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Cheap airplanes to buy, own and fly thread

If you find planes for sale online that are inexpensive to purchase please post them here and elaborate a bit why you would buy them, how you would fly them and why you anticipate it all to be more or less inexpensive.

I’ll start with this Morane which has a low purchase price of around 20k€, good time left on the engine and is from germany (for what it’s worth). I might be wrong but I imagine it might be a nice VFR plane for 2-3 people.
It’s old so there might be gruesome maintenance surprises but the low purchase price would leave some reserves for that.

Cheapest new 4 seat I could find is this Jabiru 430 for around 80k. @yesombe wrote a nice trip report about his 430.

Unfortunately both have no BRS :(

Last Edited by Snoopy at 31 Jan 11:54
has a Beagle...
LOWG Graz Austria

If I were looking for a plane, I might be tempted by something like this Cessna 120 for £18k. I used to own a half share in a Cessna 140 – they are simple to maintain, fun to fly, despite not having a lot of power have reasonably short landing/takeoff distances, and I think they are very nice looking aircraft. The C120 in the UK can be on an LAA permit to fly. They also can run on mogas (STC for certified aircraft on the N-reg).

You can get them with either metal covered or fabric covered wings, while the fabric wings would need to be redone every so often, the fabric is lighter and during a re-cover you can really properly inspect the wing structure.

Last Edited by alioth at 31 Jan 12:16
Andreas IOM

Great if cosy two seater, and cruises 15 mph faster than a 90 HP Super Cub.

Enstone (EGTN), Oxford (EGTK)

If you want to buy an aircraft with the least capital outlay and get the biggest bang for the buck, you have to look outside the box and not go for the regular suspects. There are a lot of them out there. For instance, you can get Bellanca SuperViking for no money, and they’ll leave similar planes in the dust speed-wise. Early Bonanza’s are also cheap. Instead of a C172, why not look at a Commander Lark? Tri-Pacers, Ercoupe’s, Aeroncas, Taylorcraft, Grumman Tiger etc.

@AdamFrisch: I would rather leave something out of mainstream to experienced owner (who would not ask the original question)?

Talking EASA-reg you need a Part 145 shop capable to do work and able to sign off and it better be not the only choice in the area, you need spare parts availability and knowledge how to get it, you may need a mechanic if flying cross country from time to time …

If you ever had to wait over 5 month for a simple bulkhead plate of a standard C172 costing 1000 USD, you’d stay away from exotic flying machines ;-) it may be a lottery game.

Ever heard of that shop giving away an aircraft (market value 5k at most) and they did so because they knew for sure the customer had only one shop to go, guess which?

Among the first things to learn as an owner of an aircraft is to think total costs.

Last Edited by at 31 Jan 13:53

I do not believe such a thing exists.

Aircraft have a value for a reason, it may be popularity, rarity, you name it. But I believe in the market.

The rare birds that Adam enjoys may be cheap to buy but there is a possible drawback when you go looking for someone to fix it, or a part for it. Old often means cheap, but in CAN mean lots of maintenance issues and downtime. Home built can be cheap, and works well if you are of an engineering inclination and enjoy that aspect, but can result in a lot more workshop hours in the logbook than flying hours. Very light and low performance can mean simple and cheap, but try going anywhere in it.

Darley Moor, Gamston (UK)

Sure, but these are simple planes for the most part. I would totally agree with you if we were talking complex twins etc. But any mechanic that has worked on a C172, could probably work on a Lark, without much re-learning. Parts availability is something else of course, but most of these, if you’re an active owner and part of the members club with that plane, I would assume parts could be quite easily found. In the case of Luscombe’s, Aeroncas and Taylorcraft’s I would assume there would be plenty of parts, as they were made in quite large numbers. Early Bonanzas, too.

Last Edited by AdamFrisch at 31 Jan 13:50

Good thread

Just a couple of points:

Talking EASA-reg you need a Part 145 shop capable to do work and able to sign off

You don’t, for a plane which is not used to carry paying passengers. Even school / FTO planes don’t need a 145 (exception: in contravention of Part M, a 145 is mandatory in some countries in the “east” of Europe; some previous threads on this).

I don’t know the detail but IIRC you need a Part M Subpart G (or something like that; I am sure someone will know the detail) and the work is done by, or under the supervision of, an EASA66 mechanic.

Parts availability is something else of course, but most of these, if you’re an active owner and part of the members club with that plane, I would assume parts could be quite easily found. In the case of Luscombe’s, Aeroncas and Taylorcraft’s I would assume there would be plenty of parts, as they were made in quite large numbers. Early Bonanzas, too.

The big difference in Europe (I mean EASA-reg) is that transplanting parts is problematic. One thread is here. Other than trivia, you need an EASA-1 form to install a used part, and who is going to generate that?? It needs to be a 145 company with the right approval scope. And there are all kinds of restrictive practices when it comes to using parts from a crashed plane.

N-reg is much easier because an A&P has the authority to inspect and declare airworthy (most things).

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Peter, I always envied seeing you taking apart the tb20 with the A&P help in Biggin for the annual… I can now do the same with the RV7 :-)

United Kingdom

Aaaaaahhh yes, happy days OTOH we were not allowed to use the heating (LPG) and when it was -5C outside, it was horrible. I pay a big price for doing the annual when nobody is flying; mid winter. Then that hangar was lost, sold to the Spitfire rebuilder who put an instant end to it. But now I have a better one available, not impossibly distant (Biggin was pretty extreme – 1:10 driving each way) and it is heated.

Heating = pure heaven

The RV is a very good plane. If I had to go non-cert one day, say due to loss of medical (NPPL + medical self declaration) I would buy an RV immediately. Or a Lancair IV

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom
125 Posts
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