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Manitou

Why would you pick CT over Cirrus?

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I understand they are very different planes, but hear me out.

Some of you (most?) are very capable pilots that could handle a Cirrus Sr20 just fine.  The price point for a 2000-2004 Sr20 is around 120-150K (can be more or even less).  Money being equal(ish), why did you choose slightly used CT over a slightly more used SR20?

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I'll bite as I placed a recent order for a new CTLSi.  Folks here know the cost.  My GA friends are astonished that I would spend $x thousands on a 2 seater aircraft when I could have invested similar $$$ on a used Cirrus, or, a decent used 172/182.  My decision was mission, operating cost and future resale value.  Moreover, I really do prefer high wing.

My "Mission" is to learn how to fly all over again in a safe, proven plane and re-connect with family and friends all over the USA.  The plane that I purchase has to be able to travel in reasonable comfort and FD figured that out already.  Realizing that there are perhaps greater weather limitations flying an LSA vs a heavier GA plane, I will just have to have slightly more patience than my flying GA peers.  Just turned 58, newly retired and sacrificed my hobby needs over the years to build a family and business.  Re-starting my flying hobby after a 37 years absence.

"Operating Costs and Re-sale Value" are important to me.  I don't want to burn 8-12 gals an hour.  Getting to the same place perhaps 10-60 minutes slower after flying all day isn't really a hardship, and the gas cost savings will pay for the hotel and a beer.  if I were flying on business, that is a wholly different matter because time truly is money.  I am flying for pleasure, so I have the time.  The FD's have decent resale value unlike say... the Sky Catcher at the extreme end of value loss. 

As an American, I wish I could have purchased a USA-built plane instead of an import, but the American aircraft companies abandoned GA innovation a jillion years ago in both design and cost reduction.  Cirrus is an American (now Chinese) success story, so is Kitfox (their wait for a factory build option was 2+ years... at my age, I can only buy slightly green bananas).  Cub Crafters and Husky are amazing planes, however, my oldest son has special needs and we need to sit side by side.  The Vashon was incredibly appealing to me, I liked the design and price point.  I came close to sending a deposit in.  In the end, I toggled towards the FD for two reasons... first, the powerplant is too heavy in the Vashon and once my middle-aged friend(s) and I jump in, there isn't a lot left over for gas.  FD and other LSA planes (RV-12) are superior in that regard.  Second, I really like the FD Dealer and his team... who happens to be a mere hour away from me. 

I wanted "new" mainly for safety reasons, i.e., I know where the plane has been, and, I believe Rotax and Dynon have invented excellent products that will be current for the ages.   

If I decide to trade up to a 4 seater (wife + 2 bikes and luggage for extended trips), the FD CT does have decent resale value.

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1 hour ago, Manitou said:

I understand they are very different planes, but hear me out.

Some of you (most?) are very capable pilots that could handle a Cirrus Sr20 just fine.  The price point for a 2000-2004 Sr20 is around 120-150K (can be more or even less).  Money being equal(ish), why did you choose slightly used CT over a slightly more used SR20?

I would be very, very hesitant to touch a cirrus from that era. These are known as the generation 1's. Some really poor design choices make these extremely expensive to own if the work is not already done.

The parachutes have no access ports for replacement. They must be literally cut out and access points made. A tremendous amount of labor.

Parachutes for these old models are no longer available. You must retrofit the electronic design, which is extremely expensive.

The tail section, I believe it's the rudder, uses a bungie cord for centering. So many better ways this could have been done. These have to be replaced from time to time.

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14 hours ago, Manitou said:

I understand they are very different planes, but hear me out.

Some of you (most?) are very capable pilots that could handle a Cirrus Sr20 just fine.  The price point for a 2000-2004 Sr20 is around 120-150K (can be more or even less).  Money being equal(ish), why did you choose slightly used CT over a slightly more used SR20?

For one, money is not even close to equal. Planes going at that price are generally at or near or over TBO, and a new engine is like $60k. Operating expenses are much higher all around. Avionics will also be dated and probably need to spend another chunk for ADSB. Parachute maintenance costs 10x more than on the CT.  No telling what else Mx expenses you’ll have with a 15 year old Cirrus  

The two planes are simply completely different, other than both having a chute. 

CTLS is a fun plane to fly. VFR only. The SR22 is a cross country machine.

I could go on and on. That being said, I like Cirruses too and hope to have one one day too.

 

Edit: I just realized you were talking about an SR20,not a 22.  Most of what I said still applies, maybe just a little cheaper on the engine overhaul. 

And one more thing, at $150k you can get a brand new CTLS which means lower Mx expenses for years. 

The plane I initially wanted to buy was a Diamond DA40, but was too tall for the cockpit!  Turns out the CT has a lot of headroom.  Happy with the CT, but eventually want a IFR capable plane with 5-6 seats. 

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1) For my mission, which includes looking at the ground from (slightly) above, I would only consider a high-wing and I would prefer no strut. The visibility out a CT - over the nose, toward the corner and almost straight down to the side - is fantastic.

2) My mission also includes long cross-country flights, but I like flying so I'm not in a big hurry. In fact, I often cruise at low rpm settings.

3) I'm cheap. The variable cost (fuel, maintenance and engine rebuild) of my CT is well less than $30/hour. I would not enjoy flying as much, or fly as often, if the hourly cost was way higher than this.

4) I like the CT's short takeoffs and landings. I'm at 1000 feet by the far end of the runway and always make the first turnoff on landing. It's almost as if there is no runway too short.

5) I like the CT's long range - well over 800 miles. I feel like I can go somewhere and if I don't like it, because of bad weather for example, I can just turn around and come back (don’t ever take off in bad weather and be sure to turn around before doing so becomes sketchy).

6) I like the CT's wide c.g. and weight range. I have never run into a loading issue.

7) Between landing at under 40 knots, very forgiving low speed handling and the chute; I think the CT is incredibly safe (despite a recent spate of unfortunate incidents).

8] I like the instantaneous engine starts and the fast engine acceleration. You can catch a bounced landing before the second bounce!

9) I believe in most of the major design trades made by Flight Design and Rotax: Aircraft should be made of carbon fiber, heads should be water-cooled and props should never be attached to a crankshaft.

Mike

 

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Also, airframe cost is just the cost of admission to the amusement park.  You still have to buy tickets on on ongoing basis to get on the rides.  The ongoing costs of operating a CT are a small fraction of those of a Cirrus.  And in a state like mine that annually taxes airplanes, the taxes on a Cirrus are MUCH higher (think thousands annually).

Also, a CT has a pathway to experimental status, which can vastly reduce the already very low CT maintenance costs.  A Cirrus has no path to experimental except the "restrictive to the point of negating any utility" exhibition status.

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Excellent points

12 minutes ago, FlyingMonkey said:

Also, airframe cost is just the cost of admission to the amusement park.  You still have to buy tickets on on ongoing basis to get on the rides.  The ongoing costs of operating a CT are a small fraction of those of a Cirrus.  And in a state like mine that annually taxes airplanes, the taxes on a Cirrus are MUCH higher (think thousands annually).

Also, a CT has a pathway to experimental status, which can vastly reduce the already very low CT maintenance costs.  A Cirrus has no path to experimental except the "restrictive to the point of negating any utility" exhibition status.

Excellent points.

For cheap flying . . . light sport is the only way to go.

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