Hi there! Nice to meet you!
I'm Aaron - part-time aviation enthusiast and full-time husband and father. My amazingly supportive wife, Alice, and I recently decided that we no longer wanted to fly airplanes older than we were. We wanted modern avionics, an efficient and powerful aircraft to have adventures in with our family. I hope to share the amazing experience of building my dream airplane with other aviation enthusiasts, just like me!
Frequently Asked Questions
Why did you decide to build versus buy?
A lot of factors played into this decision, but if I were to name a few:
- I was tired of flying airplanes older than I was. Most of the places I could rent that had decent rental rates or do partial ownership had airplane build dates ranging from the 1960's to 1980's. However, they all had steam gauges, with the best option having a GTN750 GPS.
- Modern Avionics. There have been many advancements in technology over the last decade that really makes it appealing to have a glass cockpit with ADS-B. The amount of information at your fingertips with the screens today improve safety. In-Flight traffic and weather capabilities are really appealing.
- Working with my hands. For work, I mainly sit in front of the computer all day. I'm a DIYer and like building things - from drones to bathroom remodels. Building a plane just seems like an awesome project! I also like Jason Ellis' video on the subject of Build vs Buy.
- Cost. Building affords me the opportunity to have a brand new airplane with modern avionics, efficient powerplant and safety features you just won't find out there for the same amount. The Sling TSi QuickBuild fell within my budget and comparatively if I were to buy new for a plane with similar features, like a Cirrus, I'd be spending 3-6 times the amount!
How much does it cost?
- About as much as a sports car that flies should cost. If you're really curious, you can check out the latest kit prices on The Airplane Factory's website.
- I think of this as a lifestyle investment and I have some ideas on how to put that to use. I plan to eventually start a flying club to help recoup some capital, reduce the ongoing costs, and make some friends to share this amazing aircraft with.
How long will it take you to build?
- The Airplane Factory estimates 1,200 - 1,400 hours with the basic kit. I went with the Quick Build option, that saves 500 hours. Therefore, we're in the factory estimated ballpark of 700 - 900 hours. Of course, this is estimated and varies by person and skillset.
- I'm estimating that it'll most likely take me around 2 years. I figure, optimistically, 10 hours per week would equate to 90 weeks (1.75 years) plus some buffer for weeks I can't put in 10 hours. Obviously, life happens, but that's the goal!