What is your airplane of choice to own, and why?

86 Replies

What is your airplane of choice to own, and why?

Posted by Paul Lilly on Jun 4, 2017 2:09 pm

We all have our favorites! But why do we choose them? Is it the utility that matches your mission; is it the ramp appeal; was it the model your father owned; or does it just happen to be the one that is available at your local airport? Our paths to our passion likely help influence our choice.

I would like to know! Let's share how we got to where we are today.

I'll start!

I have a V Tail Bonanza as my choice to own. It has the capability of getting me quickly to places my wife and I like to go to, and with the tip tanks, non stop. Of course all Bonanzas do that, but I picked the V Tail model because of it's unique look. I had always been partial be Beech because I trained at a Beech Aero Center in Sundowners and Sierras. The center always had Bonanzas available although I did not fly them during training, I loved to look at them and see them fly. Shortly after my training the Beech Aero Centers closed, but many of the schools kept the planes on leaseback and continued to operate, and I rented them until I could afford my own. My favorite plane to own today, has a lot to do "brand-wise" with where I started a long time ago. Then within that brand finding the model that fit my mission and style.

So what is your favorite airplane to own and why?  Your turn to share!


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Re: What is your airplane of choice to own, and why?

Posted by Robert Regester on Jan 10, 2020 7:17 pm

Well, I am getting on in years, still work full time as a software engineer, and started receiving a SS check so now I have the funds to purchase an airplane.  Owned a Cessna 150 30 years ago and have not flown since.  Owned a damaged Cessna 140 that I never flew.  Once you have owned an airplane, renting is just not that attractive.  

Back then I thought the Ercoupe was a silly looking plane but I just bought a 1946 Ercoupe.  Inexpensive to buy (no plane is inexpensive to own) and figured it was just right for me since I like something different.  There are a number of Ercoupe owners around here and one in the hanger right next to my hanger.  Useful load was built for people when they used to weigh 175 lbs but now just about everyone I know is 200 or greater.  One of the things both myself and my daughter are looking forward to is taking her up in it.  Last time I flew with her she was 5 but she remembers it.

Helps expenses that I am an A&P.

My fantasy airplane is just about every aircraft I see.  


Re: What is your airplane of choice to own, and why?

Posted by Brian Howard on Jan 11, 2020 9:13 am

This is my second early V tail bonanza and first polished airplane. Where most people play video games for fun, I program computers all week and fly to relax. This made the purchase of this beautiful V tail an easy decision. Just looking at it in the hangar makes me want to fly and the airplane is a good ice breaker at fly ins. But it is also a fast traveling machine for vacation and the occasional business trip.

not bad for an airplane that first flew in 1949! 


Re: What is your airplane of choice to own, and why?

Posted by Anthony Pileggi on Jan 13, 2020 11:38 am

For most people an airplane is transportation. For others, like us, it is hard to rationalize owning an airplane, other to say it has been my lifelong dream to own and fly an airplane.
I fly for a living. I find pleasure in every type of airplane I fly. Each type I fly gives me a different challenge and pleasure. In the Air Force, flying fighters was an adrenaline rush in many ways. As an airline pilot, precision is my reward. When I fly a civil aircraft, I enjoy being alone and having the freedom to do whatever I want while exploring the envelope of the aircraft. So my choice is the Starduster Too. It is a graceful looking and flying aircraft. Very good at limited aerobatics and relatively inexpensive to own and fly.



Re: What is your airplane of choice to own, and why?

Posted by Daniel Jenkins on Jan 13, 2020 11:50 am

Well, after 37 years of professional flying (5 years USAF; 32 years Delta Air Lines), I wanted to keep flying and I wanted to go back to my roots-a tail dragger. So, I bought a 1952 Cessna 170B and have never looked back. I cut my 'flying' teeth on Piper Colts and J-3 Cubs. Life is good!

Re: What is your airplane of choice to own, and why?

Posted by Donald Strout on Jan 13, 2020 1:14 pm

I was a 68 year old "Rusty Pilot" who last flew a Piper Turbo Arrow III in 1978-1980.   My first requirement was to own a plane that was less than 20 years old.  This narrowed the field a lot. (lol)

I did not want to build my own, but would have considered an RV6, RV7 if it was a good builder.  My budget was less than $150,000.  Next decision was how fast did I want to fly and where did I want to go.  In the end, I decided I fly for fun and do not use to plane to get places, other than for just the fun of flying there.  And, I did not want to fly aerobatics. It became obvious that I needed a Taildragger Endorsement along with my Fight Review. 

For a "fast" plane I would have chosen the RV. For an aerobatic, I would have chosen a Pitts SC1.  But for just the fun of flying.....

The choice was: 1) Cubcrafters Sport Cub; 2) American Legend Cub; or 3) American Champion 7GCBC.  I ended up buying a 2007 Cubcrafters Sport Cub S-LSA.

Superb craftsmanship and quality and so light (865 pounds empty) that even with the 0-200 Continental (modified to 110 HP) the plane performs very well, with me alone it takes off in less than 500 feet, lands easily in less than 1000 feet (over obstacles) and climbs at 800-1000 fpm while burning about 5 gallons per hour. 

PS. Landing a taildragger was harder than I first imagined. 

Re: What is your airplane of choice to own, and why?

Posted by Terrence Cusack on Jan 13, 2020 3:34 pm

There are a lot of great value airplanes that are on my purchase list: Cessna 182, Beechcraft Bonanza, Mooney M20, and Cherokee six.  However there are not many airplanes that can offer two or three mission types in a single aircraft.  I had dreamed of owning a Phoenix Light Sport Motorglider ever since the design was released.  It is expensive, so I didn't think I would really be able to afford it.  But a partnership became available that made it possible.  The Phoenix has two wing tip configurations that can be changed in a few minutes.  The short wing (35 ft) is a nice XC plane at 115 kts @ 4 gph, ADS-B, Autopilot and BRS.  Install the long tips (50 ft) and go do some serious soaring with a 32:1 glide ratio (Pretty good!) and a feathering prop.  But the airplane doesn't stop there.  It has a third mission that puts a grin on my face every time I fly: STOL.  I routinely takeoff and land in a few hundred feet, climb at over 1000 FPM and control steep approaches using dive brakes.  And one can't complain about the visibility of a bubble canopy!  I flew it round-trip coast-to-coast last summer and although it's not super fast, using oxygen makes use of winds aloft with easy mountain avoidance.  Hands down, the most fun you can have in a single airplane design!!  a6e43b189f047b4f9d9ab3e1c1066979-huge-ph