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Aerolite 103 v 120 whats the difference?

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  • Aerolite 103 v 120 whats the difference?

    The Aerolite seems to be given the 103 suffix in the USA and 120 in the EU, but is there a difference technically and is the price uplift value add or just margin?

    Just curious.

  • #2
    Aerolite 103 v 120 whats the difference?

    Phil Bennett wrote: The Aerolite seems to be given the 103 suffix in the USA and 120 in the EU, but is there a difference technically and is the price uplift value add or just margin?
    The 120 has European certification. Surely the 103 is outside any need for certification requirements?

    The AEROLiTE 120 has been type certified as an ULM EU version

    There must be a cost associated with that?

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    • #3
      Aerolite 103 v 120 whats the difference?

      My understanding is that the European....i.e German 120Kg category DOES need Certification to Standard LTF-L 120kg Class............. unlike our SSDR..so we are lucky.. So although it could be sold "as is" in the UK... NOT in Germany without the "piece of paper".
      Thanks to the BMAA.

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      • #4
        Aerolite 103 v 120 whats the difference?

        The first one in the country was at the LAA rally just behind our stand, and was handed over to the customer after the show. it was put in our hangar for the night and he is flying it back to its new home at Darley moor this morning.

        It does a good job of being both very basic and stylish at the same time. Detail engineering is interesting. The lift struts are massive round tubes - must make a lot of drag, and are begging for streamlining or replacing with profile tube. The sail work is a bit basic, and control surfaces are not very tight. The corners of the surfaces are in fact brass plumbing elbows! - clever re purposing suppose!. Quality of the tube finish and brackets etc look very good, although it makes use of L brackets riveted to the tube work for control surface hinges and looks like they have to be drilled off to get the sail envelopes off. Overall it presents well and has an appealing cheeky look.

        It's been very much made for the German market and rules. That gives a 120kg cap - and that's with a chute. I understand some bits have had to be beefed up to meet the German certification. the engine fitted is the Polini 200. Climb performance is quoted at 1.5m/sec / 300fpm. The 250 would seem the more logical engine choice in the Polini range and per up the climb a bit. But that tips it over the 120KG limit. Maybe they could do it for export to UK, or even fit a larger engine like the 447.

        Price seems fairly high - just over 20K as shown at the Rally. but I guess that reflects it being built in Germany, with I would imagine a licence fee going to the U.S., and then coming through a UK dealer too - three companies want their profit. And it's fitted with the ballistic chute which adds 2K or more to the price. And of course the chancellors 20% is included too.

        The market is difficult to read as regards fixedwing SSDR. Seems to me that plus 20K - which a lot if the machines are - and the enclosed ones, and factory built, are a fair chunk more than that, is going to be a small market. A simple open cockpit type built locally and bought direct without middle men distributors could be done for 10-15K, but then it has less perceived value, so will the market again be too small to make it viable? - a kit saves a bit of money for a more complex type, but for a simple one, by the time it's been labelled and packed up, and then time spent on build support, that time could have been used to build the thing or nearly so, so not much saving.

        Paul

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        • #5
          Aerolite 103 v 120 whats the difference?

          I was hoping to get to the rally to see the 120, but couldn't make it. Thank's for your quick overview Paul, and agree it looks nice.
          Also agree that it will be interesting to see how the SSDR market develops. I also wanted to see the TLAC Kub, available built for 25k, which would appear reasonable value when comparing it to the P&M Quick Lite.

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          • #6
            Aerolite 103 v 120 whats the difference?

            25K plus VAT for the Kub = 30K, plus another 1 or 2 for a bespoke trailer to make use of that wing fold / transport capabilty. Its a complex machine with high labour content for build, so thats not really surprising - but is it a viable market at that level??

            I have a project I am working on - fully enclosed and with 582, and wingfold. I am aiming for no more than 20K factory built with VAT because I fear thats a price break point. But then will chasing a market mean no profit.....?!

            Paul

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            • #7
              Aerolite 103 v 120 whats the difference?

              That sounds interesting Paul

              Hope you will post more details as it progresses?

              Sean

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              • #8
                Aerolite 103 v 120 whats the difference?

                Thanks for the colour Paul. I'm not sure what value add the German certification is but currency adjusted it seems to have added around 9000 to the bill i.e the difference from a US built machine and this German spec one - surely you just buy the US one and ship it to the UK?

                To your point re: price point etc. I agree. These machines are weekend and summer evening sport/fun aircraft and because the used market offers so much choice beyond even just 30-40K its hard to punt an SSDR up there, because frankly the permit etc isn't really a barrier with that capital outlay.

                The other issue is that the more complex the project the harder it is to gain traction and people turn off before the product is even out there. Just look at the struggle e-go have had with lead times, at some point customers go cold.

                Margin wise I'd look to price the basic aircraft cheaply with some attractive options, repairs and service for margin, without teaching you to suck eggs of course!

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                • #9
                  Aerolite 103 v 120 whats the difference?

                  All sport aeroplane are just fun aircaft. The current UK definition though doesn't prevent them being just as usable and high performance and weather capable as the two seaters.

                  I faced that dilemma - I had a design for the previous definition, and then the definition changed. should I stick with that simple light open design, or take advantage of the expanded definition and make a faster fully enclosed machine to exploit the definition to the max, but obviously it would be more expensive. What would be the machine most folk would be more interested in? My punt was that if it could be done under that 20K with VAT break point it might have more interest than the simple job for 5K less??

                  Of course there is no reason why once developed the wings and tail feathers, landing gear and detail fittings cant be used on a simpler open fuselage and smaller engine to do both.

                  Paul

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