603
    599
    571
    571
    GlaStar/Sportsman
    346
    355
    358
    374
    386
    396
    407
    424
    410
    424
    Harmon Rocket
    79
    83
    84
    88
    85
    87
    85
    85
    80
    77
    Hatz
    106
    106
    109
    105
    107
    110
    111
    110
    112
    111
    Kitfox
    1009
    1024
    1027
    905
    918
    936
    950
    946
    875
    871
    Lancair (All Models)
    814
    830
    850
    835
    847
    855
    875
    866
    824
    826
    Lancair IV
    245
    245
    246
    246
    244
    259
    260
    249
    236
    240
    Midget Mustang
    301
    294
    282
    241
    240
    236
    238
    233
    207
    205
    Murphy
    186
    187
    182
    173
    171
    171
    176
    174
    156
    161
    Pietenpol
    362
    363
    351
    307
    313
    311
    321
    319
    296
    297
    Pulsar/KIS
    155
    153
    150
    130
    126
    124
    125
    122
    107
    108
    Quickie/Q2/Q200
    303
    297
    277
    168
    148
    140
    143
    130
    109
    103
    RAF-2000 Gyro
    123
    126
    124
    113
    114
    110
    111
    90
    69
    69
    Rand KR-2
    350
    346
    314
    194
    175
    167
    167
    154
    132
    132
    RANS
    656
    682
    684
    627
    638
    659
    677
    673
    636
    651
    RANS S-12
    165
    165
    161
    130
    129
    128
    128
    121
    107
    106
    RANS S-6
    205
    216
    216
    200
    201
    208
    213
    211
    204
    205
    RANS S-7
    167
    176
    178
    180
    189
    202
    206
    209
    202
    210
    Rotorway
    502
    500
    495
    404
    392
    374
    380
    350
    296
    296
    Rutan Long-EZ
    495
    491
    482
    428
    418
    416
    417
    406
    379
    380
    Rutan Varieze
    473
    467
    423
    323
    297
    286
    286
    272
    243
    238
    SeaRey
    219
    229
    237
    231
    242
    242
    249
    255
    241
    238
    Sonerai
    309
    307
    287
    215
    199
    194
    194
    184
    156
    156
    Sonex
    265
    310
    346
    383
    420
    451
    484
    497
    486
    510
    Steen Skybolt
    301
    292
    284
    250
    246
    247
    248
    235
    215
    215
    Stolp
    509
    495
    458
    404
    396
    399
    402
    385
    358
    349
    Thorp T-18
    311
    305
    290
    261
    259
    259
    262
    257
    239
    238
    Vans
    5254
    5477
    5674
    5745
    5956
    6110
    6293
    6414
    6447
    6634
    Vans RV-3
    183
    179
    172
    155
    154
    158
    160
    152
    149
    149
    Vans RV-4
    976
    982
    987
    952
    956
    955
    965
    958
    921
    921
    Vans RV-6
    1767
    1781
    1786
    1763
    1783
    1775
    1795
    1796
    1731
    1742
    Vans RV-7
    788
    874
    946
    1000
    1066
    1118
    1170
    1220
    1244
    1285
    Vans RV-8
    913
    959
    1012
    1038
    1082
    1123
    1161
    1198
    1215
    1252
    Vans RV-9
    419
    452
    484
    522
    552
    588
    611
    630
    638
    658
    Vans RV-10
    221
    253
    281
    304
    340
    366
    394
    419
    434
    459
    Vans RV-12 (EX-AB)
    8
    19
    28
    36
    49
    53
    63
    68
    74
    75
    Vans RV-14
    0
    0
    0
    0
    0
    0
    14
    38
    66
    98
    Velocity
    236
    237
    245
    232
    237
    235
    240
    236
    222
    224
    Volksplane
    222
    220
    176
    104
    95
    85
    86
    76
    48
    47
    Zenair
    726
    789
    841
    862
    920
    965
    1013
    1028
    992
    1013
    Zenair CH-601
    311
    326
    344
    340
    348
    353
    367
    367
    339
    332
    Zenair CH-701
    290
    309
    316
    323
    326
    341
    344
    340
    310
    328
    Zenair CH-750
    11
    30
    57
    86
    127
    145
    171
    187
    209
    229
    Overall
    32682
    33038
    32041
    27946
    27909
    28078
    28830
    28451
    26572
    26842

    Ron Wanttaja

  2. #2
    rwanttaja's Avatar
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    It's interesting to note that 2019 saw a bit of a "bounceback" in Experimental Amateur-Built (EAB) numbers.

    The usual year-to-year comparison used the total number of EAB-registered aircraft. However, this is deceptive, as mere subtraction produces only the net change. In other words, the number of new aircraft minus the ones removed from the registry in that year.

    Prior to 2010, it didn't make much difference. Aircraft were removed from the registry only on the owner's request, and a lot of old homebuilts lingered on the rolls far past the time they were active. But in 2010, the FAA started its policy of requiring aircraft owners to renew their registrations every three years. Failure to do so would result in the FAA de-registering the aircraft.

    As the table shows, a huge number of homebuilts were removed from the rolls by the end of the first cycle in 2013....about a quarter of the entire US homebuilt fleet. It's been cyclical since then, with another peak in deregistrations last year (ten percent of the fleet IN A SINGLE YEAR).

    As the re-registration cycle is three years, I anticipated that 2019 would also see a major hit (e.g., 6 years from the end of the first cycle). As the data show, this didn't happen:
    Year
    EAB
    Net Change
    EAB Deregistered
    New EAB Registered
    2010
    32682
    768
    309
    1077
    2011
    33038
    356
    666
    1022
    2012
    32041
    -997
    1951
    954
    2013
    27946
    -4095
    5013
    918
    2014
    27909
    -37
    1084
    1047
    2015
    28078
    169
    781
    950
    2016
    28830
    752
    225
    977
    2017
    28451
    -379
    1296
    917
    2018
    26572
    -1879
    2767
    888
    2019
    26842
    270
    916
    1186
    Not only did the number of de-registrations drop, we also saw a good jump in the number of new homebuilt completions: 1186. This is actually the best it's been for the past ten years.

    Ron Wanttaja

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by rwanttaja View Post
    It's interesting to note that 2019 saw a bit of a "bounceback" in Experimental Amateur-Built (EAB) numbers.
    One caution is that this assessment is based on the 30 December FAA registry. It's possible the FAA will de-register a bunch of airplanes as of 31 December. I'll check the next time they update the downloadable file.

    Edit: Looking at past years, they don't seem to do that (de-register a bunch of airplanes on the last day or the year). For instance, only three were de-registered on the last week of December 2018.

    Ron Wanttaja
    Last edited by rwanttaja; 01-01-2020 at 02:39 PM.

  4. #4
    Sam Buchanan's Avatar
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    Interesting data, Ron, thank you for compiling it.

    It seems only a handful of vendors are responsible for new aircraft--Sonex, Rans, Zenith and of course the Vans juggernaut the primary ones. E-AB has definitely moved from plans and rudimentary kits to highly fabricated "assembly" aircraft.
    Sam Buchanan
    The RV Journal RV-6 build log
    Fokker D.VII semi-replica build log
    YouTube Channel

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Buchanan View Post
    Interesting data, Ron, thank you for compiling it.

    It seems only a handful of vendors are responsible for new aircraft--Sonex, Rans, Zenith and of course the Vans juggernaut the primary ones. E-AB has definitely moved from plans and rudimentary kits to highly fabricated "assembly" aircraft.
    I took a look at the new aircraft in 2019; here's a partial breakdown:
    Rotorway
    7
    Murphy
    7
    Glasair
    8
    Bearhawk
    8
    Bede
    8
    Velocity
    8
    Just
    9
    Pietenpol
    9
    Searey
    9
    Pitts (EAB)
    10
    Long EZ
    11
    Avid
    13
    Aircam
    14
    Challenger
    16
    Lancair
    23
    Glastar
    26
    Sonex
    31
    Kitfox
    40
    RANS
    45
    Carbon Cub
    62
    Zenith
    65
    Vans
    249

    This accounts for only about half the ~1180 new homebuilts in 2019. It is refreshing to see traditional homebuilts like the Pietenpol, Long-EZ, and BD-4 are still being added to the registry.

    One thing to note is that ~60 of the "new" aircraft have construction dates listed before 2018, some as far back as the 1980s. I believe most of these are aircraft where the owner neglected to renew the registration, and either they or a subsequent owner has restored them to the registry.

    Ron Wanttaja

  6. #6

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    I counted 103 Wittman W10's registered in a quick search .... with several typo's accounted for.

  7. #7
    rwanttaja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonN View Post
    I counted 103 Wittman W10's registered in a quick search .... with several typo's accounted for.
    What are you using for search terms? I'm getting fewer, and would like to see what I'm missing.

    Ron Wanttaja

  8. #8

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    I searched using W10, then read through the results. There were 3 pages, several with Wittman, Whitman, Tailwind, Tail Wind, etc.

  9. #9
    I find it interesting that there are no Dyke Deltas listed and yet there were a number of them each year at AirVenture. Might there be other low-number models missing from your list, Ron?

  10. #10
    rwanttaja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonN View Post
    I searched using W10, then read through the results. There were 3 pages, several with Wittman, Whitman, Tailwind, Tail Wind, etc.
    Thanks, that helped me chase down the difference. Thought my filter-fu was messed up. :-)

    Assuming you used this site...

    https://registry.faa.gov/aircraftinq...f_Inquiry.aspx

    ... it works by model code, not N-Number. This tells one how many aircraft of a given type *have* been licensed at one point, but does not address whether they're currently in the FAA registry.

    If you cross-reference the model codes to the N-Number list, 32 of those Tailwinds have had their registrations canceled. My search using the downloaded database was only for active registrations (though, obviously, I do maintain a list of de-registered aircraft as well).

    Here's the list of de-registered W10s.
    N-NUMBER
    Dereg year
    MFR
    MODEL
    YEAR-MFR
    MFR-MDL-CODE
    SERIAL-NUMBER
    17PV
    2009
    STRUBLE MATT
    W-10
    1996
    056017O
    969
    598
    2013
    BRUSE EVERT HUBERT
    TAILWIND W8MW10
    0560250
    589
    320WT
    2011
    ALLEY BRIAN K
    W-10 TAILWIND
    1997
    056033J
    940
    622TW
    2005
    GRIFFITH THOMAS W
    WITTMAN TAILWND W-10
    05603PD
    622
    270RS
    2013
    STEBER RONALD J
    WITTMAN TLWND W-10
    056048K
    DR2
    512DT
    2013
    TRAUGER DAVID J
    WITTMAN TLWIND W-10
    1999
    056049C
    DR1
    1210U
    2015
    CHENEY HAROLD A
    TAILWIND W-10
    05604BS
    979
    6246D
    1997
    LOUCKS GARY D
    TAIL WIND W-10
    05604CR
    1156
    1194K
    2000
    DURRWACHTER JOHN C
    WITTMAN TAILWND W-10
    05604PD
    1051
    7079N
    2000
    MCCLANAHAN HOMER W
    WHITMAN TAILWND W-10
    05605FZ
    1181
    173RS
    2001
    BEAN ROBERT E
    WITTMAN TAILWIND W10
    05605S6
    001032028RS
    101XN
    2013
    KENNEDY FRANCIS M
    WITTMAN/KENNEDY MW10
    0560684
    953
    8470X
    2001
    FREUND FRIEDRICH W
    WITTMAN TAILWIND W10
    05607QZ
    1178
    543CL
    2002
    MCCOY ROBERT S
    W10 TAILWIND
    05611T9
    01-1186
    9XU
    2006
    SNAVELY GLENN E
    WITTMAN TAILWIN-W-10
    05612G0
    1
    488WB
    2010
    BYRD JOHN MCINTOSH
    WITTMAN W-10
    05613OF
    1195
    4031X
    2008
    MORPHEW BEN
    WITTMAN W-10
    056140J
    545
    40WB
    2009
    BERNARD WILLIAM R JR
    TAILWIND W-10
    2004
    056158M
    98-1100
    688CS
    2009
    STEWART WILLIAM L
    WITTMAN TAILWIND W10
    2006
    05621MD
    1001
    547S
    2005
    WHITLOCK DONALD C
    TAILWIND W-10
    05626J3
    719
    865JT
    2018
    WING JOHN R
    WITTMAN TAILWIND W10
    2011
    05631AW
    001
    211TW
    2018
    ROBERT C CROFT / RALPH G CROFT
    WITTMAN W10 TAILWIND
    05633CQ
    99-1130
    79BT
    TANNER-BILL
    WITTMAN TAILWIND W10
    9790506
    461
    49BT
    2001
    TANNER BOB J.
    WITTMAN TAILWIND W10
    9790507
    49BT
    9054R
    2018
    COUGHLIN JERRY E
    W-10 TAILWIND
    1981
    9790509
    438
    62JE
    2013
    EVANS JAMES H
    WITTMAN TAILWIND W10
    9790514
    448
    625JS
    2019
    SHIVER JAMES H
    TAILWIND W-10
    1986
    9790517
    JS 466
    8175G
    2018
    CLEMENT JAMES L
    WITTMAN W-10
    1989
    9790525
    436
    38CW
    2001
    WOOD CALLBIE FRANKLIN JR
    WITTMAN W-10
    9790526
    651
    90TS
    2005
    SMITH TAYLOR
    WITTMANW-10
    1990
    9790527
    587
    557CL
    2017
    ROE CLEO
    WITTMAN TAILWIND W10
    1992
    9790531
    557

    Ron Wanttaja

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