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ColinB

Would there be a market for a betkut esq molded kit ?

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Just out of curiosity and possibly a bit of market research

 

would there be a market demand for a molded kit aircraft ?

 

the reason i ask is because im going to build mine is this manner as i work for a composite company and have full access to CNC, claves and lots of other things

 

so the options i have available range from fully claved and molded wings ect ect, to the lower tech bucket and brush were all used too

 

so really im curious to see if its just something to do for myself or if its worth making the extra effort to make the tooling extra durable for the extended usage of making parts for others aswell as possible clave usage

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As detemined by Berkut Engineering:

......it seems not.

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An indication of a realistically marketed price would be useful so we could provide you some considered feedback.

 

Cheers,

 

Bruce.

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Just out of curiosity and possibly a bit of market research

 

would there be a market demand for a molded kit aircraft ?

 

the reason i ask is because im going to build mine is this manner as i work for a composite company and have full access to CNC, claves and lots of other things

 

so the options i have available range from fully claved and molded wings ect ect, to the lower tech bucket and brush were all used too

 

so really im curious to see if its just something to do for myself or if its worth making the extra effort to make the tooling extra durable for the extended usage of making parts for others aswell as possible clave usage

if people where willing to spend the extra dollars to get a kit Berkut instead of building the long ez from raw materials don't you think there would be more Berkuts then long ez's being built. if people where willing to spend the extra dollars on a Velocity kit instead of Cozy IV plans and materials there would be more velocity's then Cozys being built. but that is not the case.

Evolultion Eze RG -a two place side by side-200 Knots on 200 HP. A&P / pilot for over 30 years

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I would purchase various molded parts to get a jump on the project. A molded fuse with the strakes in place would, I think, be a great product. I would stay away from the "kit". Your fuse, someone elses wings, cozy girrls metal ect is a "kit" with out being a "kit". I would purchase a Pre-molded fuse to start my project and I know there are a few people working on that now. Good Luck!!!

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... if people where willing to spend the extra dollars on a Velocity kit instead of Cozy IV plans and materials there would be more velocity's then Cozys being built. but that is not the case.

Well, actually, there are more Velo's registered with the FAA than COZY's. About 330 Velo's to 210 COZY's. So that's not a good comparison.

 

I do agree with you, Lynn, however, that if the desire is to replicate something along the lines of a Berkut in a molded kit, that the result will be approximately the same as Berkut - turning a bunch of $$$ into a smaller pile of $$$. It's not possible to sell the kits for a 2-place composite tandem high-performance plane for what Vans can sell RV kits for.

 

But hey, there's always people with more $$$ than business knowledge - just witness 90% of the folks in the homebuilt airplane kit market.

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I think your possibly right in regards to the kit, maybe id be better off just selling the parts as separate items and also helps in not having to support a kit as well

 

so the other question is would there be an interest in prepreg or wetlay moulded parts ?

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Well, actually, there are more Velo's registered with the FAA than COZY's. About 330 Velo's to 210 COZY's. So that's not a good comparison.

 

I do agree with you, Lynn, however, that if the desire is to replicate something along the lines of a Berkut in a molded kit, that the result will be approximately the same as Berkut - turning a bunch of $$$ into a smaller pile of $$$. It's not possible to sell the kits for a 2-place composite tandem high-performance plane for what Vans can sell RV kits for.

 

But hey, there's always people with more $$$ than business knowledge - just witness 90% of the folks in the homebuilt airplane kit market.

LOL, but Marc is absolutely right. The first question one should ask, is what are the needs of my intended clients (# seats, speed, range, payload, etc.). Once you've answered these questions, you will know if a Berkut style airplane will work, My guess is no, but a variant of the Berkut could (if it could be less expensive (with deminish specs maybe ?), maybe a 4 seater, etc.).

 

Start with the NEED of your client and then see how they can best be met. Also check what's out there in term of competition. Don't just assume your muffin will be better than that of the competition.

 

Oh, and don't forget the price, people tend to be .... ;)

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To all this great advice I would add that to answer the OP's question would require a determination of the total potential market for such a product at a potential price point. I'm not sure that the folks on this board represent the target market as many of us are more interested in building than just flying. Folks with the funds to buy expensive kits and parts may not be reading this.

 

Given what we already know about the total market (Velocity and Cozy and all the variants of EZ(e)s, etc I would say the market is not too big (fancy marketing terms) and would be unlikely to support the kind of capital intensive project you are contemplating. I would be hesitant to enter such a market unless the potential buyers was measured in hundreds or thousands, not tens and twenties. Talk to your banker to see what I mean.

 

From my recent visit to Sun and Fun I think there is a lot more interest out there in new composite LSA aircraft, where people are paying $75-$125K for inexpensive to operate, lower performance, no Medical required craft. Maybe you could subcontract for some of that work?

 

I for one would love to buy a Berkut kit today, but I, like so many others, can't afford one.

 

Best of luck in your endeavors.


Larry Hendrick

Canardiologist

Cozy Mark IV Started 2/12/2009 - Now on Chap. 6

http://web.me.com/lhendrick/Cozy_MkIV/Welcome.html

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Well, actually, there are more Velo's registered with the FAA than COZY's. About 330 Velo's to 210 COZY's. So that's not a good comparison.

 

I do agree with you, Lynn, however, that if the desire is to replicate something along the lines of a Berkut in a molded kit, that the result will be approximately the same as Berkut - turning a bunch of $$$ into a smaller pile of $$$. It's not possible to sell the kits for a 2-place composite tandem high-performance plane for what Vans can sell RV kits for.

 

But hey, there's always people with more $$$ than business knowledge - just witness 90% of the folks in the homebuilt airplane kit market.

just to keep it straight . I know there are more registered but I said there are more cozy's then velo's being built. as it takes a lot longer to build a cozy then a velo I believe that ratio of registered will change. it also seems that people are also crashing velos at a higher rate.

Evolultion Eze RG -a two place side by side-200 Knots on 200 HP. A&P / pilot for over 30 years

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well just to clarify, a lot of what is requiered i am going to do anyway, the plugs and moulds for the fuse, wings and canard i will be CNC machining and molding from anyway for my own aircraft

 

so the question of looking to alter what im doing ie high performance 2 seater i cant really change that to suit what others want because it defeats the intentions of what i want to do for myself

 

a lot of what im doing is to save time for myself aswell, i can machine and mould the wings in a couple of days, and for me that is a worth while aproach and it has the added bonus of ending up with a better finished article, and the fact that i can just setup the machine and come back in the morning and have a wing pattern sitting in front of me beats the hell out of sanding, floxing, sanding floxing ect

 

so yes for most people this would be a very very expensive venture, for me im just using the tools and facilities i already have to my disposal

 

so i think quite probably be best bet would be to just carry on with the build, document and photograph and if people like the parts then i can think about offering them for sale

 

just so you have a background on me, I spent 5yrs in the airforce and now i work in the composite industry mostly making parts for F1 cars

 

if anything you guys are the ones i have to thank, you have done the hard work for me, i have no intention of reinventing the wheel im just refining it a little with more modern teqniques :D

 

i think the only issue would come if sold as a kit is as soon as you do that you become responsible for the care of people building it, and having to write documentation for it all

 

i will start a topic/thread soon once i have more to show people in the next coming weeks

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well just to clarify, a lot of what is requiered i am going to do anyway, the plugs and moulds for the fuse, wings and canard i will be CNC machining and molding from anyway for my own aircraft

 

 

a lot of what im doing is to save time for myself aswell, i can machine and mould the wings in a couple of days, and for me that is a worth while aproach and it has the added bonus of ending up with a better finished article, and the fact that i can just setup the machine and come back in the morning and have a wing pattern sitting in front of me beats the hell out of sanding, floxing, sanding floxing ect

 

so yes for most people this would be a very very expensive venture, for me im just using the tools and facilities i already have to my disposal

Well this is an all together different ball game. If you are doing it for you and that you can find some that are interested in the parts that you are making (at little or no extra cost to you other than the cost of material) then by all means go ahead.

 

I'm pretty sure that a costs to benefits analysis will show that you are in the money if you sell only one part :D

 

When you have an idea of how much one would have to spend for individual components tell us about it (fuselage, spars, canard, wings, winlets, stakes, cowlings, etc.). I'm sure you will find many interested parties, if you pass along some of those economies of scale (synergies). If I understand you right your cost should be limited to raw materials and very little labor, this would could result in a very attractive price point.

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Save yourself a lot of time and buy a Mobius (manned version.)

 

http://beanddi.com/

 

you could say the same to anyone here then,

infact why bother building at all? just go buy a share in a piper :irked:

 

 

i am curious to know why some of you are so negative about the way im planning to build my aircraft

 

but thanks to the messages of support i have recieved in PM :)

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i am curious to know why some of you are so negative about the way im planning to build my aircraft

 

this is what happens everytime you walk on a different way: everybody else walking on the opposite direction says "hey, you are going the wrong way..."


Roads? Where we're going we don't need roads. (Dr. Emmett Brown)

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I am in agreement with most of the responses in that price point would be the determining factor. I personally would like to see it happen.

 

If the CNC machining makes it easier and more fool proof, (anyone that can design something fool proof, vastly under estimates the ingenuity of a fool) it would be more of an option. If the later RVs required as much sanding and fitting as the earlier models, before CNC and pre-punched skins, I don't think they would be as popular today. Taking measuring and jig work out of the equation would make the kit more popular for those that don't enjoy the building process and would rather be flying. Plus the Berkut is probably the fastest canard you can build that was reasonably priced (its all relative).

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i am curious to know why some of you are so negative about the way im planning to build my aircraft

 

It all depends on why you're here. Are you planning on building an airplane ...... or an airplane company. Big difference.

The Cozy Girrrls will tell you how difficult it is to start a parts business and build a plane at the same time. Eventually you get to a point where you have to set priorities for the resouces you have available (and we are all very happy with the choice the Girrrls made! :D )

 

Now if you are starting an airplane company, doing it on a shoestring is never going to make it happen.

Have you had any discussions with Professor Burt about royalties for his base design (like Cozy and others pay?)

Have you thought about the liability after that first plane hits the dirt? (and it will.)

What about pricing? Berkut priced the molded wings at $13,626 ......... 7 years ago. Could you get someone to pay $7,000 for the same? If you could, how much would you have to pour into such a charitable adventure?

With no track record or history of credibility, could you find a market?

If you think there are some people with negative feedback now, I doubt that you are ready for the feedback that follows such an endevor. You do not get two chances. Make one mistake as a home aircraft builder and there are people waiting in line to point out how you and the village idiot appear to be twins.

Make the same mistake as a manufacturer and people will be waiting ONLINE to draw the same conclusion.

 

If you do plan on making molds and autoclave everything, it will make for a fine aircraft .......... but I hope you're young. That kind of money and energy could have you flying a plans built in 2 years ........... or your dream machine in 15 years.

 

This is a formidable project. Even with a prefabricated kit.

Want proof.......

Berkut sold 75 kits.

Of those 75, 20 were built to completion.

Of those 20, 6 were involved in accidents, with at least two ending in fatalities.

 

75 kits at $44K apiece grosses out at 3.3 million. Over a 13 year period, that would be a gross sales figure of around $254,000/year before labor, materials, overhead, etc.

 

I see a lot of people who talk about how much they wish Berkut would re-enter the market but ask them for a deposit and you'll have the entire story. Same story for other manufacturers of aircraft, avionics, aircraft parts, yada yada.

 

Anyway ........ that's why the negative.

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you could say the same to anyone here then,

infact why bother building at all? just go buy a share in a piper :irked:

 

 

i am curious to know why some of you are so negative about the way im planning to build my aircraft

 

but thanks to the messages of support i have recieved in PM :)

we are not negative. we just have been there and done that. you said and i quote "a lot of what im doing is to save time for myself aswell, i can machine and mould the wings in a couple of days". you and an army of guys maybe. if you had said a couple of months I might believe you have really grasp the magnitude of the project. even if you are the fastest composite guy to ever roll out the prepreg, the composites parts are only ten percent of the project. the cost of the molds will out way the cost of the parts. molded parts are made and assembled with different methods then the way the moldless composite aircraft are built. if you use molded parts then there will be a lot of re- engineering to be done to insure a safe aircraft. just because the part came out of a mold made from a cnc'd plug and all the glass was prepreg and cured in an autoclave doesn't mean it is better and stronger then the hand made part. first it needs to be engineered to be better and then it needs to be tested to prove it is better and only then will people really believe it is a better part. why does it need to be better? ask any Rutan canard pilot if his plane would fly any better if the parts where made in a mold and he will tell you that it can't get any better.

Evolultion Eze RG -a two place side by side-200 Knots on 200 HP. A&P / pilot for over 30 years

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;) Well that is all well and good TMANN but does it apply to his particular situation ? I think not.

 

He said something along the lines off "I'll be making parts for myself (using hi quality molds) and is willing to makes parts for others, as this will not require a lot of work and could turn in some profit for him".

 

That does not sound like, engeneering an entire plane and then selling plans and parts. The startup costs will most likely be very low in his case (he has a free access to the required tooling).

 

And what about royalties for Mr Rutan's design. Marc already told us that Mr Rutan is not enforcing it, so its a none issue. The problem he may have is with the owners of the BERKUT intellectual property, these people may want to inforce their rights. But for them to suffer damages they would have to demonstrate that they lost sales because of his actions (well in Canada it's the way it works). For the US I have no clue how it work.

 

As for liability issues, how is this defferent than the liability issues facing component makers like Cozy Girrrl, Eureka, or any others ? I'm sure they have proper disclaimers. He should too.

 

If he supplies parts to current Berkut builders he MAY not have to worry about the rights of the owner of the Berkut intellectual property as he only helping poeple that already purchase their plans/components from a company that is no longer providing support for that type.

 

So if he is willing to do it, and I repeat, for very little cost to him other than the cost of material, why should he not ? He may not make a living out of it, but he may just make enough to pay for his own bird plus operating expenses.... ;)

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we are not negative. we just have been there and done that. you said and i quote "a lot of what im doing is to save time for myself aswell, i can machine and mould the wings in a couple of days". you and an army of guys maybe. if you had said a couple of months I might believe you have really grasp the magnitude of the project. even if you are the fastest composite guy to ever roll out the prepreg, the composites parts are only ten percent of the project. the cost of the molds will out way the cost of the parts. molded parts are made and assembled with different methods then the way the moldless composite aircraft are built. if you use molded parts then there will be a lot of re- engineering to be done to insure a safe aircraft. just because the part came out of a mold made from a cnc'd plug and all the glass was prepreg and cured in an autoclave doesn't mean it is better and stronger then the hand made part. first it needs to be engineered to be better and then it needs to be tested to prove it is better and only then will people really believe it is a better part. why does it need to be better? ask any Rutan canard pilot if his plane would fly any better if the parts where made in a mold and he will tell you that it can't get any better.

Hey Lynn it can be done, they do glider composite wings in two days. But they use molds and the guys that work on them are very fast. You got to love those German.

 

But I don't know about the Berkut of Ez wing....

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;) Well that is all well and good TMANN but does it apply to his particular situation ? I think not.

 

Well think again. The subject line of the thread asks (and I'll correct the spelling):

Would there be a market for a Berkut esq molded kit ?

 

As is often the case, folks seem to lose sight of the original intent.

 

 

He said something along the lines off "I'll be making parts for myself (using hi quality molds) and is willing to makes parts for others, as this will not require a lot of work and could turn in some profit for him".

 

Then place your order now.

That does not sound like, engeneering an entire plane and then selling plans and parts. The startup costs will most likely be very low in his case (he has a free access to the required tooling).

 

That seems very optomistic.

And what about royalties for Mr Rutan's design. Marc already told us that Mr Rutan is not enforcing it, so its a none issue. The problem he may have is with the owners of the BERKUT intellectual property, these people may want to inforce their rights. But for them to suffer damages they would have to demonstrate that they lost sales because of his actions (well in Canada it's the way it works). For the US I have no clue how it work.

 

Believe me ....... some lawyer out there will be more than happy to explain that to you. I've been involved in a legal action to enforce a patent on some sofware I wrote 10 years ago and can speak firsthand as to the education some of these major corporations are getting with regards to infringement. Burt doesn't have to be the one who enforces the rights to intellectual property. If he sells those rights to another ........ all those safe places go away and you had better have something in writing.

 

As for liability issues, how is this defferent than the liability issues facing component makers like Cozy Girrrl, Eureka, or any others ? I'm sure they have proper disclaimers. He should too.

 

I'm not speaking for anyone who has their own voice. That's just borrowing trouble.

If he supplies parts to current Berkut builders he MAY not have to worry about the rights of the owner of the Berkut intellectual property as he only helping poeple that already purchase their plans/components from a company that is no longer providing support for that type.

 

I'm not aware of any Berkut kit owners that have experienced any difficulty getting support for existing kits. They are still around, they simply have changed their target market from GA to military.

So if he is willing to do it, and I repeat, for very little cost to him other than the cost of material, why should he not ? He may not make a living out of it, but he may just make enough to pay for his own bird plus operating expenses.... ;)

I think the costs have yet to be determined.

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Place an order... you crack me up...

 

The rest of what I typed... i deleted...

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Hi just to set a few things straight

 

i am not remaking the berkut so i dont see why i would need to involve them unless they somehow have some patent on using molds to make aircraft parts and somehow i doubt that, i only used berkut as an example of molded components, it could just be a molded open ez if that makes you feel better

 

and to answer the question of will it be a kit then i dont know, probably not, will most likley just be selling the main moulded components that people could use to complement an existing open ez or whatever build

 

where the line is drawn when an aircraft stops being an ez and becomes something else im not sure, but it would be upto the builder

 

also i dont belive i have underestimated time or money needed to make the moulds, i do this every day for my job and the stuff we do requires very quick turn around, and a wing mold is actually a very very simple shape to laminate (its almost flat), and i it would depend on what materials i used to make the molds, but i do belive it could be done in a couple days, however as its my own parts you are probably correct that i will take a bit more time and care on them

 

also i have not yet decided on the exact construction of my wings yet either, and just because its molded it doesnt mean it has to be made of skins and ribs, i can still use foam as a core (albeit better foam called rohacell) that i will machine up, the foam is then compressed against the skin inside the mold, (also 31IG rohacell is the same density as the foam you are already using)

or i could reengineer it and use a ribbed and honeycomb construction that is bonded together, but the mold will be the same either way so thats not an imediate concern

 

also i dont belive the previous poster who said the molds would be free meant it litterally, i belive he meant i am making them anyway for my own bird, and thus for future use for making parts for others they are already essentially "paid for", and this i belive to be true also

 

and yes as im still in my mid 20's i do belive im still young enough and have enough energy for it :D

 

anyway as they say the proof is in the pudding, and i do realise you have probably had a lot of people come up with these ideas before, i have been around this forum for a few years now reading and researching so i dont belive im coming in to this blind

 

ill keep you all updated on my progress, at first it will be with CAD drawings and then ill start the machining :)

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Reading Conlin's last post... I beleive I was right on...

 

Tchuss

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