Thought for the day: The Cost of Economy

” Historically, the biggest reason why people don’t build better engines is they are trying to “save money.”  I am not wealthy, and I understand this. First, let me say, if your primary goal is to save money, the easiest way to save the most money is to get out of aviation. If your primary goal is to build a good airplane, there are times where you will have to spend money. There are many places where learning and putting in work can offset huge amounts of cash outlay, (Corvair vs Rotax 912) but there are very few places where you can significantly trim the budget just by using cheaper parts Learn this WW aircraft philosophy axiom, and your airplane building will be a lot happier:

“Doing things the right way usually costs a fair amount of money, but doing them the cheap way always costs a fortune.”




Read the complete story at this link: Why Not the Panther engine?




Above  Lynn Dingfelder’s  601XLB with 2,700cc Corvair in the Zenith booth at Sun n Fun 2013.  Lynn is an incredibly skilled mechanic and fabricator. If we were to have a contest, to see who could build a successful plane with the best value, Lynn would be my candidate. He can bring a lifetime of mechanical skill to every single part of a plane. Yet if you look at his personal plane, it is a kit with most of the parts right out of our catalog.  This is the balance of time vs money, even to a guy with a very broad skill set.


Notice that I didn’t say “who could build the cheapest” plane, I said the contest would be “a successful plane with the best value” I have seen 601’s that cost less than Lynn’s, but these planes were built by people who’s sole over riding goal was to not spend any money, and they ended up with a plane that either didn’t work or couldn’t be trusted.  The value equation is what you get out of it divided by what it cost.  If you don’t get reliability out of the project, then the numerator in the fraction is zero, and the value is pretty much zero, no matter how little was spent. -ww.


One Reply to “Thought for the day: The Cost of Economy”

  1. William,

    It’s amazing how many wannabe homebuilders I’ve talked to who want to do things because “it’s cheaper”. Most are oblivious to the possible permanent consequences that can result from that sort of thing and they certainly don’t grasp that, in aviation, doing it cheaply almost always costs a whole lot more than doing it right from the get go.

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