Does everyone need an expensive, high power, fast trike?

Published by: Paul Hamilton on 29th Aug 2014 | View all blogs by Paul Hamilton

Recently, there have been a number of comments that EVERYONE is pushing EVERYBODY into expensive, high power, fast trikes. I would like to set the record straight as to my feeling about this.

Does everyone need an expensive, high power, fast trike? Simply… NO.

Here is my story about my decisions to buy the trikes I bought.

I first put a trike undercarriage on my modified hang glider in 1981. A Fugi Robins  engine. About 30 HP. Not much. It would barely get off the ground at 5000 foot density altitude but it was awesome to get flying in a trike. I had a great time with this. Fast forward to 2001.

I decided to buy a two place trike since my wife/girlfriend wanted to go up and move on from Hang Gliding. It was allot of money so I economized bought a Cosmos 503 (verses a 582) because it was light weight, less expensive, and I liked the wing. Soon after I got it I flew this slow Rotax 503 on a cross country from Carson, down the Sierras, up to Mount Whitney 14,000 and the trike Odyssey was filmed.

See www.youtube.com/watch?v=glVFOSgNBXE

I flew this slow, underpowered trike to 17,000 feet, flew 250 pound students to 10,000 MSL regularly,  trained many pilots. Did I need an expensive, high power, fast trike? NO.

Than in 2010, the FAA cracked down and my experimental was no longer allowed to be used for flight training. I waited for the LODA. Nothing. So I decided to buy a trike. By this time everyone was flying the 80 HP Rotax 912 and EVERYONE is pushing EVERYBODY into these more expensive, high power, fast trikes. I simply could not afford a 912 so I bought an Apollo Monsoon 582 S-LSA when I decided to go into trike flying full time.

Again, I would fly it to 10,000 feet with 250 pound students, etc…. I was making a living at flight instruction in a Rotax 582. Did I need a need an expensive, high power, fast trike? NO. However, it is a 14.5 meter stiff wing and had wind turbulence limitations. I had to shut down training earlier than I wanted.

After 3 years and my third Rotax 582 engine which operated great all the time, I wanted a smaller wing that I could blast through the bumps with an easy handling wing I could increase my flight hours since I had to turn many flights down when the wind came up and it got bumpy during the day.

If I had a smaller wing, I could fly more hours and everyone would be happier. Bottom line, a smaller wing needs more horsepower . So after 3 years of flying full time I decided to sell my great Apollo Monsoon 582 and go to a 912S so I can get a smaller wing.

OK which trike? Here are the reasons why I choose a Revo, generally in the order of importance which helped my decision:

Topless small wings.

Easy to get in and out of loading and unloading people (similar to my Apollo Monsoon)

Easy handling/response for ease of flying and safety/recovery in the bumps

Almost everyone who calls and asks about buying a trike wants a Revo.

Super sexy looking.

Made in the USA with easy parts/great service.

Did I have to have an expensive Revo? No but it allows me to fly comfortably is more bumpy and windy conditions.

In fact we have a number of 503, 582, and 912 80 HP trikes at the airport here and the pilots are very happy with them.

Again. Do they need an expensive, high power, fast trike? NO. Not if you can live with the limitations.  

However, if you can afford a trike and you want to climb faster, get there quicker, fly in stronger conditions and be more comfortable overall, spend as much as you can and get the trike you want. You basically get what you pay for.

Comments

84 Comments

  • Steve Bohus
    by Steve Bohus 3 years ago
    Agreed, I've already determined that i need the REVO for maximum flying flexibility!!! :)
  • John Olson
    by John Olson 3 years ago
    Pablo, did you have to re-finance your casa?
  • Rizwan Bukhari
    by Rizwan Bukhari 3 years ago
    Different strokes for different folks, for these or any other toys, my policy is that if I can't pay cash for it, I won't buy it. I am not taking any home equity loans out for a toy. As far Trikes are concerned I love my 4 stroke still under 100 hours Northwing Navajo with 17 meter single surface Manta wing with tundra tires. It is a complete aircraft for my needs and I don't anticipate buying another for a long time to come. Of the trikes that I have flown in (Top dog, Airborne, Aerotrike, Northing Navajo, Air Creation Tanarg). I loved how Aerotrike flew with it's double surface 16 meter wing, it was an amazingly docile wing and Air Creation Tanarg had a lot of room in the back seat). But for now I plan to keep mine for years to come.
  • Paul Hamilton
    by Paul Hamilton 3 years ago
    Great example of having the 100 HP today. Student from New York. Second time here. Winds aloft 30 at 9000. He really wanted to fly over the north shore to Squaw Valley. I defiantly would NOT do this flight in my last trike, monsoon with 14.5 wing and 582. Not appropriate. Calm on ground. Blasted off and up through the trashy air and hit the wave to get to 10,000 foot altitude above the mountains. Flew into the 35 MPH glass smooth headwind 30 miles at 80 true air speed 45 ground speed along the north shore of Lake Tahoe to Squaw Valley. Took forever. Turned around and flew back with 35 MPH tail wind 115 MPH ground speed. Flew way out 10 miles downwind from 5000 foot peaks and descended smoothly through the wind gradient. I use the 10 times the height to avoid turbulence downwind the obstacle. Worked great. Only a 5 MPH wind on the ground. That flight is a great example of why I decided on a high power, small wing trike. Everyone was happy. No one grounded.
  • Roger Bunny
    by Roger Bunny 3 years ago
    I agree with you Paul, I started out with an Airborne and Wizzard wing 16 years ago, I the changed the wing to a Streak and then again to a Streak 2 all the time trying to increase the "weather condition" flight envelope that I was "happy" to fly in. I say "happy" as I could have easily flown in worse conditions but after you have been flying for a while you tend to get a little fussy about the conditions you a flying in. I found that unless I thought the conditions were going to be pleasant I wouldn't bother. With the Revo I am now flying in conditions that I wouldn't have even bothered before and am finding it way more pleasant than previously. With my Airborne and Streak wing I was averaging 30-40 hours a year now I have had my Revo for 3years and it is just coming up to 300 hrs. The numbers clearly show that I am enjoying a huge increase in flying time.
  • Herman Eldering
    by Herman Eldering 3 years ago
    My experiences echo those of Paul and Roger, the safer envelope of flying conditions give you much greater enjoyment and peace of mind. A few months back, I flew in conditions the Revo with Sports wing thought quite fine, but two Airborne trikes after me did one circuit and landed immediately telling me later they were very uncomfortable in the weather conditions. In the meantime I was enjoying coastal flying without any concerns.
  • Chuck Burgoon
    by Chuck Burgoon 3 years ago
    I've flown trikes since 1979...and they were all fun...but for utility and transportablity...a new rig is far superior.
  • John Olson
    by John Olson 3 years ago
    Hahaha funny Chuck! "Not superior at all" is how I would express it. Now, I've only been flying them for 30 years, but I still see my 19meter 503 as wonderfully functional and so much more transportable than the fancy plastic wagons you see so much of these days. I carry my trike around just fine on my RV, and I never even drag a trailer. Oh well, different strokes I guess.
  • Chuck Burgoon
    by Chuck Burgoon 3 years ago
    John, I should define my terms. When they talk about “utility” of an arcraft they mean how much they can be utilized in a wide range of situations and conditions. I’ll use an airplane to illustrate. First of all, an airplane has significantly more “utility” than a trike. Doesn’t mean it’s better…just means it has more utility. Capabilities which can be obtained incrementally to improve it’s utility goes something like this: Day VFR, Night VFR, IFR, Turbo-charged, Long Range tanks, 4-6 seats, Anti-Icing, Multi-Engine. So in theory, an aircraft with all of theses attributes has the greatest potential “utility”. It can fly in almost any situation and condition…compared to a Day VFR aircraft. It’s not necessarily better…just has more potential “utility.” As far as “transportability”...like you I’ve hauled around and set-up 100’s of wings. Having owned cable braced, non-folding strut braced, and folding strut braced…there is no doubt in my mind that the later burns the least calories and takes the least time and effort. Note that I did not mention “better” “safer” “cheaper” or “more fun” because, like you, in this regard I’m not convinced based on my own set of priorities.
  • Chuck Burgoon
    by Chuck Burgoon 3 years ago
    Note that for the same price of a high-end trike you can have an airplane as described above that will fly 200 mph. But of course, that's not why we fly trikes.
  • Chuck Burgoon
    by Chuck Burgoon 3 years ago
    Example:

    1970 PA-39 TURBO TWIN COMANCHE • $90,000 • AVAILABLE FOR IMMEDIATE SALE • TT5932 LEng837TSMOH REng834TSMOH LProp302TSOH RProp284TSOH Q tip props G430 Every Speed Mod L Eng. recent new exhaust, new light weight starters both engines, LEng rebuilt turbo, New mags L Eng, Rebuilt Mags R Eng, All Tanks but one replaced, Left Tip New, Right Tip rebuilt, All new oil hoses, New Bungies, New fuel selector valves, oil cooler support brackets new both eng new landing gear harness and switches, fuel fill caps replaced and door seals replaced, engine and turbo scoop baffling replaced, turbo air box door seals replaced, added the gear down light kit, minor hail damage left stab. • Contact Oscar B. Peatross, Owner - located New Smyrna Beach, FL USA • Telephone: 386-279-1400 . • Posted August 30, 2014
  • Chuck Burgoon
    by Chuck Burgoon 3 years ago
    I flew my comparable Twin Comanche for 900 hours and sold it for the exact same amount I paid for it...just insured it and put gas in it.
  • Gregg Ludwig
    by Gregg Ludwig 3 years ago
    Hmm, a brand new high end trike or an old gas guzzler from 1970? That's an easy choice for me.
  • Gregg Ludwig
    by Gregg Ludwig 3 years ago
    I have seen this comparison many times, that is old airplane pricing compared to new trikes.
  • Chuck Burgoon
    by Chuck Burgoon 3 years ago
    Greg, I'm not saying it's “better” I'm only using it as an example for John on my comment on "utility". No doubt the TwinCo has more utility, but suffers in other areas important to us trike fliers...that was my point.

    He prefers less costly, slightly slower trikes for his money. I tend to have similar priorities, but can easily recognize the merits of a top-end trike.

    The central argument is what are you willing to pay to accomplish your mission?

    When it comes to trikes, the exponential cost for speed goes up more steeply than most other aircraft.

    There is no right or wrong answer…unless the question parameters are clearly defined. Such as “what is the fastest cheapest aircraft you can fly below 200 mph?”

    For that I’d say either a LongEze or Quickie Q200.

    There are a hundred similar questions, each with a different answer…like asking “what’s the best automobile?”

    If you ask what is the most economical light twin…almost everyone agrees it’s the Twin Comanche…that’s why I bought one.

    It burned less fuel than my Turbine single-place Mosquito, but was only a fraction of the fun. But you don’t buy a twin to have fun…you buy one to go somewhere day or night in almost any conditions.
  • Chuck Burgoon
    by Chuck Burgoon 3 years ago
    The turbine Mosquito is the most fun for the dollar for me so far...
  • Paul Hamilton
    by Paul Hamilton 3 years ago
    As far as cost…. How about a new Cessna 172 at $400,000 burning 7 GPH AVGas at $5.50/gal with $1500 annual verses a used E-LSA nice 912 $40,000 burning 3 GPH MoGas at $3.50/gal and do your own annual? No one ever compares new aircraft to old trikes.

    Just flew over the Tahoe keys where there is at least 1000 boats with a price of at least the cost of a high end new trike. The guy in the hanger next door restores vintage race cars and just sold one for almost $200,000. Just like a car/vehicle, plenty of people will take out a loan and spend way more than they need so they can have electric windows, built in GPS, new car smell etc. You want a 4WD $. You want to go fast quickly $. You want reliability $. You want air bags $. You want dual fuels/elec $.You want to save money, buy a used car, it just gets you to work.

    As I tell people with buying a trike, spend as much as you want/can/fell comfortable.

    You want a 19 meter wing and 503 engine, be limited to 10:00 am around here if you do not want to get thrown around in the bumps or get caught in high winds. This is great for many. Been there done that (well actually a 16 M wing). You buy a 100 HP 12.5 meter wing, you can fly all day, not be worried AS MUCH about when the winds comes up on the surface.
    We all have the freedom to choose prices/options just like boats, cars/vehicles, motor homes, snowmobiles, houses, vacations, etc…

    No doubt, I LOVE my high power small super easy to fly wing. After 33 years flying trikes, and now flying full time professionally, it was about time for me. Worth every penny.

    Again, does everyone need a high end trike. No but it sure is nice…
  • Chuck Burgoon
    by Chuck Burgoon 3 years ago
    "Forty years ago, the goal was 200 mph. Today, it’s 200 knots. Fast feels good. For those of us obsessed with clocking along at the velocity of a Lamborghini, speed is the kinesthetic equivalent of beauty." - Bill Cox
  • Chuck Burgoon
    by Chuck Burgoon 3 years ago
    Paul...a perfectly logical solution for your mission.
  • Chuck Burgoon
    by Chuck Burgoon 3 years ago
    Paul...it seems like a floater would also be useful for some of your students.
  • Chuck Burgoon
    by Chuck Burgoon 3 years ago
    Of course I mean big slow wing not WSC-Sea when I say "floater".
  • Chuck Burgoon
    by Chuck Burgoon 3 years ago
    That’s not to demean 200 mph (or if you’d rather, the less numerically significant 174 knots). Even today, you can count the number of single-engine airplanes capable of max cruise at 200 mph on one hand. Among production machines, there’s only one Piper, one Cessna, one Cirrus, one Beech and the inevitable Mooney.
  • Paul Hamilton
    by Paul Hamilton 3 years ago
    Do I need a Lamborghini, NO. Would I like/want one, YES. I do love speed but I like going low and slow also. All sports/things evolve, hopefully, and Trikes will hopefully evolve in the future to faster, slower, longer range, electric, etc... Handling/maneuverability is pretty darn good now for sure.
  • Paul Hamilton
    by Paul Hamilton 3 years ago
    Yes Chuck I have thought of a big wing. However, I have found it is much easier for the student to transition from a fast to a slow wing rather than a slow to a fast. I just trim mine for slow and it behaves similar to a larger/slower wing. I have found it is also easier for a students to transition from a super sensitive wing to a stiff wing. They simply have to more effort into it rather than over control.
  • Rizwan Bukhari
    by Rizwan Bukhari 3 years ago
    400000 dollar new plane vs 40,000 used 912 trike is not a fair comparison. How about a 15-17k used two seat Cessna 150 (you can find many on Barnstormers) vs 100,000 trike. New Trike prices are ridiculous, I would never pay that much. Of course now I am opening a can of ......... this topic has been discussed many times here, with the manufacturers claiming there is no market for new mid range priced trike (but why buy new at all?). If one is looking for a nice used 4 stroke, one can be had for around 25k at Barnstormers.
  • Paul Hamilton
    by Paul Hamilton 3 years ago
    Yes Rizwan that is exactly true and what Chuck said above???? Same unfair comparison apples to oranges.

    The point...... People tend to compare the prices of low end 40 year old airplanes to high end new trikes. This same comparison goes on old GA to modern new LSA airplanes. Same thing. Hopefully people can simply conclude this is not a fair comparison. So to provide an example, I did the opposite, compared a new airplane to a used nice trike (sure 25,000 to 40,000 or what ever you want). Again an unfair comparison which I hope most can logically conclude is not fair. 40 year old airplane to modern nice trike.

    We all know you will not finance or buy a new trike and we all appreciate your opinion and perspective but others have different opinions and priorities. Hopefully you can understand this.


    Why buy a new trike? Because you can and you want one.
    Why buy a new boat? Because you can and you want one.
    Why buy a new car? Because you can and you want one.
    Nothing like a new trike with no dings, no hidden damage, NEW ENGINE, your colors, etc...
    Many like that new trike smell.
  • Greg andrea
    by Greg andrea 3 years ago
    Well, here I go. I have been reading all of the post for several days now. I am new to the sport, Have logged about 12hrs of flight time with Rebel back in 2008. Do not own a trike yet, but when the time is right and of course the finances are available, a REVO is more than likely the way I will go. It is all in what you desire, people will pay 80-100K for a toy hauler to haul there expensive ATV's. Guys in Lake Havasu City pay 200K+ for their boats. It is all in what you want. In conclusion, there all kinds of expensive hobbies out there. If you can do it, then go for it....And as Paul said, " Many like that new Trike Smell"...:-}
  • Robert Sumner
    by Robert Sumner 3 years ago
    Pretty much all boils down to getting the most trike for the money you have available. If you can afford to drop $104k and want to then by all means. If you have $10k for an air toy then get the most $10k will get you. Aviation is expensive but it doesn't have to be. ELSA trike with a two stroke for $10k will be just as fun as a $104k trike. To me at least. It'll just get you to your destination much slower.... I kinda like the slower, stick trikes myself. I like feeling the air. But I don't like feeling mid day turbulance and have other things I can do in the afternoon. No big deal. I'm happy with my $10k trike that I can work on myself.
  • Glade Montgomery
    by Glade Montgomery 3 years ago
    I'll just say, I love my Revo. I was also very, very fond of my AC Buggy. My friends all fly trikes that are differently-placed on the spectrum of available trikes, as compared to my Revo (more like my former Buggy), and I totally, fully and absolutely respect them for what they fly. Really, they are having just as much fun as me. It's all great. We are all having wonderful fun, and I think with excellent safety as well. Regardless, it was practical for me, financially, to move into a Revo, and I really enjoy it. I don't think it's a comparison between how much fun or safety you enjoy. It's just that . . . I don't know . . . most of us are guys, and are inclined in such manner that, well . . . if it's practical to move into something that provides greater power and performance, it's sort of how most of us are inclined to move. Again, I really love my Revo. Maybe I should say I adore it -- but, then, the Mrs. might be a little jealous.
  • Chuck Burgoon
    by Chuck Burgoon 3 years ago
    I've mentioned this before, but not on this thread. I consider aircraft to be free. I know there are exceptions, but over my 40 years and at least 40 aircraft, they've been basically free...on average. I've gotten most or all of my money...sometimes more...on my aircraft. Therefore, in my mind it's more a matter of re-sale value and depreciation curve. It's just moved into another asset class and is not not "spent" until, and unless, you crash it. I buy with the re-sale in mind. My initial goal is to fly something for a year or two and sell it for about what I have in it. For many years (as a dealer), I never needed to do maintenance, and typically sold demo units before I ever changed the spark plugs. Nowadays I do some maintenance, as required but try to not keep stuff too long. I went through around 7 aircraft over the past 1-2 years and one or two a year before that. If I don't absolutely love it...I sell it. No emotional connection.
  • Chuck Burgoon
    by Chuck Burgoon 3 years ago
    What ever I'm flying...is always for sale. Want a Mosquito? Next up is a Helicycle...only way to get fly one is to buy one. Nothing wrong with mine...I just like flying different stuff all the time. I'll be looking for the perfect ride my whole life. The only downside is changing avatars is a hassle;-)
  • Ed Cooper
    by Ed Cooper 3 years ago
    Wow Chuck, your aircraft buying and selling experience sounds exceptional to me. I know you are speaking of many types of aircraft but the typical ad I see for a TRIKE is something like this... For Sale, exceptionally clean trike with low time on motor and wing, asking 12K, have 24K invested, bla,bla,bla. Of course, the more expensive the trike is new, the more one can expect to lose on the sale.
    Someone charging big bucks where there is good student demand may come out well with the high end trike but most average pilots will surely take a haircut :) Myself, I can be pretty happy with the bigger wing and smaller motor and choose to fly in fair weather. But if I had stupid money, I'd have a trike with a 12 meter wing AND a soaring trike in my hanger.
  • Chuck Burgoon
    by Chuck Burgoon 3 years ago
    Here’s the tip. Be obsessive. If you are hunting…check the sites every day, throughout the day. The good deals go the first day…some the first few hours. Be ready to make an immediate decision and travel anywhere to get it.

    It’s a numbers game…buying or selling. Look everywhere…go everywhere…talk to everybody. Example: I was at the airport picking up my Hughes 269 from maintenance. I saw a guy at the FBO and started chatting. I asked what are you flying? He said a Mosquito XET. I said want to trade? He looked out the window at mine and said OK. I said I have the forms and logbooks with me. We filled out the forms and it was done. All in less than 1 hour…start to finish.

    Have all the forms (and logs up-to-date), know how to fill them out (nobody else ever does), have cash. You may recall the photo I posted of $40,000 spread out on a wing for another purchase I made. Another guy had dibs on it was still checking on something or another, but I had cash on the spot and got it.

    I was trying to sell a plane just after 9/11. It was dead…nothing was selling. I decided to go to EVERY airport in Florida and south Georgia and post a flier on the bulletin boards. I sold it within two weeks (after going to every airport).

    Another story, I heard about a gorgeous candy-apple wine Jaguar XJS with a Chevy 350 conversion in LA my friend told me while we were at work in Chicago. I called the guy and he said no it’s sold the guy’s coming this weekend from Oregon this weekend to pick it up. I said I’d get on a plane within one hour and put the cash in his hand tonight. He resisted…but was no match for my persistence. I was off to the airport within the hour…flew to LA bought the car, drove straight home to Houston to surprise my wife (the Jaguar lover…and who buy the way…HATES surprises). I said I have a surprise... took her outside and she said “I don’t like that kind”. I got mad and threatened to sell it immediately…but then she got to liking it. It was a knock-out. She ended up loving it.

    Bottom line…the early bird gets the worm (but the second mouse gets the cheese) ;-)
  • Chuck Burgoon
    by Chuck Burgoon 3 years ago
    In a world full of wishy washy people…decisiveness make all the difference.
  • Chuck Burgoon
    by Chuck Burgoon 3 years ago
    I want to reiterate…my goal is to find the “perfect ride”…not make a profit. I’m perfectly content to break even on every deal…in fact…that’s my objective.
  • Ed Cooper
    by Ed Cooper 3 years ago
    :-) Do you think you could break even on the 100K trike after putting a few hours on her?
    I do get your point though. Hey, I wanted to meet you in person at Mentone but you were a no show.
  • Chuck Burgoon
    by Chuck Burgoon 3 years ago
    I think in a few years a guy might be able to get a break-even deal on a Revo. I might try to myself...but it's too early for me. The depreciation curve is yet to be determined. My neighbor recently bought a 914 MTO and has a couple hundred hours on it and has gotten offers for more than he paid new. So it just depends.
  • Chuck Burgoon
    by Chuck Burgoon 3 years ago
    I think it depends on how long a rich (impatient) guy would need to wait on a new one from Larry and fly the time off it. I can see a possible break-even if the right guy wanted it.
  • Tom Donovan
    by Tom Donovan 3 years ago
    If it gets you in the air it,s got to be good. Im still flying a home made trike with a 503. Cost 3000 euros.
    Happy landings people.
  • Gregg Ludwig
    by Gregg Ludwig 3 years ago
    Chuck- not sure what you mean about flying the time off of a new trike. Do new SLSA's require any flight testing or a specified amount of flight testing after manufacture?
  • Ed Cooper
    by Ed Cooper 3 years ago
    Man, Chuck is an optimistic feller. From the discounted trikes I see on Barnstormers, I'd say no way in hell could a guy ever break even with a new trike. I suppose I should never find a job selling anything.
  • Chuck Burgoon
    by Chuck Burgoon 3 years ago
    Greg, you're right my bad. I normally mess with EABs...never had a SLSA...yet ;-)
  • Chuck Burgoon
    by Chuck Burgoon 3 years ago
    On a EAB you need to go through a lot of hassle to get it ready to fly...The SLSA does not give you much advantage, unless there is a long wait time.
  • Chuck Burgoon
    by Chuck Burgoon 3 years ago
    Put in a WANTED ad and you might get a good call...it's free.
  • Chuck Burgoon
    by Chuck Burgoon 3 years ago
    Here's an ad I have:

    TRADE DEMO FLIGHTS • WANTED • Have Mosquito XET. For comparison purposes, if you have a Helicycle and want to trade demo flights. •
  • Chuck Burgoon
    by Chuck Burgoon 3 years ago
    Consider a two or three way partnership...cuts the cost way down. Most guys don't really fly that much anyway.
  • Abid Farooqui
    by Abid Farooqui 3 years ago
    I have been away from here for a bit, with some family issues.
    This subject about this new trike costs as much as a 50 year old something has been discussed before. People also tell me that in 1960's they were paying $20/hour for a flight lesson.
    What does that have to do with the price of coffee? There is no comparison.
    I know someone who bought a C172 for $50k last year and this year found out that he needs to change spars and do sheet metal work and two of his cylinders are about to be shot. Total estimate $45k for the annual or he doesn't fly it. The C172 was from late 1960's. That can happen also. You can buy a Bell heli also for $100k and then you go to change the blades with each costing $32k/blade.

    One doesn't want to spend $60k+ on a new high performance trike, good. We don't have to keep repeating it like a gospel lesson. That's a personal thing.

    I know about 75% of Apollo re-sales that have happened in the last few years and we know the Apollo's bought in 2006, 2007, 2008 that have sold again recently after 100's of hours and the price they garnered is the same price the original owners paid in 2006, 2007, 2008. I know a couple of second owners of some Apollo's then re-sold the trike last year or so and garnered the same price again as was originally paid. They key is they did not sell in one or two years. They sold after 5 years. In 5 years the new trike prices increased enough to let them get all their money back and basically fly for the price of maintenance and fuel (well unless of course they crashed it :)).
  • Chuck Burgoon
    by Chuck Burgoon 3 years ago
    As I mentioned, it's a matter of mission, purpose, utilization. If all you want to do is fly around the patch every Saturday morning then anything over $15,000 is a waste of money. But if you want to fly cross country, go over high mountain ranges, at night in IFR conditions then it's another story.

    It's usually best to buy somthing that matches the speed of your flying buddies...whatever it happens to be.
  • Abid Farooqui
    by Abid Farooqui 3 years ago
    I dunno Chuck. I have seen plenty of $15k trikes that knowing what I know now, I would not volunteer or even get paid to step in and fly.
    Also, its not just about flying around a patch which I guess could be defined as flying within a 50 mile radius. Its also about being able to fly at different times of day more comfortably.
    Flying in a bigger wing at noon in the summer with convection is going to be less comfortable than flying a smaller wing. There is safety in being able to be more in control and being more comfortable. The only place the bigger wing wins is short takeoff but when the smaller 12+ sq. m wings are taking off in 200 to 250 feet and stalling at 40 mph, I don't know what that fuzz would be about. If you cannot afford to get off the ground in 250 to 300 feet, you ought to be really thinking about if you should be taking off from there at all in almost anything.

    You know most of those guys who switch to gyroplanes fairly quickly after flying trikes that keep saying trikes are not good in wind etc. what do you think they were flying? The $15k, 17 meter wing, get your arse kicked at 10:30 am trikes. That's what. Better get to the gym if you are flying that and want to fly at 10:30 or past.

    I just flew 2400 miles with AG-1 gyroplane which is actually more stable in turbulence than even a MTO Sport to be very honest and I flew everywhere it flew in the DJ-II, I just flew 500 feet above him because I was not interested in flying at 300 to 500 AGL. 800 to 1000 AGL was ok by me. I am sure the gyroplane was definitely more comfortable in the turbulence but in terms of being able to fly in convection and shear, there was never a point where I could not go where it went. Part of it is the pilot but certainly part of it is the machine.
  • Rizwan Bukhari
    by Rizwan Bukhari 3 years ago
    As far what one should pay is a personal choice, if you can afford to pay 100k for a trike without affecting other plans in your life (your retirement, kids education etc) then that is great...go for it. If you are doing a second on your home while still paying mortgage (worse) but if not, even then might not be the best idea to get in debt for another 100k. It is one thing to have a debt of 15-20k and it is another to have a debt of over 100k for a toy. I am a banker, I see people and their finances everyday and it is not a pretty picture. My previous branch though very small, I still ended up doing debt consolidations over a million dollars in a quarter and that is while sharing space with total five bankers in the branch. Majority of people I meet are in unnecessary debt. All due to their own fault, using their credit cards with no control or other unnecessary loans. You don't want your name in that statistic.

    My other problem with expensive trikes is the replacement cost. Shit happens and if you wrecked a 60 - 100k trike and survived that accident, now you have a totaled trike (it's not a like a car with full coverage where you can get another one) would you have the stomach to drop another 100k on another trike. Also it would be very bad if you took a home equity or other loan out that you are still paying on (but since you totaled the trike) that loan doesn't go away.

    That among many other is the reason I am not in favor of buying new or expensive trikes or any other toys, too much money is at risk and that you couldn't replace that trike if you totaled it. Stay within your means. For a majority of us this is a hobby and it shouldn't become a financial burden. It should stay fun. There is nothing wrong with being a patch flyer as long as you are having fun. I am pretty sure majority of the trike flyers don't fly 800 mile cross country trips but even if you do, you can still buy a great 912 trike (used) for 25k or so.

    Trikes are great machines and without investing tons of money you can customize them buy a smaller wing (buy two one small and one big) if you like experiencing different kinds of wings. Whatever you do, try not to get in unnecessary debt that you don't need.

    One of our trike pilot friend Damien Beresford flies a Northwing Navajo with a single surface wing, having the time of his life, sharing the gift of flight with people. We have seen his videos. He doesn't have an expensive trike but he seems to be having so much fun, so can you!
  • Ted Hunting
    by Ted Hunting 3 years ago
    very interesting thread. I know I am very excited to be getting my DJ-II. For a high end trike seems to be a very good value and the safety/usability comments make me more convinced this will be a great buy for the conditions in San Fran/Tahoe areas. But all good choices for each of us given our budgets.. the car analogy hits the mark (and love those Lambos too but too much $ for my garage - especially with my daughter in college!).
  • Abid Farooqui
    by Abid Farooqui 3 years ago
    Riz: You point is well taken but you know even having debt on a house is not the greatest idea so even the mortgage idea has to be re-considered if your take that thinking to its logical conclusion. Its a bet that the house is going to increase in value. Well from 2007 to 2014, that bet has been going the other way. In fact if you had bought a Delta Jet in early 2007, decked out and sold it today, I guarantee you you had better chances of doing better than in many states' house market including my own state of Florida. So what do you think about that? That's a pure numbers fact not a hypothetical philosophical point. Now if you sold that Delta Jet one year after buying it or even two years after buying it, you'd loose money for sure. If you want to play this as a business/investment numbers game then you have to be smart and look at the trend and sell it at the right time just like in any other investment.
    The point is that is not why we buy aircraft. That is the point. That is a side step, good to know, cool I got the money back out, kind of a thing.
    Regarding buying a 10 year old 912 trike like a XT912 or a Pegasus Quantum with Q2 wing etc., Yes you can get them with a 80 HP engine for around 30k but what do you think has happened to the sail, the wing in 10 years? You don't know. Many of the UL era machines, you have no logs nor the logs were checked by an A&P at annual and items listed because his license is on the line and he isn't going to lie for you in the aircraft logbook. Whereas the owner who did the log in 2004 doing his own annual didn't even check for Rotax ASBs nor is he likely to be honest about that one time, he flipped his trike on the runway and then changed the leading edge while the mast is twisted. You understand what I am saying here. There is a ton of that going on out there so one has to be careful.

    Also, there is a night and day difference between flying a Quantum Sport 912 Q2 and a new current design. Flying them is not the same. There is a difference and its mostly in performance envelope and speed range and handling and comfort in turbulence. Things have moved forward. In 2005 when I started seriously getting into design/assembly of trikes, the state of the art for 912 trikes was 60 MPH cruise like Pegasus Q2 (Pegasus had already gone to Quik but pulled from the US market) on a Quantum Super Sport or Cosmos Phase-III or AeroTrike Cobra with their latest wing and Airborne's XT-912 and Air Creation XP-15 and later IXcess wing. Trust me when I say, those don't compare too favorably to what is there today. I have flown all of those.

    I was flying with an old well known trike brand powered by a 912 80 HP, similar to what you are suggesting, just a few weeks back. Its 75 mph was more like my 62 mph. So the guy may be happy thinking he is going 75 but ahhh not really. The point being there is a difference. At Oshkosh the clipped wing Challenger was supposedly going 70 mph also but yet somehow I was always on his behind trying to slow down with bar pushed out all the way having to go around in that stupid pattern that is Oshkosh UL area.

    I hope you are getting my point here. Yesterday's performance and handling and today's are different. I get your point about managing debt one carries.
  • Rizwan Bukhari
    by Rizwan Bukhari 3 years ago
    Abid, I understand your point , but you can't compare investing in a house vs investing in a toy (a toy that can't be fully insured). My original Airborne trike was listed for about 16k with trailer, I brought him down to 11k. I sold the same Airborne trike for 13k (but kept my trailer and the BRS) so I still have my 3k trailer with me. With the proceeds I added another 3000 on top I got a 4 stroke trike with an engine with only 72 hours on it. The wing it came with was a 10 hour strutted Northwing 19 meter wing, I sold that wing for 4000 dollars and bought a brand new wing for 4500 so total upgrade cost to a 4 stroke cost me only 3500. I have the same trike as Damien. But you are comparing a shelter with a toy. By the same logic the house I was in Brooklyn in New York in 1997 that sold for 200k back then, even after the market crash and some recovery, you can still not buy that house for less than 600k now (so the trike might appreciate but your gain will be in thousands not four hundred thousand) But once again investing in a house vs toy....my money goes to the house because with all the market crashes you will end up making more on a house, but that is still not my motivation. In my personal case I want to pay this off my house under 10 years, concentrate on building retirement and save for my son's college and when I go this house belongs to my son.

    Without naming names, one of my buddies bought an Air Creation with 912 for around 20k and he loves it...the aircraft is in great condition. To me and even to him and many other pilots 62 vs 75 speed doesn't really make a difference. If you can have the same fun but pay 80k less for it.

    Now if I was loaded with money, maybe I would invest 60-100k for a trike but like most average people my struggles are the same, my son's college, a secure and debtless future for my wife and I, travelling, possibly another toy (a gyrocopter).

    But like I mentioned before getting in 60- 100k debt for toy that can't be fully insured and in a accident where you totaled it and can't replace it, well I don't speak for everyone but I feel most people wouldn't have a stomach for that. People like Paul or other Instructors, maybe they can justify the cost and risk of investing in an uninsurable aircraft. An average Joe might not.
  • Paul Hamilton
    by Paul Hamilton 3 years ago
    Anybody please start at the beginning of the thread
    fully understand the concept. END
  • Abid Farooqui
    by Abid Farooqui 3 years ago
    What do you mean:
    "a toy that can't be fully insured"

    Call EAA insurance and talk to them and say you want to fully insure (hull, moving and non moving) Apollo trike and get yourself a quote. You have to pay based on your ratings and experience but you can fully insure it. So you have the wrong info on that. Not many people do it though. I wouldn't fully insure my trike.

    I know I am not going to have that kind of accident. I don't fly like that. I don't go into boondocks strips. I put the odds for me not against me. I may insure it for 40% of the value in case a landing flip-over etc. happens and I have replace the wing, a mast may be but I am not totaling the trike. I would rather train more and take careful baby steps and not bend metal. Bending metal is expensive. Instruction is cheap. I have refused some clients, some students because I could tell these guys do not belong in aviation. They are an accident looking for a machine or place to happen. When its very apparent to me that they indeed are accidents waiting to happen, I do tell them that they need to rethink their choice of coming into aviation. Sometimes its hard to spot them though. They slip in.

    But seriously look at Apollo trikes accidents in the US? One guy slipped in. He totaled two trikes, one of takeoff and one on landing but unhurt, but you won't find a whole lot more there than that. That isn't an accident. That's careful customer selection, guidance and service in training or long lectures, even hard ones for hours on end on the phone to guide customers even for their own good and asking them to take more training. Usually they listen and later thank us.

    House in NYC may be better but you are starting from 1997. How about its price in 2006 to now?? Anyway trust me there is no guarantee of a house not loosing value Riz. Americans lost a lot of their net worth on a personal basis based on that assumption. Large swaths of houses in many states went down. I know of some friends' houses in up state NY that went down the tube from 2007 on wards.

    Regardless, trikes are not a bank loan item. They are not the type of things where you run some kind of business numbers and try and put on a suit to write a business plan and justify it. These are passion buys just like sports cars, race boats, jet skis, off road vehicles etc. You take care of the boring junk somewhere else in the office.

    Yes these trikes are for the wealthy. No doubt about it. Many trike owners have always been richer than many of their airplane owner counterparts. Trike owners have always paid upfront with no financing whereas airplane owners have been financing paying monthly payments. There was a time that one guy told me he paid $48k for a Cosmos Phase-III 912ULS with many options in 2003. I thought he was crazy but he was just living life. He worked his arse off and this was his passion. There are these hard working people who buy race cars, sports car, catamarans etc. That is not unnecessary ... its called you have one life to live ... Live it if you can.
  • Gregg Ludwig
    by Gregg Ludwig 3 years ago
    Many airports require that the aircraft based their be insured. My trike is fully insured as required by the airport I am based at.
  • Jake McGuire
    by Jake McGuire 3 years ago
    Do you have liability or hull loss insurance? When I checked it was fairly easy to get liability insurance but difficult to impossible to get hull loss coverage, which explains why it's also very hard to rent trikes.

    And also why they aren't a good choice for financing in my opinion - it's too easy to destroy them and end up owing $50k on a pile of wreckage.

    But to each their own, I suppose.
  • Abid Farooqui
    by Abid Farooqui 3 years ago
    Only select companies and brands have hull insurance I think.
    Hull insurance is not the reason why they are not rented. Its solo non-listed pilot commercial insurance or lack thereof that they can't be rented. They want named pilots on the policy.
  • Todd Halver
    by Todd Halver 3 years ago
    Falcon Insurance (EAA Partner) offers liability up to $500K and hull coverage up to full amount of cost of trike. They also offer Sport Pilot CFI coverage for trike training with same coverage limits but it does not cover student solo flight. I have a second named CFI on my instructor policy for when he completes proficiency checks for my students in my aircraft. No additional cost to add second named CFI in my situation.
  • Rizwan Bukhari
    by Rizwan Bukhari 3 years ago
    Abid, let me correct my numbers here in 2007 the house was at the lowest at 616k and now it is 735k so the house has appreciated greatly (even more than what I thought was it's worth). So from 1997 to 2014 the price moved from 200k to 735k (535k increase). Houses in the long run appreciate. Please don't make comparisons between a shelter and a toy because there is none. They are not parallel in anyway.

    Gregg Ludwig what Insurance company do you use, can you provide some information on the insurance. Are you fully covered, even if it is your fault. What does the insurance cover? Does it fully cover your trike in any accident? Can you give us more information? Because I heard that it is more like a liability coverage but if it is full then I along with many other will appreciate details.

    Accidents can happen to anyone, in fact most recent accidents were of the high end trikes. Some survived and some died (most of them were experienced pilots too) so a bad day can happen any time and if you survived and lived, would you have another 100k to buy another trike...probably no....and if you are still paying on a wrecked trike then it is even more horrible.

    The example you gave of a person buying a trike 48k cash is an excellent example. In my opinion that is how it should be done or if you are going to take another loan out then perhaps take a 15-20k and find something in the range where you can tolerate the risk. I gave you example of Damien and My friend who got a trike for 20k a four stroke 912 trike and both of these guys seem to be having as much fun, as someone with 100k plus trike.

    It is called you have one life to live and if you are not crushed under the burden of debt you can enjoy it even more :p
  • Abid Farooqui
    by Abid Farooqui 3 years ago
    Riz: let's just stick with 2007 to 2014.

    So your house appreciated a grand total of 18% in 8 years or about 2.3% per year. Given the property taxes and insurance in NYC, fixing that goes with a house that is old basically it amounted to you probably made no money at all. You essentially got to live there by paying mortgage of thousands of dollars per month.
    So really in these last 7 years you may as well have rented even in NYC because it did not turn out to be a good investment at all.

    People who bought airplanes in 1980's have similar appreciation of 2 to 3 percent if they kept it up like a house and sell today. But the case in point is compared to even buying a house in NYC buying a plane or new trike during the last 8 years has not been such a bad investment. You have to hold on to the trike for 5 years before you go to sell it. The trike better have Rotax 912 (preferably 912ULS) in it or you will loose money. The older the design even with 912 power in it, the more likely you will loose money. Designs from the late 1990's or early 2000's will not get you the money back. They have become outdated. Example, Pegasus Quantum Super Sport. Cosmos Phase-III. These designs are more than a decade old and they may get you close to what you paid but they will definitely be less than a P&M QuikR, Apollo Delta Jet or an early Revo that is 5 years old right now.

    For instance, I can only speak for what I know for sure that Apollo trikes have sold many times at the same price people paid in 2007. Paul Hamilton's partner bought an Apollo Delta Jet in 2012 which the original owner got in 2006. The original owner made $1500 on it because I know what he paid as I sold it to him. I hope Paul doesn't mind me giving this concrete real data point.
  • Glade Montgomery
    by Glade Montgomery 3 years ago
    I expect, if a day comes when I choose to sell my Revo, I will likely suffer a considerable loss -- if measuring the difference between acquisition cost and the re-sale amount. I expected this when I made the purchase, and duly factored it into my decision. I factored in other things too. There was expected depreciation, plus the opportunity cost of the near $100K involved (if not expended on the Revo, it would have been available for other purposes). I considered the risk of potentially needing to expend more, if needed because of an accident causing need for repair. I considered the risk of totaling it, and thereby suddenly making myself poorer by full the amount involved. All factors were relevant, and in the end I concluded that the highest-valued use for the money involved (which I indeed had readily available), for me, was to invest it in a Revo.

    You'll notice I did use the word "invest," though obviously I do not mean it in the typical financial sense (i.e., where we put money into something, with an expectation of getting more money back out). Rather, I invested in the sense that I put money in with the expectation of getting greater "value" back, by way of personal enjoyment and fulfillment.

    I agree with Riz. I think persons who manage their financial lives wisely (and who are, in the long run, much more likely to end up ahead) will generally avoid going into debt for matters as relatively frivolous as owning a trike. I also think it's very true that, though there may be particular instances where you may buy a new trike and sell it later for as much or more than you paid for it, it's a pretty lucky circumstance, and should not be the expectation. Contrariwise, it is a justifiably reasonable expectation, when buying a house, that over some reasonable period of time it will very probably be possible to re-sell it for more than you paid. In the housing market, depreciation is the exception rather than rule. In the trike market, by contrast, it is the rule against which some exceptions may sometimes apply.

    Regardless, Paul's query is whether everyone needs a high-end trike. The obvious answer is no. Depending on your definition of the word "need," it could be argued that none of us "needs" one. For such reason, I'd propose that a better statement of the question may be: "Is it the best choice, for all trikers, to go with a high-end trike?"

    To that re-statement of the question, I would emphatically answer no (an answer that I should think is obvious). It fundamentally depends on what you want to do, and what is your budget.

    Paul has explained the reasons a high-end trike made sense for him. For me, I wanted to go places; I wanted to cope well with turbulence; I wanted comfort, so and etc. I wanted all in a greater degree than cheaper trikes would afford; I had the funds, and I decided the highest-valued use of those funds, for me, was to "invest" in a Revo.

    Many, many others either have less need/desire the particular high-end attributes than do me or Paul, and/or may have budgets that are less accommodating. For such others, it is most obvious that a high-end trike is not the best, smart or wise choice. One of the things I think is really awesome about this sport is that it is so accessible. You can have a very, very limited budget and still find yourself easily able to soar. That is awesome.

    I wonder if sometimes those who are enthralled in the joys of flying with "more reasonable" trikes may perhaps encounter exhaltations about features, by those flying the Lanborghinis, and feel we are implying that more reasonable trikes are so passe as to be unworthy of bothering with (and those flying them might just as well stay on the ground). It's a sense I get when sometimes people complain about the high-enders. I wish to emphatically state: no such implication is intended. Your aircraft are as worthy and grand and wonderful -- in conveying the thrill of flight and all that goes with it -- as are ours. And, no, you don't "need" a high-ender for that fundamental joy, thrill and fulfillment. Pick any trike that provides the optimum fit between funds that are easily discretionary and the kind of flying you really want to do, then go and have a grand time.

    To put my answer to Paul's query another way: There is a very and totally-proper place in this sport for pilots flying machines that stretch along the entire gamut, from the most humble Part-103 egg crate to a gold-plated, titanium-framed SuperX (if there was such a thing). If it gets you into the air, and with reasonable safety, it is a very grand craft.
  • Chuck Burgoon
    by Chuck Burgoon 3 years ago
    Abid said "Also, its not just about flying around a patch which I guess could be defined as flying within a 50 mile radius. Its also about being able to fly at different times of day more comfortably. Flying in a bigger wing at noon in the summer with convection is going to be less comfortable than flying a smaller wing. "

    As mentioned...my comments only applied to the those who strictly fly in the morning/evening and never go more that 20 miles from their home strip. Many trikes are only good for this purpose...that was my point...and I think you agree. If you have a more expansive mission, then your aircraft needs to fit your desired mission. That's what I have been saying. The problem is, most new guys don't know what they actually need.
  • Rizwan Bukhari
    by Rizwan Bukhari 3 years ago
    Abid, lets not compare a house with a toy. There is no comparison. I rented that house but had to move out when the owner had to sell it. That house was built in 1910 and it appreciated from 200k in 1997 to 735k in 2014 (even with depression, in fact in this house's case it has seen all major depressions). I don't know if there is any 104 years old trikes out there. LOL. but by your own logic an older trike with 912 won't appreciate as much, so basically what you are saying is that the newer the trike and newer technology that goes in it has better chance of appreciating vs an older trike with 912 . Well I got a news for you, technology changes very fast and the money invested in any technology of today wouldn't give you any long term return like a house does. But you know what appreciates? a 104 years old house that doesn't have any technology in it. So please stop comparing houses with trikes. A house in the long run is a sound investment when compared with trikes. I can't buy four trikes today and leave them for my son when I go. Your argument holds no water.

    As for some of you suggesting that you get what you pay for and you need to invest all that money in 60-100k trikes. You can still accomplish the very same things that you would with expensive trikes if you are smart about it. For example my friends David and Kim flew all the way from California to La Grande, OR to Idaho and then back. David I think did the same journey twice on his old Air Creation trike with 80hp 912 engine comfortably and he bought his trike used as well.

    For most average Joes the message is very simple, do not bite off more than what you can chew. Glade, said something very sensible here that he calculated all the costs, repair etc before he purchased his trike and since he could afford it he went ahead with it. Romancing with the idea of something that you can't afford is great but putting yourself in massive debts to accomplish that is not the best route to go. That's all I am saying.

    This is my final two cents on this topic.
  • Gregg Ludwig
    by Gregg Ludwig 3 years ago
    For Glade all I can say or ask is "huh?"
  • Abid Farooqui
    by Abid Farooqui 3 years ago
    Well guys and gals: Good discussion.

    Riz: I wasn't the one starting illogical comparisons. Those were started when people started talking 50 year old spam cans to new LSA's. Apples and Oranges. I have trying to say that is not why people buy trikes. A better comparison for a high end trike would be a high end car. Many SUVs today cost $55k+ and are being driven by only the driver 75% of the time.

    I would tell you for a fact that many people were better off having bought a trike in 2006-2007 than a house in 2006-2007. The housing market crashed big time and its still in the dumps. You are not going to be able to convince me otherwise. You are trying to back another 10 years to make the argument but I am going to restrict you to the years I presented. Average house ownership in the US is around 6 years in normal market conditions before the crash and around 9 years after because people are stuck due to being upside down.
    http://www.creditsesame.com/blog/how-long-are-americans-staying-in-their-homes/

    So average people don't stay in the house from 1997 to 2014.

    Of course if you can't afford it, don't do it. That should go without saying. I stated clearly that the new trikes are for the reasonably wealthy. What I absolutely don't buy is this garbage that the 13 year old Air Creation Clipper 912 with XP-15 or a Pegasus Quantum compares to today's designs. I am sorry I know too much about trikes to buy that argument.
  • Chuck Burgoon
    by Chuck Burgoon 3 years ago
    Abid said "Those were started when people started talking 50 year old spam cans to new LSA's."

    I hoped and have tried repeated on this thread to explain that I was not comparing aircraft...I was comparing UTILITY and MISSION. Yes...you can compare these wide ranging priorities, without getting snarky about it. I certainly hope this is clear. The perfect aircraft is the one that does what you want/need it to do...at the present time...it's that simple. And as a person's priorities change so too does their "ideal aircraft".

    I'm answering Paul's thread title "Does everyone need an expensive, high power, fast trike?" with NO...they don't. But there is nothing wrong with having one.

    A discussion about missions, purposes, objectives, priorities are completely relevant. It should be a major determining factor for what you buy and fly. One size does not fit all...in anything in this world.
  • Abid Farooqui
    by Abid Farooqui 3 years ago
    I gotcha Chuck. Paul's post and question was restricted to trikes only however. It was assumed it seemed to me in the post that you have determined trike to be the category of aircraft to fly. You are not going to be looking at trikes wanting to do 180 mph (well actually someone just recently did ask this on this forum but generally this isn't an issue).
    I generally tell people at airshows that in the 20's they can get into decent airworthy used trikes. Most people starting out in recreational flying don't know anything about their mission. Their mission is determined over the first year of flying. You know that. Some get advised like I was by my instructor to fly slow, big wing trikes and many then quit within a year or two like I almost did because we don't want to get kicked around like a rag doll at 10:30. Thankfully I went to airplanes briefly after first year and came back.
  • Chuck Burgoon
    by Chuck Burgoon 3 years ago
    Abid, and that is a good point. I can't count how many people were turned off by how little they enjoyed flying trikes in anything other than perfect conditions. So many just gave up on trikes without having a chance to compare a more suitable, versatile trike/wing combo.

    Like Paul said, it's probably a good idea to give them an early taste of what a top-of-the-line trike can do. It may give them something to look forward to rather than give up on trikes.

    A vast majority of people who I've flown trikes with over the past 35 years have all quit or are flying somthing other than trikes. Most never had a chance to fly a great one...and could have stayed in the segment.
  • Chuck Burgoon
    by Chuck Burgoon 3 years ago
    As far as the mission thing, when somebody says they want to start flying, the first them I ask them is what do they dream of doing when they fly. Some say, I want to take my buddies and go flying around the country...and then others say the complete opposite. I try to help them realize their own dream...whatever it is...and not modify it. We know it will evolve as their expectations conflict with various limitations...but I still think they should strive to get as close to their dream as they can...and I enjoy helping them.
  • Abid Farooqui
    by Abid Farooqui 3 years ago
    Hi Chuck:
    That's right. I know of many who switched from trikes because they were limiting but what they don't understand is that its their trike that's limiting. I know there are people here and in triking in general who still believe that if you are a beginner you need to stick with at least a 14.5 sq meter wing or even a single surface wing.
    Nothing could be further from the truth. A properly sorted trike with a smaller wing for most people who fly from air parks and runways is more safe because it handles better, is more stable and lighter, more precise handling in any windy conditions. That's not just what I conclude, that's what Bill Brooks, Roger Patrick, DTA guys also conclude. Profi TL from Aeros we used for a while was a great glider giving a solid 12:1 glide ratio but it handled heavy and overall I'd rate it as a 6. Similar to other wings in that span and size made by reputable companies.

    I roll my eyes when I see in 2014 people asking here that their instructor told them to get this big slow wing etc. etc. Really?

    I agree on the guiding their mission. Although more often they change it
  • Chuck Burgoon
    by Chuck Burgoon 3 years ago
    Yes, they (we) always seem to change their (our) dreams...but I've found that by starting there...they seem to keep their interest alive. Most people’s expectations are very unrealistic. Like the guys who say they want to fly it to work every day and land in the field out back.

    The other thing is how everybody insists on a two-place. But once you get a two-place you fly in alone 95% of the time. The novelty for family and friends wears off quickly, and you’re left to fly solo a vast majority of the time. There is a thread on this now on another forum. The new pilot is sorting this issue out.

    I always recommend guys get hooked up with the local clubs and fly what they fly (at least the same speed range). In the end…it’s more of a social thing than they ever would have expected.

    For example, many PPC clubs are very active and arguably are the most fun bunch to fly, camp, and party with. So if you want to join in the fun, you either have a big slow wing (like I do) to allow you to fly with them, or get a PPC…which is what my wife wants me to do. I just live in the wrong part of the state to get any utility out of a PPC…but she likes them better than trikes, gyros, helicopters and airplanes. If I lived somewhere else I’d buy one just to allow here to be a full participant in the local PPC clubs. Plus it’s the only aircraft she said that she would every consider flying herself. Maybe someday when I move away from the coast.
  • Chuck Burgoon
    by Chuck Burgoon 3 years ago
    Here's the thread I mentioned: "Do you like flying alone?"

    Tradford recently obtained his Private rating. Even though it's a different aircraft category the thought process is the same:

    http://helicopterforum.verticalreference.com/topic/18277-do-you-like-flying-alone/
  • Chuck Burgoon
    by Chuck Burgoon 3 years ago
    “You mean to tell me that’s a single-owner Cub?” – Lane Wallace asking about Conrad Tona’s Piper Cub he bought new in 1946 and still flying it. His longest trip…La to Phoenix.
  • John Olson
    by John Olson 3 years ago
    Chuck, I mean, was it all beat to tarnation, or WHAT?
  • Chuck Burgoon
    by Chuck Burgoon 3 years ago
    Still in tip-top shape and flown regularly. I posted it as a great example of a pilot's "dream" and "mission". Everyone's are different.
  • John Olson
    by John Olson 3 years ago
    Oh. Now that comes as some relief.
  • Leo Iezzi
    by Leo Iezzi 3 years ago
    Paul,
    I will address your original post since clearly the discussion has wondered off topic a bit.
    In the beginning of my searching I asked myself that very same question Paul. In fact, I pursued several different options, including the possibility of assembling my own with a BMW1150 power plant.
    But it wasn't the speed I was after, it was the simplicity of 4 strokes that attracted me to it. No mix fuel, no jetting issues vs altitudes, long engine overhaul intervals, those sorts of things.
    In the end, fully ready-to-fly 4 stroke machines were out of my budget range, and as for building my own, well, your advice to me was don't do it.
    As it turns out, I listened to your advice and decided on an Air Creations 582sl buggy. My wife and I purchased it from Chris Wills, and I gotta tell ya, I wouldn't trade the experience for the world.
    It's absolutely perfect for us, and although I have not flown it since we purchased it 4 months ago, I will begin my training here within the next month.
    My wife and I sold our Toy hauler, and our dirt bikes to fund it, and for a Trike in the 17K range, with all the bells and whistles and honestly we couldn't be happier with her. Proof positive that to get into weight shift flying, there's no need to break the bank.
  • Paul Hamilton
    by Paul Hamilton 3 years ago
    Leo roger that. It is all relative. I flew that little 503 to 17,000 MSL (solo), 1500 miles for the "Trike Odyssey Film", cross country etc, 250 LB students to 10,000 MSL over Tahoe, yea baby. Saver the moment.
  • Leo Iezzi
    by Leo Iezzi 3 years ago
    That's what I'm talking about ;) If anything, I think one of the features I like the most regarding the Revo, Apollo,QuikR or Tanarg, is the amount of room for both the pilot and passenger. That, more than anything would be my reason for upgrading in the future. :) I can't wait to fly ours!
  • Paul Hamilton
    by Paul Hamilton 3 years ago
    Leo, there is much more than the seating which is very important. Handling, support/parts and overall practicality.
  • Leo Iezzi
    by Leo Iezzi 3 years ago
    I completely agree Paul, but I think it goes unsaid, that the larger trikes, specifically the ones utilizing the 912 Rotax power plant, all encompass those features you pointed out.
    Interestingly enough, during my searching I ran into Trikes that had the HSK power plant. It wasn't more than a month later I read HSK went out of business. : /
    Rotax is a solid company. Parts, support, all widely available through out the world. You just can't go wrong with that. But clearly having access to fuselage/wing parts and service are just as important, and when that day comes, I'll be looking at all of those points.
    For now, I'm just really happy with the Trike we purchased and want to get as much experience with her as I can.
  • Rizwan Bukhari
    by Rizwan Bukhari 3 years ago
    Leo, the last I heard, HKS is still producing the 700e engine but they are not making the 700t 80 horse turbo anymore. Which is a shame because HKS is a great quality engine and if there was any company that had a realistic chance of competing with Rotax, that would have been HKS. I fly an HKS 700e and love it. Mine is not even 100 hours yet. I think I read this on Trike Pilot once that an average trike pilot flies about 50 hours a year. If that is true I have 20 years before my first overhaul is due. In my repairman course I met someone who had logged near 500 plus hours on their Rotax 503 without any overhaul and the secret was taking real good care of the engine. I hope I can do that with my engine and might squeeze another 20 years out of it :) You made a wise choice by buying a trike that you can afford. More expensive doesn't necessarily equate to more fun. Blue skies
  • Leo Iezzi
    by Leo Iezzi 3 years ago
    Hey Riz!
    Yes, you stated it more accurately. And you're right, the 80HP version seemed to be the one most folks liked and also the one they no longer manufacture.
    The trike we bought fits us perfectly, honestly I just stopped worrying about bigger better, did my homework and went with a Trike and wing that has a great reputation by all whom flown them and fit our budget. (There's a pic of her on my page) :)
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