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Thread: Complete Kit or buy as you go

  1. #1

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    Complete Kit or buy as you go

    I posted in the member projects but realized that its not quite a project yet.

    I have been lurking for awhile now....and I have gone back and forth between buying a factory cub or building. I am definitely leaning more toward the building because I like the fact of having an experimental and when finish it will be what I want and off the showroom floor.


    So.....now for the big question........

    After all the research, I would be going with the Javron Kit, that was the plan until the BOSS decided that we need a pool and a boat dock.....there went the money!!! Now my kit will be a more buy as I build, which brings me to my question.......I really want to get started and hate to sit idle for the next year or so waiting for the money tree to start dropping bills. Is it possible or even slightly recommended to start with a fuselage and buy the parts as needed from multiple sources? I defiantly want to stick with the Javron wings so I would need a fuselage that would work with their parts. So basically I would not be buying a kit and instead compiling my own kit and buying as needed.

    The plane will be built at home here in Ft. Worth Texas and then eventually moved up to Alaska for the summers. Most of my flying will be up there and wheels with the possibility of future straight floats.

    Almost forgot to mention....I have ZERO welding skills so the scratch build is out.

  2. #2
    aeroaddict's Avatar
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    Ok, I'll answer this one in the experimental forum. There are way more experienced people on SuperCub than I, and they are very generous and offer outstanding knowledge/advice.

    For me, I always wanted to build a plane. Started with a RV-7 then realized I would just go higher and faster. I live in Idaho, so that didn't really fit my mission. I also didn't want to spend years building it (yes, one can learn to weld and there is merit in that). So I built a kit type cub.

    As you most likely know, you can typically buy kits in stages (fuse, wings, firewall forward,...).

    So I guess one of your deciding factors might be; how soon do you want to fly? Being retired, it still took 3 years, covering/painting took forever.
    Last edited by aeroaddict; 07-22-2020 at 06:03 PM.
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  3. #3

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    If I were going to do it, I would get the complete Javron kit. If there is an option to buy covering supplies and an engine, you could put them off until ready.

    My reasoning: 1- even successful folks like Javron have been known to cease production when the fun drains out of production, and 2 - buying parts off the Bay would probably wind up being much more expensive. Shipping is no longer a trivial part.

    If the money tree is bare, and you are sure it will bloom next year, get a loan.

    all just opinion - only airplanes I have built were certificated.
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  4. #4

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    I am defiantly looking into the loan idea. Wife wants me to just buy a factory Cub and start flying right away. Im kinda in the same boat, yet the satisfaction of building and having a new plane in the end seems very rewarding.......I am going to look at a cub this week when I get off of my trip. If that doesn't work out then im going to look into the loan ideas to get the kit going.

    As far as time goes.....that is somewhat the scary part......My wife and I are both pilots and far from retirement, unfortunately . I have stretches of day off...usually 2 weeks on 2 weeks off, so during the work time it would be a perfect time to order parts and have them ready when i got back home.

    I really appreciate all of the thought and ideas y'all are offering....a lot the think about
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  5. #5

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    Cheaper to just buy a Cub, if that is a consideration - plus, you never lose your initial investment. And flying is almost as much fun as building.
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  6. #6
    aktango58's Avatar
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    Last kit built cub I heard about was north of $150k when it got done, not including the tools, electrical and shop space.

    Not saying don't do it, but it is not a less expensive options.
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!
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  7. #7
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aktango58 View Post
    Last kit built cub I heard about was north of $150k when it got done, not including the tools, electrical and shop space.

    Not saying don't do it, but it is not a less expensive options.
    That depends on how good a scrounger you are and whether or not you try. My kit was total out of pocket on floats $70k.
    N1PA

  8. #8
    brown bear's Avatar
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    If you must build and not buy a flying plane then " eat beans , get a 2nd job and sell things " and spend the money to buy the most complete kit out there .
    This from a guy that built from plans
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  9. #9
    aktango58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skywagon8a View Post
    That depends on how good a scrounger you are and whether or not you try. My kit was total out of pocket on floats $70k.
    Excellent point. When I hear 'kit', I think buying new parts and assembling.

    Scrounging to me is not a kit build. And yes, lots of used parts around one can get cheap, and repair to use.
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!
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  10. #10
    40m's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skywagon8a View Post
    That depends on how good a scrounger you are and whether or not you try. My kit was total out of pocket on floats $70k.
    From my vantage pilot there are few that possess your knowledge and resources, I suspect if you really tried you might have cut that number in half. Me on the other hand 200K taking up Judys garage for 20 years.
    Buy and fly.

    From Genesis: "And God promised men that good and obedient wives would be
    found in all corners of the earth."

    Then he made the earth round... and He laughed and laughed and laughed!
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  11. #11

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    If you want to expand your knowledge base about fit, finish, and performance and find yourself in the ChicagoLand area come see my recently completed PA12. The builder would be happy to take you for a ride and talk to you about the process.

    If nothing else it will give you some prospective that could prove useful in deciding whether and what to build.

  12. #12
    aeroaddict's Avatar
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    Another advantage of building your own plane is that you are also (or can be with little effort) the A&P. I knew about this when building and planned on applying for my license but didn't fully realize the advantage of this, it is huge. No time wasted waiting, I can do mods by myself, much cheaper, etc. I don't even think it is one of the advantages advertised by the kit makers.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tailpilot View Post
    I am defiantly looking into the loan idea. Wife wants me to just buy a factory Cub and start flying right away. Im kinda in the same boat, yet the satisfaction of building and having a new plane in the end seems very rewarding...

    I really appreciate all of the thought and ideas y'all are offering....a lot the think about
    An option you might not have considered. You have a strong income and time available.

    Buy a Cub, be it a Piper, Carbon or an EX, fly it and use it to determine what you really want, basically use it to either form questions or answer them.

    Along side this build a plane, the one you bought will guide the build since there are so dang many options available to you.
    Having one to fly helps guide you as you consider desired options.
    In the end, being that the market is and will remain strong, one of them stays with you, or possibly both will.
    Regards, Charlie
    Super Coupe E-AB build in process
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  14. #14
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    OP-- I suggest you research just how long it takes most people to build & finish an experimental Cub.
    Then research how many start on a build but never follow through & finish.
    The results might be an eye opener.
    Cessna Skywagon-- accept no substitute!
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  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by hotrod180 View Post
    OP-- I suggest you research just how long it takes most people to build & finish an experimental Cub.
    Then research how many start on a build but never follow through & finish.
    The results might be an eye opener.
    I agree, that has definitely been a strong consideration!!!! I’m still looking and thinking.

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