Online Community of Zenith Builders and Flyers
Hi everyone! I'm new here and a current student sport pilot. I am also starting to plan my build. The first step in that is a realistic budget. Do any of you have any tips for me you can offer? Things not to forget in the budget or better yet any spreadsheets you guys have used or general advice would be very helpful.Realistic numbers would be extremely helpful as well. I'm leaning towards a 750 STOL but haven't fully ruled out a 701. Also, if there are any Zenith owners in central or eastern Ohio I would love to check out your plane. Thanks in advance.
Thanks Jim, great points and helps to reaffirm the 750 for my mission.
WOW! So many comments... If you are eager to fly, there are MANY ways to accomplishment. You could build the airplane from scratch...this would probably take longer but could be much cheaper. As to engine, there are many options, I found a Cessna 150 with a great engine for 10,000 dollars. I have been flying it for 3 years and plan to use the engine from it on my Cruzer. Possibly, I can part out the airframe for close to what I paid. As to instruments, go with the basics...minimum instruments will get you in the air for now...you can always upgrade later. You can fly the airplane unpainted and upholstery can be sewn on a good machine. Maybe you are a "popular mechanics" guy and have some tools already.
Insurance is not too bad and maintenance and condition inspections can be done by you, the builder.
In the mid 70's, I read an article in Sport Aviation (EAA) that has stuck with me all these years. A builder that had flown into the Oshkosh Fly In was asked how much his plane cost to build. His answer? "Five years of quit smoking cigarettes". I guess life is sometimes about what we are willing to sacrifice for what we want!
Keep your dream and build the plane!!!
Thanks Ken I appreciate it!
I totally agree with others that if you go the kit route, 3 times the cost of the kit is a realistic overall number. Sure, it can be done for less or easily for more, but it's a realistic ballpark figure. I've beat this horse to death (sorry, PETA!), but yet another alternative is to look for a partially-completed kit that the builder is not going to complete for whatever reason. They'll typically sell for a deep discount to retail and the builder's work usually costs nothing (in the world of homebuilding, seems most would pay more for a pristine, untouched kit than something partially assembled by someone of unknown ability - just inspect carefully before purchase, better yet, take an experienced Zenith builder along with you to look at it!) . Plus, if you go pick it up, you avoid the crating and shipping charges the seller has already incurred. If it is a substantial portion of the kits available, it'll be a big chunk of cash up-front, but you'll then have plenty to work on while you save for the next phase. The best part is that Zenith will transfer the plans number to you and support and treat you exactly the same as the original purchaser. I think they figure each completed plane is that much more free marketing and you'll likely be purchasing additional sub-kits and accessories from them, anyway ... or perhaps it's just because they're really nice people! :>)