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Cheap airplanes to buy, own and fly thread

@Snoopy that is a beautiful aircraft. Good value!


Note that the Swedish registered Champ has a wind generator and -8 engine, which means it’s hand propped to start the engine. Some people like the simplicity of this, some find it very constraining.

Here and here is some info on the Aeronca wood wing spar inspection AD. Aeronca etc wood spars do have some issues but I wouldn’t let it dissuade you from buying one, particularly if you know it’s been inspected.

New aircraft of the same basic design (Citabrias etc) have been built since 1990 with aluminum spars, and here and here is some info on that, from an STC holder and from the manufacturer.

Way back when (circa 1977) my dad went flying with a guy he knew, in his ratty old $1500 Champ, and they ran across a guy they knew in a Cub. A dogfight ensued, with some 2 G or so maneuvers – it’s not that easy to pull a lot of G in a slow plane. A few months later the Aeronca wing was recovered and the spar was found cracked, it had likely been that way for a long time but my dad was a structural engineer by trade and took the time to do an assessment of what load might have resulted in failure of that particular wing. The answer was 2G, but apparently his calculation wasn’t exactly correct

Last Edited by Silvaire at 17 Mar 14:50

Thanks @Silvaire

Reading up on the plane.

This particular one has a starter acc. to the seller.

always learning
LO__, Austria

I must’ve misread the advert the first time. The engine is listed in the advert as C90-12F, which has provisions for both a starter and generator, and I now see no wind driven generator. Either I’m going crazy or I was looking at multiple ads at the same time. Hopefully the latter

(A C90-8 is the version with no provision for a generator)

Last Edited by Silvaire at 17 Mar 19:33

A ground loop is irrelevant if no damage, and good if there was damage. When was the wing last recovered? At that time the wing structure was fully seen. Look at the paint. Gloss on fabric cracks with movement. Modern fabrics and paint systems are good.
A Jodel which had been looked after well and has no rebuilding had a cotton wing panel come loose in flight. Landed successfully. Even with care, the cotton fabric had only lasted ~50 years.
Is the wingspar a hollow box or a beam?

EGPE, United Kingdom

The wing spars for a Champ reflect the design having a v-strut braced wing, therefore relatively low wing bending moments and relatively little need for torsional stiffness. They are a very simple, narrow wooden plank beam. Here is an article that shows how replacement wood spars are made for the type, and their resulting form.

Last Edited by Silvaire at 17 Mar 23:54

Interestingly, pristine vintage aircraft can still be had for relatively moderate amounts of money, even in this market:


Mainz (EDFZ) & Egelsbach (EDFE), Germany

I agree. Special interest aircraft are currently bargains, in general. The light aircraft market accelerated due to demand from utility/transportation buyers, not by people who enjoy aircraft and ownership in itself.

This seems interesting for a cheap 4 seater.

I would buy such a plane to get ownership experience while being able to take my small family in the air If the cost get unbearable, I sell it and I’ m back to renting.

Last Edited by Jujupilote at 18 Feb 21:02
LFOU, France

Bravo Romeo! 40+ of the hours in the logbook will be mine, including my first solo.

My aeroclub sold it to another club maybe 10 years ago. The second club had problems with it but these were sorted with a new/overhauled engine. The blue used to be a few shades darker so it’s been recovered or at least repainted; the structure underneath will want looking at. New landing gear and absence of wheel fairings might require an explanation.

The Petit Prince is a lovely plane, with no vices and agreeable to fly. The market prefers a tailwheel and/or a bigger engine, so it’s under-valued for what it is. This one had a cruise propeller so quite fast for a 115hp 2+2 (95-100kt?). Cheap plane with young children? Perfect.

EGHO-LFQF-KCLW, United Kingdom
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