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Thread: Honda Civic of the Skies

  1. #1
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    Default Honda Civic of the Skies

    I think I may have convinced my hunting partner to look at a certified aircraft instead of an experimental/homebuilt to build his hours on. Which taildragger would be considered the Honda Civic of airplanes? To me this means dependable with "low" operating costs and a reasonable purchase price. The plane would be used of course.
    It's the journey, not the destination.

  2. #2
    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    Default

    I know a few guys who have 125 or 135 horse engines stuck in old Taylor Crafts. They are a good two person plane and I have been to many a gravel bar in a couple of them.

    My little PA-11-90 is a dream to operate. A little more expensive to buy, but I have been all over at 4.5 gallons per hour.
    she is a great little float plane and a very good wheel plane since I have kept her very light.


    I used to have a C-150 with a 150 horse conversion. Not a bush plane, but OK for gravel strips. It really hauled butt (125 mph cruise) and she would jump off the ground in 400 feet with two guys crammed inside.

    The up side was she had a high time engine and she cost me $20,000.
    I used it for a couple years to give instruction and then sold it for about the same. It was kinda a gas hog at 8.5 gallons per hour. But it would climb like crazy and I flew it from here in Homer to Las Vegas in 33 hours. (3 days)

    Champs are good planes on wheels.

    Some folks like Pacers, but not me.
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
    Experimental Hand-Loader, NRA Life Member
    http://site.dragonflyaero.com

  3. #3
    Member Toddler's Avatar
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    Default Champ

    I love my Champ and you can get them in the 30ís.

  4. #4
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    Default Citabria

    take a look at a citabria, just make sure the fabric is good, but they are great little airplanes also.

  5. #5
    Member lab man's Avatar
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    Default

    I've been doing a little bit of flying in a T-Craft this year. I'm thinking it has a 60hp engine, and with 2 guys and full tanks we are over gross. It doesn't use much fuel, and is a fun little plane to fly. Don't know exactly how much one would cost, but it's not too expensive. I've been flying on floats, but it's a much better ski plane.

    -Eric

  6. #6
    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    Default

    There are also some old C-172s out there for a good price.

    Now I know that every new wanna-be bush-pilot imagins landing on gravel bars and beaches. Well yeah, that stuff is cool. BUT, you need to learn certain things to obtain your license. Like instruments, VORs and other neat things. Most bush-beaters do not have the equipment. So you end up having to rent a plane other than yours for extra training and to take the practical exam (check ride).

    I have one student right now, (WHO NEEDS TO TAKE HIS FLAMING CHECK RIDE IF HE IS READING THIS!!!) who's name rhymes with Jason, who has been using an "old But looks great", 1958 C-172 for about a year and a half now.
    By taking out the back seat and putting a flat prop on her, (along with slightly larger tires) she comes and goes off any gravel strip in about 400 to 500 feet.
    Plus it still goes around 110mph so he can fly up to Anchorage without having his bladder explode.

    He is selling it now for another plane. I think for around 30K or slightly less. There is nothing wrong with that type of plane for most of the flying you actually end up doing.
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
    Experimental Hand-Loader, NRA Life Member
    http://site.dragonflyaero.com

  7. #7
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    Default Champ is the way to go

    Aeronka Champ. The cost is among the lowest (4gph.) It's an old plane so the maintenance is fairly low. Building time in this a/c is easy b/c it only goes 90mph. In Alaska, you can get and use the 7AC with the EC conversion. That will bring you from 85 horse to potentially 115. That'll get you in and out of more places.
    Just make sure when buying one that it's in good shape. Have a full annual/pre buy done. You can end up spending a lot of money fixing someone els's problem. Carl Bahn in Willow is the Aeronka, Bellanca, Citabria guy to know.

  8. #8
    Member Toddler's Avatar
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    Smile Champ

    My 7EC has an O320 making a snappy 150 hp and stepping along at a 105 mph. Kub Air is right though. Have the A&P you plan to use do the pre-buy that way he has a vested interest in finding all the details on the airplane since he will be the one fixing it.

  9. #9
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    Default For the love of Pacers...

    I'd lobby for Pacers (PA-20) as the Honda Civic of the air. I've got a 150 HP that has squared/droop tips, Vortex generators, and not much more. It burns near 7 gph when I'm not pushing it.

    Pacers:
    - Lift 4 little people and a little fuel, but make an excellent 2 person plane, with full fuel and field gear.
    - Take off and land in a reasonable distance on reasonable gravel bars/strips (in and out of an 800 foot bumpy nowhere strip with 1/2 load)
    - Cruise around 100 Kts.
    - Are low cost to get into ( about 25K gets you a functional one)
    - They come with all the modern conveniences, like flaps and doors for both front and back seat!

    They are NOT Supercubs. More like an anemic version of a Maule. They're short-coupled, so the rear tries to pass the front when you land. You learn to use rudder pedals, that's for sure. All that said, they're cheap and have endearing qualities.

  10. #10
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    Default For the love of Pacers...

    I'd lobby for the Pacer (PA-20) as the Honda Civic of the air. I've got a 150 HP that has squared/droop tips, Vortex generators, and not much more. It burns near 7 gph when I'm not pushing it.

    Pacers:
    - Lift 4 little people and a little fuel, but make an excellent 2 person plane, with full fuel and field gear.
    - Take off and land in a reasonable distance on reasonable gravel bars/strips (in and out of an 800 foot bumpy strip with 1/2 load)
    - Cruise around 100 Kts.
    - Are low cost to get into ( about 25K gets you a functional one)
    - They come with all the modern conveniences, like flaps and doors for both front and back seat!

    They are NOT Supercubs. More like an anemic version of a Maule. They're short-coupled, so the rear likes to pass the front when you land (ground loop). You learn to use rudder pedals, that's for sure. All that said, they're cheap, tough, and have endearing qualities.

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